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After many cross-franchise encounters, Gaming Hero March Madness reaches its finale. Four fighters remain, leaving three matches that will all be settled here and now. For one last time, let’s check out today’s matchups.
3. Samus Aran v. 6. Geralt of Rivia
Both contestants beat some very talented heroes on their way here. Both have slain monster after monster in their separate travels. And both have the ability to relentlessly pursue the victim of a given contract. With so much to praise equally, let’s jump right into what makes these two different. Samus is a range-based, flight-capable character that carries an obvious mobility advantage into this fight. Geralt is assisted by less scientific, more mystical powers that allow him to tactically dismantle his foes. Geralt’s enemies will slice, scratch and claw through melee-heavy battles. He doesn’t usually deal with a consistently long-range threat. Of course, Axii is always the trump card. Mind control wins matches. But Samus has displayed a resistance to magic before, and is far from weak-minded. Without a cheap trick to fall back on, this is a relatively straightforward fight. And that doesn’t bode well for the Witcher. Geralt is unable to reach Samus, and can’t possibly shield himself from the full damage of a one-woman firing squad. The White Wolf enjoyed a successful tournament run, but he can neither Witcher nor womanize his way out of this one. Samus wins, advancing to the championship fight.
1. Bayonetta v. 6. Pit
We return to a theme that has propelled much of Pit’s Final Four run. Alongside Pit’s many skills, weapons, and blessings from a literal goddess is an inherent effectiveness against darkness and those who wield it. Bayonetta and her demonic assault certainly falls into that category to some degree. There’s only one problem this time around. Bayonetta’s universe has a different take on the balance between light and darkness. As it turns out, killing angels is Bayonetta’s life. It’s like her favorite thing to do. That and killing demons, I suppose. She has shown, on countless occasions, the ability to rip light-based opponents to pieces. That isn’t an automatic win, but it’s an equalizer that takes any cheap advantages off this table. Pit’s fight against Bayonetta can ultimately come down to skill. And if that’s the case, while the two are more similar than their games’ respective maturities would suggest, Bayonetta is a much more formidable fighter. She’s basically a hyper-advanced version of Pit’s fundamental abilities. Bayonetta loves dead angels and, lovable as he is, Pit is just another monster in need of a swift, stylish and oddly sexualized death. Bayonetta wins, dancing her way to the final matchup.
3. Samus Aran v. 1. Bayonetta
64 gaming heroes, 63 fights, several other numbered things, and it all comes down to this. Samus and Bayonetta fought their way through the competition with absurd durability, mobility, skill and pure damage. Very few things separate the two as far as strengths and attributes are concerned. Between the two legendary ladies, a winner can only be crowned by determining which immensely powerful talents are all the more immensely powerful. Both heroes destroy giant monsters on a daily basis. But Bayonetta’s strength-based feats are comically impressive. She once punted a fighter jet. She once head-butted a skyscraper that was thrown at her. With a bit of help, she can blow up the moon or entire planets. Citing Bayonetta’s accomplishments sounds more like you’re compiling a list of Chuck Norris jokes. Samus is fast, probably even the faster of the two. But Witch Time completely reverses this speed advantage, as time is brought to a near halt to counter any incoming threat.
Creating black holes or nuclear explosions is, of course, no joke. One could maybe argue that these two are both too overpowered to ever finish the other one off. If this were the case, there’s still a winner. Samus can theoretically run out of energy, suffering from the Iron Man problem. If she could somehow survive Bayonetta’s power long enough, the fight still slips away after enough time has passed. Flight and firepower, alongside considerable skill, can defeat most enemies. But the only fighters in this tournament capable of matching Bayonetta’s level of destruction were eliminated by more specific weaknesses and disadvantages. Bayonetta has that power, and suffers from no detectible disadvantages. With no shortage of difficulty, the Umbra Witch outlasts the intergalactic bounty hunter and Bayonetta is our Gaming Hero March Madness champion.
A big thank you to anyone following the series, and additional congratulations to Platinum’s deadly huntress. In eleven short months, we’ll find 64 more fictitious fighters and do this all over again.
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