Robot Review: Storm 2 (S08E04)

Oh I’ve been waiting for this review for a long time. As the self-professed #1 fan of Team Storm and Storm 2, this has been the review I have wanted to do for a long time. I could have done it at any point to be honest, but I am a man of structure, and so I’ve kept the structure of going week by week, in order of how far the robots progressed (Vaguely). And so it’s Storm 2’s turn. Ah, this shall be fun.

A little background first. And by little, I mean this review is probably going so infuriatingly biased that you’ll want to throw your phone/laptop/electronic device out of the window. So Storm 2 first entered Robot Wars in Extreme 2, in the New Blood Championship.  Whilst in the New Blood Championship, they beat basically everyone (Including robots like ICU, Thor and Mute). Their victory there meant that they were given automatic entry into the 7th wars. Now, Storm 2 is/was, to all intents and purposes, a full body hammer. Basically it was a wedge on 6 wheels with enough driving force to get a robot out of the arena just by driving them into the side wall. That actually happened at one point.

Unfortunately, Mentorn didn’t like this. A lot of shit went down in the 7th wars that I can’t be bothered to go through because then I’ll be the one throwing things out of a window. Let’s just say, Storm 2 made it all the way to the grand final of the 7th wars. The very, very last hurdle, and were screwed over so that they wouldn’t win. They were robbed. Yes i’m still bitter. It’s OK though, they at least managed to win the 3rd World Championships that were bolted onto the end of the 7th wars. So it wasn’t all doom and gloom. But still, fuck Mentorn.

Anyway, onto the 8th Wars, or the 2016 series if you hate continuity. Storm 2 found themselves drawn against Eruption, Sabretooth and Terror Turtle, which basically made this a battle between the animals and the elements. On one side is Terror Turtle and Sabretooth, the animals. and on the other is Eruption and Storm 2, and whilst Eruption isn’t a weather element itself, it’s close enough to tectonics that I’m going to make the comparison anyway.

And so the battle began! Storm 2’s first plan of attack was to go for Eruption, but obviously sensing that was a bad idea, then went after Terror Turtle. Now Storm 2 used to be fast. And by fast, they were 25mph, smash robots out of the arena using sheer force fast. Unfortunately, namely due to the short 5 week window before having to appear on the show and a certain American equivalent known as Battlebots that Team Storm were preparing for, the team didn’t have the time to swap out the slower, live event batteries that they were using and go back to the high powered rockets they had before for filming. So instead of being 25mph, it was now 12mph. The point of this is that Terror Turtle can only go 5mph, so even though Storm 2 are now ‘slow’, they’re not that slow.

And so the next part of the fight consisted of Storm 2 pushing Terror Turtle around… just about everywhere. At one point they pushed the helpless robot into the arena side wall, just for old times’ sake. Not much came of it, but it was still fun to watch.

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Piggyback Turtle

This went on for a while. How long? No idea, something you can blame on the awful editing. What I do know it that Storm 2 found themselves the wrong way up at one point, something I can only pin on Eruption (I mean it’s not going to be Terror Turtle, is it?). Regardless, their part in this fight was basically over. With Sabretooth immobilised, Eruption had taken over attacking Terror Turtle. It was probably good for their aspirations to leave Eruption to it- sure enough, Terror Turtle soon found themselves sailing out of the arena. But hey, that put Storm 2 through.

So, the Head to Heads. First up was, wait for it, Eruption. Yes, Storm 2 found themselves with an almost instant rematch. It’s like something out of Robot Wars: Arenas of Destruction. I suppose this time it at least meant Storm 2 couldn’t avoid them for almost an entire fight, like they did in the melee.
And sure enough, both robots came out firing in the opening exchange. One of the good things about Storm 2 is it has a practically zero ground clearance. Eruption on the other hand is balanced on two rear wheels- like a lot of flippers these days- and as such is liable to almost wheelie when they accelerate, something that means half the time they just ended up driving up Storm 2’s wedge.

Storm 2 did take a little detour into Sir Killalot’s CPZ, where they were then left to roast a little bit on the flame pit, but soon it was back to business. That business mainly being pushing Eruption around. Eruption did try on a few occasions to flip Storm 2, but it didn’t come off for them. In the end, actually, it was Eruption who got flipped. Storm 2’s heightened level of control meant that they could push their enemy onto the floor flipper, which then did the job it was meant for.
The next section of the match followed the same pattern, namely that Eruption just kept driving up Storm 2 without doing very much. But, eventually, they did manage to get a flip in. I mean it didn’t amount to anything, but it at least showed what Eruption could do.

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Flipped like a pancake

That was really the only time Eruption troubled Storm 2 until the final 10 seconds, when Storm 2 just kinda died. It just stopped in a corner and gave up on the world. I don’t know if the Eruption crew knew Storm 2 had stopped, but they certainly tried to take advantage, getting a couple of flips in before time was up.

It didn’t work. Storm 2 still came away with the 2 points for a judges’ decision and victory.

So, next up was Apollo, who were also a flipper. Apollo, however, were a slightly longer robot, less prone to throwing out a wheelie (Though certainly not immune), and with equally low ground clearance, not to mention a very powerful flipper arm. They may not have been 2x champions like Eruption, but they had just come from turning PP3D into scrap metal in their previous fight. So…

The fight, however, made it look as if it would be more of the same. Apollo, like Eruption, started by simply driving up Storm 2’s front wedge, taking a very short ride across the arena and then departing to try again. And then the same would happen. This went on 2 or 3 more times, before Apollo finally managed to underneath Storm 2 and toss them through the air.

Fly you fools!.png
Fly you fools!

Storm 2 are now upside down. This isn’t a problem because they’re invertible, but probably a bit of a pain in the ass. It also means their ground clearance is now about 5000x greater than it used to be. So, in trying to run away from Apollo and simultaneously self-right, Storm 2 end up with one of the most stylish moves in the whole series, balancing on the very edge of the front of the robot, before coming to a stop and then being flung through the air by the floor flipper. It was beautiful (Fight me).

Storm 2- Olympic gymnast
Balancing act

It didn’t actually help them get back the way up they wanted to be, mind. They had to do that themselves, whilst still running away from Apollo. They then managed to highlight the only flaw with a low ground clearance by getting themselves stuck on the lip of the pit (Like half the other robots have during this series), allowing Apollo to send them spiralling again. The fact Apollo then got stuck themselves just highlights the earlier point. Someone sort that bloody pit out for the 9th wars.

The pace starts to slow down a bit after this. Storm 2 activate the pit release button, because tactics. Apollo are now moving in very large circles, one of which takes then into Dead Metal’s CPZ. Having watched the clip about 7 times over whilst writing this, I’m convinced Dead Metal is trying to run away from Apollo. It doesn’t work, something that is made abundantly clear when Apollo puts them on their ass. I loved it, the audience loved it, the Apollo boys loved it. Ed Hoppitt definitely loved it (Look at his face in the next frame, he can barely hide his excitement. As an aside, Tim Bence is so concentrated on driving Storm 2, his lack of expression makes him look as if he might actually be a robot).

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Some people celebrating Dead Metal getting flipped over… And Tim Bence

Apollo, having flipped Storm 2 again, they goes after Matilda. As if taking half her ass off and putting the robot out of commission for a good number of fights wasn’t enough, they have to turn Matilda over too. for some reason this has jammed Apollo’s flipper upright, and Storm 2 take advantage, pushing them to the very edge of the pit. Now with a new incentive, Storm 2 are on a charge. With 10 seconds to go, they almost, so very almost get Apollo in the pit. As it is, the fight goes to the judges.

They don’t win this time.

So, this sets up a nice crunch match/grudge match between Ed Hoppitt and Gary Cairns, in the shape of PP3D vs. Storm 2. Winner in the week 4 finale, loser goes home. It’s interesting to think, for all that Mentorn seem to have done in trying to almost erase their history with Robot Wars, they would put the two grand finalists from the 7th wars, which caused all the controversy in the first place, in the same heat together. There’s no way it was purposeful. This isn’t Battlebots, where Son of Whyachi was put up against Ghost Raptor just so that Terry Ewert could come out of retirement and kick Chuck Pitzer’s ass. Actually, continuing with the theme of SoW, can we appreciate one of their team members has the nickname “No dicks allowed”. I don’t know who came up with that, but I hope they’re proud of themselves.

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No Dicks Allowed

Anyway, back to the topic I’m actually supposed to be writing about. So, PP3D vs. Storm 2. Not a flipper this time, and a robot whose weapon was specifically designed to destroy things low to the ground. That would be the entire robot in Storm 2’s case.

And that’s basically what happened. Storm 2 attempted to rush PP3D, but still ended up hitting the spinner. In fairness, PP3D probably flew further backwards from the contact. So they go again, with exactly the same result. And again, with exactly the same result. Soon, Storm 2 have a battle scarred front end and PP3D are being marshalled over to Shunt. The resulting collision between PP3D and Shunt actually causes PP3D to land on Storm 2, which near tears off the front part of one of the side panels. I’m having flashbacks to the 7th wars grand final. After getting pinballed around a bit by PP3D, Storm 2 then get stuck on an arena spike, one of the most infuriating and useless arena hazards around since the days of the old angle grinders.

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High rider

But whilst we’re all busy looking at Storm 2 getting stuck, PP3D has somehow managed to lock one of their wheels, and is now doing circles over the pit. I think you can guess what happens next. PP3D didn’t go straight down the pit though, they did manage to hold on for about 2 seconds before going down. It doesn’t matter anyway. Storm 2 have their revenge, and they are through to the week 4 finale!

The bad news is that the week 4 finale is against Apollo, who Storm 2 lost to in the second H2H. Granted, it was via a judges’ decision, but they still lost. More revenge?
The opening was cagey, with neither robot willing to give it a go for fear of leaving an opening. That was until Storm 2 managed to get underneath Apollo, backwards, and drive them all the way across the arena and into Shunt’s CPZ. Now this is Apollo, so you should know what’s coming next. Yep, Shunt got turned over too. Storm 2 then activate the pit, because why not? Worked against PP3D. A team can dream.

Storm 2 are also very much on top at this point, marshalling Apollo around as they had Eruption in the opening H2H. But don’t ever rule them out- sure enough, they eventually did get a flip in, and it sent Storm 2 the wrong way up once again. This time there was no fancy pirouette, but there was more running away. There’s only so much you can run away though, and Apollo managed to flip them again. It did, at least, solve the problem.

But you solve one problem, another comes along. The next problem was Matilda, probably pissed that Apollo tore her up in their last encounter and out for revenge. Both Storm 2 and Apollo eventually got away. Now, they next thing everyone focuses on is Matilda righting Shunt, but in the background you can see Apollo and Storm 2 still fighting it out. Then Apollo land the killer blow. Well, they land the debilitating blow first, a flip that ends with Storm 2 perched on the arena side wall. And then the killer blow, which takes them out of the arena completely. Just like that, Storm 2 are gone. Cue much cheering from the Apollo boys, and some enthusiastic clapping from everyone else. I mean, it was deserved.

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Goodbye my friend

So, how did Storm 2 do? They did well, in short. They had total dominance over Terror Turtle in the initial melee, they also dominated Eruption in the first H2H, a result that might possibly not have been expected. There was tactical brilliance to take out discount Typhoon 2 PP3D which got them into the grand final, and there were ballerina moves in the H2H against Apollo. They were looking fairly good, especially in the opening stages, against Apollo in the finale too. Unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do when your robot is tossed out of the arena.

There is also plenty that we’ve learnt too: For one, I can’t write a review about my favourite robot without it being 2.5x as long as any other robot review that I would have written for another robot. Ed Hoppitt is basically an excitable child, whilst Tim Bence might actually be a robot. But most of all, despite Storm 2 being ancient and running on batteries from ASDA, they still somehow managed to only lose to the eventual winner of the competition. Storm 2 have never lost to a robot that hasn’t gone on to win that competition. That’s incredible.

Robot Rating (Storm 2): 11/10 7.5/10

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I’m just going to end with this picture. Is it just me, or does Ed genuinely look like he’s about to stroke Storm 2 as if it were a dog? Just me? Also shout out Jason (Thor) in the far corner who looks like he’s about to give up on life and become a pirate. This is so becoming the featured picture.




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