Battletoads (1991) by Tradewest
Game Type: Beat-em-up/Platformer
Players: 1

Review by PrimeOp

The NES version of Battletoads seemed like a rip-off of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on the surface, but the game had it's own version of fun, cartoon violence and questionably difficult gameplay that gave it a large fan base. Tradewest ported the original Battletoads to the Genesis and the results were a bit mixed.

The Dark Queen and her minions have captured Princess Angelica and Pimple (the largest of the Battletoads) and it's up to Zitz and Rash to rescue them. You'll have to battle your way through a lot of difficult levels just to rescue your friends and those levels vary between regular beat-em-up stages, "speeder" side-scrolling stages and even a fun stage where you climb a rope down and fight off enemies while dodging lasers and other obsticles. One of the best things about this game is how it has different types of action to keep the game from becoming monotonous. Another things that I love about the Battletoads series as a whole is the over-the-top attack system in these games. Arms, legs and heads transform into other objects (and animal parts) in mid-attack, enemies are dispatched in various Looney Tunes-like methods and the 'Toads do a hilarious slack-jawed, eye-popping gawk pose when faced with a boss that would make you soil your pants in real life. This game doesn't take itself seriously and that's part of it's charm.
Beating up the 'walker' robots and using their broken parts to beat up more opponents is just one of the better features in the game.
While it's mostly a straight-up remake of the NES game, the gameplay and controls just aren't as finely-tuned as the NES version. The collision boxes of the objects are done in a way to work against you. There are also quite a few areas where you can miss ledges despite the fact that your character's sprite lands squarely on the ledge. Some 'hard-core' gamers will probably say that those are minor problems that merely add to the difficulty of the game. My opinion: cheap is cheap, and this game can get blue-light special on your green butt at the drop of a dime. The speeder level can get incredibly cheap with the flickering preview barriers. The touch-up job on the graphics is hit or miss here. The Battletoads themselves and many of the enemies don't look much better than the NES versions, but most of the backgrounds sport vast improvements. The Dark Queen, the final boss of the game, has the most major sprite upgrade to all 3 of her sprites. The music? It's decent and standard BGM music that puts you in the brawling mood. Nothing to write home about, though.
If you look at the shadow, you can clearly see that the vehicle was on the other side of the road, yet it crashed anyway. This is also one of the more challenging areas of the game.

Battletoads is an acquired taste as far as gaming goes. The game has a fun, cartoony look but the gameplay itself can become irritating with cheap hits and ledge misses that don't seem to be in the NES version as much as it is here. Of course, the graphics are better than the NES version, but many areas don't look that much better than the stellar 8-bit graphics of the original. I really had to give it a low score on control due to many of those cheapness issues. Still, if you really want a stiff challenge, you'll probably like this game. Gameplay 6
Graphics 5
Sound 5
Control 4
Overall 5

Battletoads and all related characters © Tradewest

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