Friday, March 14, 2014

Nerdicus NES Review #79 : Battletoads

Title : Battletoads

Publisher : Rare

Genre : Beat Em Up

Players : 1 / 2 Player

Release Date : 1991

Estimated Value (as of today's date) : $15-$17

Retro games were known for being difficult. So difficult in fact that I guarantee you that you didn't beat half the games you had in your retro game library. I'm looking at my stack of Nintendo games right now and I'm not ashamed to say that at least 75% of these games kicked my ass. Some more so than others.

Now why was this? Was it because the games couldn't be as long as some modern games, so in order to make them appear longer they made them seemingly impossibly? Or was it because they didn't like to cater to the baby-gamer market who needs to have their hand held through a video game.

I was always the type of person to take on any sort of video game challenge, no matter the difficulty. Some games however, just kicked me to the curb like I was a piece of trash. And those are the games I truly respected. Now, I'm not talking about games that were difficult because they were impossible to control, or because the mechanics didn't work. I'm talking about games that were difficult to the point that once you beat it, your hands were sweaty and your heart was racing.

I'm talking about the classic retro challenge games, and of the greatest which took me years to beat is staring me straight in the face. I'm of course talking about BATTLETOADS.

These aren't your skateboarding, pizza-munching, ninja turtles folks. These are the damn Battletoads! You take the role of  the anthromorphic toad beasts Zits and Rash.  Their reptiles of pure power, bashing their way enemies to defeat the Dark Queen and rescue their kidnapped friend Pimple, and Princess Angelica. Some of the characters in this game are downright bizarre, but I love it. Pig-men, Bird-men, robots, aliens, blobs. They just put whatever they could in this game.

A fair warning. This game NEEDS to be played as a co-op. It's downright impossible without another player helping you out. But what makes it even harder in co-op mode is that you can actually hurt each other with certain attacks. Cruel, isn't it?

For the most part the game is played a traditional side-scrolling beat 'em up. Battle your way through each level, collecting items to use as weapons occasionally and move on to the next. Seriously though the best weapon you have is your MASSIVE fist. It's so rewarding pulling off those cartoonish combos where fist and feet just quadruple in size and send your enemies flying across the screen.

There is also something quite hilarious about catching flies to recover health. I mean, come on. That's so clever lol. 

You'll encounter bosses every so often, that just beg to be beat. The fact of the matter is you've probably been getting your arse kicked all throughout the level that you barely have the energy to beat the bosses. Luckily, it's much like any other game. Determine the pattern, and work it against them. Unfortunately, Battletoads bosses seem to get lucky....quite a bit. Maybe it's just me though. Maybe I just really suck at this game haha.

The game also has a few alternate styled levels that probably have haunted you since childhood. I'm of course talking about the spelunking levels and the motorbike level. You're a liar if you are saying to me you didn't die at least a hundred times from those levels. They are so obnoxiously hard, that no human is capable of beating them without dying.

I remember many tears.....many tears....

Odds are this is as far as you got in this game when you were a kid. It took me months, and I'm not even exaggerating when I say that. MONTHS, to get past these boards. The game is cruel. The game is relentless. But above all the game is almost flawless. Controls are spot on, music is catchy, graphics are awesome (those cartoony quirks make this game a classic), and the difficulty level just BEGS you to come back and challenge this game over and over again.

I mean, the game was so popular it spawned a slew of sequels, and even a Canadian Cartoon. I MEAN COME ON! Why didn't the US get dibs on that cartoon!? Now I have to find it on you tube. This is one of those games they really need to bring back and modernize. It probably won't be as good (they never are), but it needs to be reborn. Bring back Pimple, Zits, and Rash. Have em battle the Ninja Turtles lol.

This is by far one of the best that the NES library has to offer. So if you haven't played this game before, and you're looking for a challenge pick this up. I guarantee you, you will not find anything remotely close to this difficulty out on systems today.

Besides Dark if you'll excuse me, I'm off to play some Dark Souls II.

Final Score (out of 5) :

Until next time. Keep on gaming!



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