Review by The Manx

"At last, mad, bad and crazy toads"

This is Battletoads the way it always should have been, with lots of bashing, crushing and smashing, and vehicle levels where the emphasis is still on combat. Too bad this would be the last the world would see of the amphibious heroes.

I would normally describe the story of the game after my little introduction, but there is no story behind Battletoads for the arcade. You're the Battletoads, you're in a bunch of places and you fight rats and bosses. That's all.

But sometimes simplicity is good. And you'll get caught up in the battling so quickly the fact that there's no plot won't matter much anyhow. As always you have a variety of Smash Hits which produce exaggerated attacks like a huge football helmet or enlarged fist. And in this game, the full destructive potential is unleased. You can smash rat's heads off, you can hit General Vermin right in the batch, and some rats puke after they get back up from getting a Kiss My Fist in the face. The Battletoads are through being merciful.

Each 'toad has their own special moves (Zitz's are mechanical, like drills and chain saws, Pimple's are big and simple like anvils and one-ton weights), and their own attributes: Rash is fast, Pimple is strong, and Zitz is in between the other two. And I'm happy with that, as this is the only 'toads game besides the not bad Battletoads Double Dragon where you can play as your favorite 'toad no matter which one he is.

And yes, like the other Battletoads games, there are vehicle levels. As stated above, though, the objective is not on memorizing the course, but on fighting, just in a different way from on foot. If you read my NES Battletoads review you heard me complaining on how there was too much emphasis on vehicle obstacle courses and not quite enough on the battling, but this game gets it right.

The graphics are great, the sound effects are, for once, nicely indicative of what's happening, and the BGM in most levels is catchy (the portrait gallery level is the best, music wise, IMHO). A plot would've probably made this game a little better, but Battletoads has never gone beyond the standard ''save your friends from the bad guys'' or ''save the world--again'' stuff and still managed to be a decent series. Too bad they couldn't have gotten it together before the series croaked.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 02/14/04

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