Rare Review: Battletoads

Ba-duh Ba-duh, Ba-duh (tu tu tu) Ba-duh Ba-duh, Ba-duh (tu tu tu)

Infamous for being brutally hard, Battletoads is still extremely difficult even with the features of Rare Replay. But what surprised me the most about it is that the difficulty of it felt fair.

At its core, Battletoads is a classic side-scrolling beat-em-up. Can be played with one or two people, however it’s probably more difficult in two player due to friendly fire and how you both have to complete each section.
The fighting is a lot of fun, with some combos to figure out, some weapons you can pick up. For the most part, the actual fighting I didn’t find to be too difficult, at least compared to games like Streets of Rage 2. Of course, it’s not all about fighting.

Some levels try out different things, keeping the game feeling fresh throughout its whole playthough. There are some platforming focused levels, and some vehicle based ones, including the dreaded turbo tunnel – a hoverbike section where you have to avoid obstacles hurtling towards you.

At first, I was surprised at how tame it actually felt based on everything I’d heard. Avoiding things wasn’t too bad, and making the jumps was surprisingly easy. Then comes a section where everything is extremely fast, avoiding everything is extremely difficult and I didn’t even get to the end due to accidentally hitting a warp and skipping the next level.

And then some of the later levels make the turbo tunnel look easy, such as the penultimate level where you have to escape a spinning orb on a track, requiring perfect timing for you changing directions on corners.

Alongside this difficulty is just an odd sense of joy. There’s a lot of charm in the animation and style, with great music as well (including the best pause music ever). Battletoads really is a classic.

The snapshots are quite fun, including an infinite loop of the Turbo Tunnel. Luckily, the amount of time you need to survive to complete is quite generous.

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