Classics Reborn: Battletoads
The state of modern video games is sad. Players are led by the hand at all times. Checkpoints are spread out liberally through levels. Enemies run into walls and shoot toilets instead of you. Hard mode isn’t even hard. I don’t want my children to grow up in this kind of world. I want my children to earn the blisters on their hands. I want my children to weep tears of frustration and cry out in joy at victory. I want my children, and all gamers today to play truly challenging games that can’t be beaten with the help of a Gamefaqs guide. Games such as Dark Souls have been fighting the good fight, teaching gamers the meaning of hardcore. However, it’s time to bring out the big guns. The mother of all hard games. The cause of hundreds of broken controllers.
I am, of course, talking about the Battletoads.
Why Battletoads Matters
In the 90’s, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cornered the market on anthropomorphized reptiles with attitudes, causing a wave of cheap cash ins to try and get a slice of the pie. The Battletoads were one of these cheap cash ins, although they took their approach a bit more differently. Rather than shoving a toy line town our throats (although there was a cartoon), Rare created Battletoads for the NES, a hard as nails beat-em up game. The game featured two-player action, awesome and varied levels, cheap enemies and deaths, and one of the most bitching soundtracks known to mankind. The game spawned several sequels, including an arcade game and, the highlight of the series, a crossover with Double Dragon (again, with a bitching soundtrack). All of the games In the Battletoads series are fondly remembered and revered for a high level of difficulty, mainly due to cheap tactics employed by the enemies or the damn near impossible hover bike segments. However, the difficulty of these games taught the ancient gamers from long, long ago a valuable lesson: You have to earn those end credits.
How Would Battletoads Work Today?
A modern-day incarnation of the Battletoads needs only two things: Big ass toads with attitudes and hair pulling difficulty. The style of beat-em ups used in the NES/Genesis/SNES days have long since passed, and have evolved into something a bit different. Games such as Devil May Cry, Bayonetta, No More Heroes, and Madworld are several examples of games that have quite a bit of beat-em up DNA. Therefore, a new Battletoads game would be done in the style of, say, a cross between Madworld and Bayonetta, seeing as how the games have a focus on ultraviolence and over the top mayhem.
Imagine this, but with Battletoads.
So, we now have a Battletoads game developed by Platinum Games. What more does this game need? Well, the Battletoads are a relic of a time long ago. The story for this new Battletoads would go something like this:
Out of work for almost two decade, the Battletoads finally get a distress call from a planet under attack by an unknown enemy. Upon arriving, the Toads must fight off space marines controlled by their nemesis, The Dark Queen. Along the way, they also encounter classic foes from their games as well as parodies of stock characters and events commonly used in modern gaming.
In a sense, the revival of the Battletoads would bring them into the modern day of gaming. As for gameplay, the focus would mainly be on fighting off enemies with several levels having the Toads riding on their hoverbikes through yet another Turbo Tunnel or rappelling down a chasm. Players would choose missions and sidequests from their ship, which acts as a hub and allows the Toads to upgrade their stats, skills, and learn new moves. Classic elements from the Battletoads such as growing ram horns when charging an enemy or your fist growing to a huge size would of course be in the game, along with new ways to kill enemies. Think of Madworld’s environmental kills and you’re on the right path. Also, throw in a co-operative mode, complete with the ability to attack and royally screw over your teammate, whether on accident or purpose.
Oh, and the game would have to be hard. REAL hard. Imagine Devil May Cry’s hard mode. That is Battletoad’s normal mode. This game would not hold your hand, and would force you to replay areas to learn enemies attack patterns and such. The goal is to make the game feel as old school as possible without making it too easy or too impossible. The challenge needs to be there, with a goal always in reach if the player has the right amount of skill, perseverance, and luck.
So, yes, a new Battletoads game could work out well. Unfortunately, it’s highly unlikely that we’ll ever see one again. That doesn’t mean we should give up hope. Write letters to developers, publishers, magazines, your congressman. Let them know that you demand, nay, NEED a new Battletoads. Do it, for the sake of future gamers everywhere.
Hope you enjoyed this week’s edition of Classics Reborn! Let us know in the comments section what you thought of it. If you have a suggestion for next week’s edition, feel free to nominate a game and I might use it!