Title : Battletoads in Battlemaniacs
Publisher : Tradewest
Genre : Beat 'em Up
Players : 1 /2 Player
Release Date : 1993
Estimated Value (as of today's date) : $35-$45
I haven't been having much luck lately when it's come to SNES reviews, so it was pretty refreshing to know I would be playing through another Battletoads game. These games, much like the TMNT brawlers, were always good. Sure, they were pretty much the same thing over and over again in terms of concept, but they were a hell of a lot of fun. It's the type of game where you can just pop in and play whenever you want, and still feel entertained.
Of course, this is my first Battletoads game that I've played since I reviewed the two for the NES, and I didn't bother going over Battletoads vs Double Dragon for the SNES because it was just a graphical overhaul of the NES one. But, does Battletoads in Battlemaniacs which was a SNES exclusive (okay I lied, it was ported to the master system too I think), do enough to keep me interested in the Battletoads series? Or does the originality waver.
Well, looking at it just from the box, it looks like I'm in for the same adventure as I was the first time around. Sure, it looks incredibly good, but what else does it have to offer. I had owned this game when I was a kid, and if I remember correctly, it wasn't quite as challenging as its NES counterparts. Disappointing, because I always loved getting my arse handed to me by the pigs.
Let's throw on some shades, and hop on our hover bike. It's time to find the Dark Queen....again.
I don't want to spoil the story, because the game's introduction is actually one of my favorite intros for the SNES. It was like watching an animated cartoon. A static animated cartoon...so more like a college course flash video. Trust me though, it's good. Maybe it's just because I'm hooked on the Battletoads style.
Like the other games, you'll be able to choose from two Battletoads. This time its Pimple and or Rash. While they used to be exactly the same in previous games, this time they each have their own specific combo move particular to their character. At least that's one way to change it up. Pimple's fist turns into a giant hammer where he sends the enemy flying off screen. Rash has the big boot from the original game.
Combat feels exactly the same as the original, and visually it's just a lot more appealing. Animation is more fluid, and the character designs are top notch. It's probably the closest you're going to get to an arcade version of this game on the SNES.
Oh man, and those tunes.....epic.
As the game starts however, you'll be back on familiar grounds. A lot of the levels throughout the game are actually rehashed versions of the original. Traversing through the six levels you'll get a major sense of Deja Vu. it's because they are the same damn thing...just prettier. You're basically looking at a remake. Not a bad thing...not that much of a good thing either (especially when there isn't anything different about it).
You do encounter some bonus stages with a chance to grab onto some extra lives, but they really just ended up annoying me. I didn't really have much fun knocking down bowling pins. Yes you heard me. Bowling Pins. I found the bonus stages harder than the game itself. Which brings me to the games difficulty level.
Remember the first battletoads where you died all the time? Well, that's not the case in this game. This game is way to easy to be considered a battletoads game. I'm not sure why they decided to dumb it down and gave you more chances to survive. I actually liked the challenge of the first one, but if they wanted to make it easier they could have at least met halfway.
When all is said and done, Battletoads in Battlemaniacs remains as faithful as possible to the original. Perhaps a bit too faithful. The original excitement I had is gone, and while the game looks incredibly pretty and plays just like the first one, there's not much different here. I'm paying for a prettier version of the NES game.
Still, the game is entertaining, and for the SNES it remains to be one of the best beat 'em ups on the system. I only wished they used a bit more effort to make this game more of a standalone, rather than an upgrade.
Final Score (out of 5) :
Until next time, keep on gaming!