Review by Sane Jake

"The darkest, dirtiest and funniest BT game!"

You probably know that there are several BattleToads games. There are five different titles -- the original NES game, the original gameboy game (BattleToads in Ragnorok world is basically the NES version on Gameboy), the SNES game, BattleToads Doubledragon (which really had none of the Double Dragon style of game play) and finally, the little-known arcade version.

The arcade version is very, very different from the rest of the series, and Battletoads Double Dragon tried to mimic some of the game play from it. When I say ''very different'', what I mean is:

1) Extra players actually make things easier. Anyone who's tried to play any other BattleToads with a second player knows for the most part it gets HARDER (with the exception of BT DD) when you add an extra player due to the way most of the stages are designed.
2) No speed levels. At all. No bikes, no planes, surfing, nothing. I know some of you are breathing a sigh of relief.
3) 75% of the game is a straight-out brawl.

The other versions usually had quite a bit of diversity in the game play. There was usually a stage or two of strict classic fighting, but quite a lot of it was platform fighting, shooting, swinging, etc. Is it still ''BattleToads''? You bet.

For the first time, each 'Toad is unique in style (but not so much in ability) -- they each run, fight, jump and pose differently. They also each have a distinct STYLE of smash hits. You can now identify yourself other than by being the ''brown toad''. The fighting is similar to the SNES style, with the exception that a Smash Hit is no longer automatically fatal. Enemies are colourful... and quite often disgusting. Blood flies. Yes -- you read right. There's blood -- another BattleToads first. Quite a lot of it, really. And the things you DO to your enemies... Well, let's say that the 'Toads have a REALLY good tactic for dealing with a guy twice your size. Finally, some versions are three player -- for once, all THREE 'Toads can be together in one game!

Game Play: 7
It's a psychotic brawl for the most part, with a really interesting vertical stage and the finale is a hectic shooter stage with a few familiar faces. You have the stanard jump, attack, and dash attack of all the BattleToad games, plus the ability to grab and toss enemies. There are a few weapons thrown in to boot. Compared to more complex fighting games like Dungeons and Dragons: Shadows Over Mystara, or Aliens Vs. Predator, the fighting is perhaps a little over-simplified -- there's no real combos or special techniques to learn. On the other hand, there's a good variety in the stages you fight on and a fair bit of variety. Oh yes -- don't worry, you can't hit each other (except with the huge pipe). So it earns a 7 -- nothing new, but a nice mix and still lots of fun. More players make the game even more enjoyable as it's quite possible to pull ''saves'' to bail each other out, and team work can decimate a boss. Game play gets an '8' for multi-player.

Style: 8
There's a LOT of humour, most of it rude. Each 'Toad has a full arsenal... as does each boss. It's something best seen to be believed. Not a kid's game. As a nice treat, if you do get a top score, your 'Toad will congratulate you upon beating the game.

Graphics: 8
The characters, stages, and enemies are all well drawn although their animation isn't quite up to par. Very cartoon like and they suit the game nicely.

Sound: 7
The music rocks, and there's plenty of fun sound effects... but the 'Toads and enemies all have the same voice that's just altered in pitch and tone. Still, the cast is talkative and everyone reacts appropriately as they are dumped off cliffs, smashed with massive weapons, or are generally dealt grievous injury. In other words, they scream well.

Challenge: 8
It's not impossible, but it's certainly very difficult. I'd give the original NES game a '9' or '10' in difficulty, and I've beaten it... without a Game Genie... but it took me a couple of months. (My average would be about a week for the more difficult older games) You have to be VERY fast -- especially as some parts of the game follow the old formula of gradually getting faster and faster. Don't worry though -- no sudden death in the game anymore (except if you purposely jump off the sides on one stage, but that's your death wish)

Overall Score: 8

It's probably the first BattleToads game to be really fun with a 2nd or 3rd player, and still offers up a good play for a single player. I'm a BattleToad fan, so you can guess the bias in the review... but those who didn't like the series because of the racing stages will be happier with this game, and those who actually MISS the memory-reflex work (not even I miss that) will be happy to know that it's still there... but you're not rewarded with death for screwing up (just damage). Stomp'n Time!

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 01/07/02, Updated 01/07/02

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