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Battletoads

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Released: June 1991

Genre: Beat-’em-up

Format reviewed: NES/Famicom

Publisher: Masaya

Developer: Rare

Submitted by: old skoolrc

1991 was the last great year for releases on the Famicom/NES.  I remember playing Battletoads at my local import games store during that summer. 

Toads and not Turtles hmm?  I must admit it was a bold attempt by Rare to develop this game to rival the TMNT games, and it produced a unique and challenging game that spawned many successful versions and sequels on other systems.  One of the most famous versions was Battletoads & Double Dragon, creating the Ultimate Team crossover, years before the likes of SNK Vs. Capcom.

Battletoads was well-loved by a huge number of NES-owning gamers, particularly for its humour. So I just wanted to say a few words as the game is now 20 years old!  Do you remember the ‘big fist’ and ‘large boot’ moves accompanied by the 'THUD' sound effect as the Toad’s battered their way through the stages?  That crazy tribal drum beat while the game is paused?  The frustrating hoverbike level?  Swinging down the shaft and placing a big pair in the faces of the enemies? The headbutt move with sprouting ram horns?  Man, there are so many memorable and funny moments in this game, and with its fast-paced action it was easily the most  brutal beat-'em-up on the Famicom/NES. 

Despite the game becoming difficult during later stages, it was still fun to play, especially with a friend in the two-player co-op mode.  Rare produced a fine game with great level design, good graphics and well-defined characters and backgrounds.  Battletoads has an appealing flavour to it and this is thanks to Rare's ability to create unique-looking games – Rare had a distinct style compared to other software houses at the time.

20 years later, this game is still very playable, it has aged well and is still very amusing to play.  In recent times, Battletoads has maintained a strong fan base – hence the homebrew version on the Dreamcast.  I certainly hope Battletoads will one day recieve an official remake, as it's a great game that deserves a reboot (no pun intended). 

7/10