Battletoads review

Quick verdictDlala’s reimagining of Rare Software’s 1991 classic functions as a clever showcase of all that was great about games in the 90s. It’s more than yet another remake, it’s a new yet still true homage.
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For

  • Fabulous beat-em-up mechanics
  • Looks retro but great
  • Clever genre-hopping
  • Surprisingly substantial
  • Preserves the spirit of the original
Against

  • Dialogue can become annoying
  • Difficulty levels can get too brutal
  • Some mini-games more fun than others

In 1991, Rare Software was going to leave on an omnipotent move which would see it hailed as one of the world’s best designers. Before it made magnum opuses like Donkey Kong Country, Killer Instinct and GoldenEye 007, Battletoads had a key influence in building up that notoriety.

Initially considered as a British riposte to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Battletoads majored on beat-em-up interactivity, yet cunningly consolidated components of puzzle-platforming and different games types well known at that point.

Presently, with Rare Software’s favoring, engineer Dlala Studios has rethought Battletoads for 2020, thinking of what feels like a work of affection.

Genuine yet new

While staying consistent with the multi-sort nature of the first – and its strong center of beat-em-up interactivity – Dlala has keenly extended Battletoads’ transmit so it feels like nothing not exactly a respect to 1990s gaming overall.

battletoads-review

In 1991, Rare Software was going to leave on an omnipotent move which would see it hailed as one of the world’s best designers. Before it made magnum opuses like Donkey Kong Country, Killer Instinct and GoldenEye 007, Battletoads had a key influence in building up that notoriety.

Initially considered as a British riposte to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Battletoads majored on beat-em-up interactivity, yet cunningly consolidated components of puzzle-platforming and different games types well known at that point.

Presently, with Rare Software’s favoring, engineer Dlala Studios has rethought Battletoads for 2020, thinking of what feels like a work of affection.

Genuine yet new

While staying consistent with the multi-sort nature of the first – and its strong center of beat-em-up interactivity – Dlala has keenly extended Battletoads’ transmit so it feels like nothing not exactly a respect to 1990s gaming overall.

battletoads-review

As the three green amigos embark on a madcap quest, Battletoads takes a while to introduce the core elements of its beat-em-up engine, which will strike a chord of familiarity among those who played Dragon Ball FighterZ, for example.

Classic gameplay

Battletoads’ beat-em-up element is fairly simple – epitomising such games from the 1990s, which many would maintain was their golden age – but hugely satisfying. It’s all about pulling off the right moves at the right time, and chaining those moves into combos. The moves you get are spectacular, and you can switch between the three Battletoads at any point.

Battletoads review photo 9

Pimple is the slow-moving tank with a devastating punch – perfect for finishing off enemies that have been softened up. The other two are pretty similar to each other, albeit with different special moves – some, such as the ability to transform into a diving shark and scatter clusters of enemies, or to bounce up and down on a pneumatic drill, will still have you giggling when you’ve launched them 1,000 times.

You’re usually beset by large amounts of enemies of different types, so must employ an arsenal of moves, including the ability to spit a sticky substance which temporarily immobilises enemies, suck in health-giving flies, and short-teleport away from incoming missiles.

Three-player couch co-op lets any local friends drop into the action at any time.

Battletoads review photo 10

Battletoads’ beat-em-up sequences are, simply, fabulous – the feel and responsiveness are second to none and, naturally, there are plenty of epic mini-boss and boss encounters.

Lots to entertain

But there’s plenty to Battletoads besides the frequent beat-em-up bouts. As you make your way through its levels, you frequently encounter door-opening puzzles and targets which you can spit at, often yielding collectibles.

Battletoads review photo 7

Sometimes, according to what is happening the story, those lead to outbreaks of varied gameplay, including Crash Bandicoot-style into-the-screen endless running, classic 90s-style twin-stick shooting (naturally, the Battletoads head into space), collections of mini-games and conventional platforming.

Plus there is a long minecart sequence which adds a clever spin, in that you must launch different grinds according to whether you’re jumping onto a surface made of carpet, ice or foam.

Battletoads review photo 3

In keeping with the original game, the difficulty level of all those outbreaks of varied gameplay is pretty high – usually brutally so as you approach your goal. You can cheat to an extent, by enabling an invincibility mode which can be triggered once you have died enough times.

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Verdict

Overall, even if it was stripped back to being a mere beat-em-up, Battletoads would deserve acclaim as one of the best, albeit 90s-style, examples of the genre.

But the elements it adds to that constitute a loving homage to the best gameplay that emerged in the early to mid-1990s. Anyone active as a gamer in those days will find it almost poignantly nostalgic, whereas those born afterwards will find it mind-boggling that gameplay constricted to two dimensions could be so much fun.

It’s not perfect – the cut-scene banter between the Battletoads can often descend into adolescent idiocy, and some of the harder on-rails sequences require a level of precision that can become annoying – but overall, Dlala’s reimaging of the game adds up to a surprisingly meaty medley of all that was best about gaming in the 1990s.