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Gaming Hero March Madness takes another step forward as we fill out our Sweet 16 roster. This second round’s second half contains another batch of winners ready to compete for hypothetical glory. Check out today’s matchups:
1. Bayonetta v. 8. Solid Snake
I’m getting war flashbacks to our last installment’s Kratos and Gordon Freeman fight. While the underdog is tactically resourceful and supremely intelligent, the favorite is a god among men. Bayonetta’s abilities are built for a tournament like this, and can decimate mortal opponents with ease. All the militaristic precision in the world can’t save Snake from a death by shoe-pistol or something much worse. Bayonetta wins, defeating the many tricks up Snake’s sleeve.
5. Pikachu v. 4. Elizabeth Comstock
Pikachu carries another crucial speed advantage into this fight. However I’m not sure what the adorable mascot’s defense would be against being teleported through dimensions into a several thousand foot drop. These are the half cheap, half awesome stunts Elizabeth can pull on a moment’s notice. She can materialize automatic weapons for support, disappear to ruin your every decent attack and come back with a brand new horror from another world. Pikachu can’t outrun space and time, and the would-be Lady Comstock has been hit with enough electricity to hurt an Onix (without sprinkler assistance). Elizabeth wins and moves on to the Sweet 16.
6. Kirby v. 3. Tracer
Tracer can theoretically dodge Kirby’s power-absorbing inhalation. But the Overwatch agent’s damage is done up close and personal, so she’d eventually be forced to risk it. Kirby is shockingly durable, and would end up with Tracer’s blinking ability within a few minutes. From that point on, this is a relatively easy fight for the underdog. Kirby’s power, speed on a warp star, and new set of pistols is basically a better version of Tracer. Kirby wins again, bringing some momentum into the next round.
10. Fox McCloud v. 2. Dovahkiin
I’m not sure how Fox’s Arwing compares to an ancient dragon of Tamriel. But the Dragonborn has the means to take either out of the sky. Whether it be by storm, arrows, or any form of powerful magic, Fox would sooner or later find himself grounded. He stood a chance in the air, simply because the fight wouldn’t end, but this inevitability only ends one way. Fox does have the reflective means to negate a Dragonborn’s magic, but he’d still have to face the sword. McCloud doesn’t even have a speed advantage against Dovahkiin’s whirlwind sprint or elemental fury. Fox can’t stay in the air forever, and can’t stay alive on the ground for very long. Dovahkiin wins.
1. Kat v. 9. Commander Shepard
As mentioned in the previous round, gravity is an incredibly dangerous thing to control. While most of Kat’s abilities are centered around this one basic concept, it’s a crazy useful basic concept to master. So you can imagine the shifter’s displeasure when she runs into one of the only fighters in this tournament who can negate gravity. Pull, singularity, and a variety of other biotic Mass Effect abilities can leave enemies helplessly suspended. Shepard, who would quickly know exactly how to handle this fight, can counter Kat’s many powers. Once defenseless, Kat’s middle of the road durability would be a problem against a one-man/woman firing squad. We have our first fallen 1-seed, and Commander Shepard advances to the Sweet 16.
5. Corvo Attano v. 4. Ness
Both fighters here wield an assortment of elemental powers that make quick work of common foes. Against each other, however, this becomes a question of which trick trumps the other. Ness is ultimately a child. The kid packs a serious punch, but he’s much more vulnerable than his opponent. Corvo’s ability to teleport or outright stop time avoids most of the threat that Ness poses just long enough for the assassin to deliver a decisive blow. Ness takes more time to perform his most powerful moves, while everything Corvo does is immediate. It’s quietly a heavyweight matchup, but Corvo wins this one with a cunning and relentless approach.
6. Pit v. 3. Scorpion
The advantage of being the only one capable of flight in this tournament’s battles is tremendous. Pit dictates the pace of this entire encounter. Scorpion’s durability, even more so than his fighting skills, is his greatest asset. One well-placed “get over here” could leave Pit in a very unpleasant position. Pit is incredibly agile, but eventually needs to land killing blows in order to escape Mortal Kombat’s demonic ninja. In an attempt to compare universes, Pit’s ultimate light arrows have a particular strength against underworld enemies. Scorpion, clear as day, is simply an underworld enemy from another franchise. While this would be more of an epic boss battle than your typical Kid Icarus conflict, Pit is actually equipped to perfection for this fight. Alongside his never-ending arsenal of other weapons, the angel’s light arrows get the job done and secure a big win for Pit.
7. Link v. 2. Dante
At the risk of sounding repetitive, remember that bit about light arrows? Nintendo clearly has a thing for equipping their heroes with the power to defeat darkness. And franchises aimed towards older gamers are equally obsessed with lead characters that are somehow powered by darkness. Dante is as much a demon as he is a man. His powers aren’t a tremendously far cry from Ganon when either is fully juiced up on some purple aura and a wealth of power. Of course, you’d have to survive Dante’s crazy combos and swordsmanship in order to even think about light arrows. But Link’s work with a blade, much like his opponent here, is among gaming’s best. In an even more intense version of the previous duel, Link defeats Dante with yet another power of light after one of the more dizzying swordfights you’d ever see.
And with that, our Sweet 16 is all set. A healthy handful of upsets join dominant favorites to set up eight more intense battles. See you then!
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