Game Review

Battletoads review. Toad stone in the vegetable garden

Battletoads review. Toad stone in the vegetable garden

The display of the gameplay of Battletoads raised from the ashes at gamescom 2019 was instantly received by many with hostility – the sudden transformation of severe toads into cartoon fools seemed like a spit in the face of old fans. Nevertheless, at the exit, Dlala Studios and Rare turned out to be not the most embarrassing game – but definitely not the kind that everyone will like.

Thousand, dysch, jump, squish!
The very first Battletoads earned cult status for a reason. Recognizable style, exemplary beat’em up mechanics, furious motorcycle races, a crazy level with riding giant snakes … a must-see item of leisure.
Subsequent sequels ( Battletoads & Double Dragon and Battletoads in Battlemaniacs ) are also good, but not as popular.

The last game about toads (before the current restart) came out in 1994 and was not popular; the pilot of the animated series did not go to the people either. So the task for the developers was not trivial – if possible, please the old audience, and at the same time attract a new one. Let’s face it, with the first one, they, in my opinion, failed by ninety percent. Newly arrived fans of waving toad fists have a chance to be more impressed.

It should be noted right away that Battletoads of the 2020 model is definitely not a bad game, and in some respects even good. We still rush through the levels, make faces at enemies with the help of funny combos (frogs turn into a bullfighter during a strike, transform their paws into a sledgehammer and do a bunch of interesting things), do platforming and ride a variety of vehicles on tracks packed with obstacles.

Many players perceived Battletoads of 1991 exclusively as a scuffle game, but this was not so: there were also space battles (in a crossover with Double Dragon), and rappelling (all parts), and even a game of catch-up. The new part offers even more variety, but this does not always work for her.

The last act consists almost entirely of mini-games, and some of them are excruciatingly difficult. For example, at some point you will need to customize the control panel of the spaceship, and you will probably not be able to do it the first, second, even fifth or sixth time: figure out what exactly they want from you in this jumble of buttons and additional mini-games, on the move is simply impossible.

The style of the cartoon itself is perfectly sustained, and the characters are also excellently voiced. But personally, I imagined the voices of toads … quite differently

The most annoying thing is that some of these arcade inserts also turned out to be wildly boring. For example, the famous motorcycle races are now races along the corridors with repetitive obstacles, in which the only thing that is required of you is to press the right-left and jump buttons in time. Considering that when they collide or fall into the abyss, the toads immediately die (although there are three attempts – according to the number of heroes), and the levels are boring and inexpressive, the race turns into one continuous annoyance.

The levels that require you to run and jump a lot while dodging obstacles evoke associations with Super Meat Boy and The End is Nigh, but they are made with much less imagination. About the local “puzzles” I am not talking at all – most often they are extremely simple and do not cause any interest. All this, of course, diversifies the gameplay, but sometimes it causes only quiet irritation from the clumsy execution.

On a brazen green muzzle

Against the background of such “entertainment”, the fights turned out to be much more interesting – they can be called the main advantage of the game. The player has three toads at his disposal – Rush, Zitz and Pimple. They differ in a number of parameters: Rush fights the fastest and generally suits a fast, aggressive style of play; the yellow Pimple is slow, but it hits harder and with a big swing; Zitz is a more or less average variant. Toads can be changed on the go, and you have to do it one way or another – when one soldier’s health bar is reset to zero, one of the remaining ones is automatically replaced.

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