In light of my recent completions of Battletoads and Battletoads & Double Dragon on my Twitch account, I have decided to give all who didn’t see a nice review, because no one saw. Battletoads, you know this game with a legacy for being child’s play, as it could be one of the easiest games of all time. If you couldn’t tell I was joking or if that was sarcasm you obviously don’t know Battletoads.
Platform: NES, SNES, SEGA GENESIS /Genre: Beat’em Up
Developer: Rare / Publisher: Nintendo, SEGA
Battletoads is a game developed by Rare in 1991 and was created to rival that of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. That’s right TMNT v. Battletoads was a thing of the 1990’s; as both series spawned cartoons, arcade releases, and home-console games. Battletoads claim to fame was the difficulty that has in a sense become revered by the gaming community. Unfortunately, Battletoads has not spawned a new game since 1994 and it appears that Rare has moved on.
*Note: Due to this being a double review I will give distinct details for each separate game except for the area of gameplay because they are roughly the same.*
Battletoads (1991) was the first and the most difficult of all the Battletoads released originally for the Nintendo Entertainment System. Later the game was ported to various systems like the SEGA Genesis, GameGear, and other systems. The story of the original Battletoads has to do with Professor T. Bird and Three Battletoads, Rash, Zits, and Pimple, who are escorting Princess Angelica to her home planet. Pimple and Princess Angelica decide to take a leisure trip in Pimple’s ship but are suddenly ambushed and captured by the Dark Queen. With that Pimple sends out a distress signal to the Vulture (your ship) and your adventure/rescue mission begins.
Battletoads and Double Dragon: The Ultimate Team combines the villains of Double Dragon, the Shadow Warriors and that of the Dark Queen from Battletoads. With her plain to dominate the galaxy, the Battletoads decide to even the odds by requesting the help of Billy and Jimmy Lee. Now, with the Toads and the Double Dragon team united, they work together and invade the ship looming over Earth, the Colossus, to stop this immediate threat. This game was released on the SEGA Genesis as well as the Super Nintendo Entertainment System.
Battletoads is primarily a beat’em up style gameplay with occasional platforming aspects and special vehicle themed levels. The game is an arcade style co-op where players share continues and have individual HP bars as well as 1-UP’s. You can easily join at any moment or drop out by simply dying, which is quite common in Battletoads. Attacking enemies has to do more a button mash combo, where you perform various uppercuts, punch combos, and may even attack while crouching or jumping. Battletoads also implements a dash method which gives you the opportunity, to not only run faster, but use a special ramming type attack. Sometimes enemies may drop weapons you can use (mainly a stick/bat) or random breakable objects can contain health or 1-UP’s.
Battletoads music is fantastic, addicting, and is themed perfectly. The music gives you the sense of battle, urgency, and a bit of futuristic type feel, similar to that of Mega Man (but nowhere near that caliber). While the music from Battletoads & Double Dragon doesn’t alter as much in comparison to the SNES and Genesis, the music for the 1991 Battletoads game, changes a bit as the SEGA Genesis had a higher quality audio, making the game look and sound better. If you would play Battletoads and then play Battletoads and Double Dragon, you would notice the change in graphics with cleaner textures and more use of a 3D background (which was quite rare for the time).
Replay-value wise Battletoads, as a series, stands in the middle. While going back to continue the game is a pain and dying is very common, there is something magical about the difficulty this game provides and the satisfaction of each level. When playing with a friend or sibling, get ready for some laughs, tears, and rage.
Battletoads and Double Dragon: 8/10
Battletoads is Battletoads. That really sums up the series but the Battletoads series, is a part of gaming history and deserves to be played by all. While Double Dragon was a nice crossover idea, I oddly found the game to be a little sub par to the original Battletoads, due to the fighting mechanic being a bit off. My favorite moments in Battletoads are always the super-fast orientated vehicle levels, not only due to their difficulty, but the speed as well.
- Fun multiplayer
- Ending not worth it
Michael Troina writes features and reviews Nintendo games for Analog Addiciton. When he’s not writing or playing games or sports, he’s out at his job at the Daily Bugle taking pictures as the web-slinger we all have come to love…either that or he’s getting sandwich saving one world at a time. Find him anywhere with this flavors.me/michaeltroina