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CONSOLE: NES DEVELOPER: Rare PUBLISHER: Tradewest
RELEASE DATE (NA): 1991 GENRE: Beat-'em-up/Racing/Platformer
// review by SoyBomb

This is the only place where having Zitz could help you out.

Acid comes in many forms, and many forms of acid were used in the design process of this game. How else could anyone have possibly come up with a game like this? Picture a bunch of slovenly British loafers gnawing on barbecue chicken wings and testing certain... substances... while trying to postulate an idea for a new video game. And they're sitting around, confused as the dickens, when suddenly one guy says "Hey, maaaan... why don't we make some beat-em-up game... but instead of people beating each other up, let's use frogs!" The others congratulate him on his supposedly genius idea, and they pat him on the back, and serve him the last chicken wing on some poor sap's ràsumà.

And so it was; and the story was fleshed out further: three surfer-mannered folks try out a new virtual reality game and for whatever strange reason they actually become the amphibious characters they once controlled. And now some Dark Queen has kidnapped your buddy Pimple AND the Princess Angelina of the Kingdom of... uh... hmmm... I think she's one of those false princesses. You know, like "pop princesses" aren't REALLY princesses. Neither are teenage girls with "PRINCESS" on their shirts. Anyway, it's up to Rash and Zitz to reclaim their fellow Battletoad and his gnarly female companion. Go get 'em on your tubular rad journey!

As for the game itself, it also appears that the acid was flowing like champagne at the programming studios of Rare. You can't look at the various levels of this game and agree that a down-to-earth person could have designed these. Take, for example, the third level (entitled "Turbo Tunnel"). There is barely anyone on Earth that has the reflexes to get through this race against one's own sanity. There are just too many things to hit and too many pits of weird bouncy-balls to fall into. And even though you're suffering from the lackluster CPU power of the NES, the speed of your bike is still more than the human response system can realistically handle. Many players will not make it past this level -- and this is just the third out of twelve levels! Boy, what a waste! And if the Speed Bike level didn't tick you off, perhaps the surfing level will... or maybe the stage where you have to ride thick fast-paced snakes from one part of a room to the next! That'll put some sadness in your trousers. Basically, what I'm trying to get across is that the majority of the levels are more frustrating than fun, and if I'm not having fun, then... well, I'm not enjoying my game, and I deem it unfit for future play sessions!

On the other hand, Battletoads looks pretty good. The backgrounds, while also drug-influenced, seem to fit the general zaniness that this game ports. Exuberant colourful textures can be seen throughout the game, and even the sprites themselves look fairly groovy, as is the "cool" style of the game. Of particular interest is the wacky face your Battletoad will make when he gets hurt:

Oh Mother of Mercy!
This facial expression means that he just got pecked where one shouldn't be pecked.

Yep, the look of the injured 'Toad amuses us all. Furthermore, the music and sound in this game are of general fare; nothing in particular stands out for me. You might even be better off muting your television set and cranking up your favourite Rammstein album. Jamming to lyrics in German might increase your chances of enjoying this game.

As a whole, this game has some definite good points and some DEFINITE negative aspects as well. Although some levels are absolutely delightful to play through (the first two levels are always a hoot), others will having you tearing your hair out onto the rug (resulting in unpleasant baldness) and perhaps some hardware-tossing. The difficulty level is far too high for the casual gamer; as a result, only the hardcore will find their way to the end. That's not rad.


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