Game Overkill – Battletoads

This entire game is garbage. Ok, the first level is alright, but the rest of it is garbage. Review over.

Battletoads - Game Overkill

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I got in touch with the people who listed the game because I am utterly baffled as to why anyone would think this is a game everyone should play. I suppose I could let you in on why these “humans” listed the game, though they’ll probably just depress you. I actually contacted a psychologist I work with to see if some of this stuff would be enough evidence to have someone committed to an insane assylum. He didn’t really answer the question and kinda just walked away slowly. Anyway, here’s what Hunter had to say:

Ah Battlestoads. So good.

As a kid, beat ’em ups were the easiest games to play. Pop your quarter in, hit the start button, and slam the buttons as hard as you could killing all the enemies on screen.

Battletoads has a strange history for me. My first experience being the NES cart. The few levels were beat ’em up fame. Just smash the buttons. Then you get to the racing portion in the infamous “turbo tunnel”. That’s when it stopped being a fun romp through button smashing and became real. That’s when I put the game down until much, much later.

Then I discovered the arcade and for a while avoided it so not to be shown up by the older kids. My brother, on the other hand, convinced me to try it stating that “it was different than the one at home”. And he was right. Straight beat ’em up action and nothing more. A fun play through. Even with the strange animations showing the Battletoads taking much pleasure in drilling their enemies heads into the ground. Still weird to this day.

The thing about Battletoads that always had me coming back was simply the music. The main over world theme, the drop into the abyss, and even the short segments in between. Oh and the pause music. That was my ringtone for many months until it drove my wife to the point of insanity and forced me to change it.

At the end of the day, Battletoads is what I use to describe that point in video games. High end graphics, great soundtrack, and “Nintendo hard” difficulty. Still a great game to return to after all of these years.

Eric Hunter, madman

I can’t comment on the arcade version. I never played it. Maybe it really is good. I can’t imagine it being worse than the NES version. Anyway, here’s some damn clown:

Ahh, Battletoads…I remember seeing this game for the first time when my brother and I spent the night at our cousin’s house. Our uncle decided that he didn’t want a bunch of kids running around, so he rented an NES system from the local store, along with two games: Jaws and Battletoads! When we first saw the epic start to Battletoads, we knew we were in for it! The most frustrating part was continually knocking each other off the rappel ropes, but that didn’t stop us from laughing our asses off the entire time, not to mention the feverish hysteria when we finally paid the Turbo Tunnel a visit!

Battletoads reminds me constantly that I’m mortal, so whenever I’m feeling like my ego’s too inflated, I’ll pop it in for an hour, and remember that I’m human!

So there we had someone who listed the game, but had nothing positive to say about it besides the begining. A game making me feel human or mortal isn’t high on my list of reasons for thinking a game should be played by everyone, unless it was some uber-artsy game that somehow condensed the human condition into some kind of pixelated masterpiece. Battletoads is not this. NEXT!

I just remember playing it as a kid and loving it. Looking back now, not so great of a game lol. But the best part is hanging down a rope and squishing birdies and Venus fly traps against the wall.

@Soul_sik

 

Battletoads - Wookie Hole

Leave it to my oldest friend to finally bring some sanity to the discussion, though he did admit he listed a game that isn’t great, so there’s that to think of as well when evaluating his mental health. This is painful. Won’t anyone be the voice of reason?

I listed it because 1. it’s the kind of “old school hard” that everyone needs to experience so when they complain that a modern game is too difficult they’ll know what actually hard games are. 2. I played this game so much as a kid that it’s partially just nostalgia for me. 3. For a list of “games you must play” I think it deserves a spot so everyone is in on the jokes.

I’d say I’m sorry for listing it, but I don’t want to be a liar as well.

Derik Moore

Congratulations everyone. We now live in a world where someone who calls himself a libertarian Freemason is the only person that I, an anarcho-socialist, can agree with. Battletoads is “old school hard” and I agree everyone should play some of these games. I would suggest Ninja Gaiden and Mega Man instead of Battletoads, but I get it. I also understand the nostalgia, but I’ll get to that more in depth later. As for it deserving a spot so everyone can be in on the jokes… okay, maybe I can agree that this game is so terrible, everyone should play it just so they can see how terrible it was. Maybe.

Finally, we have Tom Hall, who may have sent me my favourite lister commentary of all-time:

I’ll confess. I was trolling. Part of the fun of people asking their readers what to play is sometimes making the reviewer suffer through either a super difficult or super terrible game. So… yeah. I’m a jerk. But hey! You did it. Look at you. I helped you build character. So really, all things considered, you’re welcome.

Tom Hall, professional asshole

FINALLY! Someone willing to admit the truth about Battletoads. And you know what, Tom? I did beat Battletoads and it was the worst game I have ever beaten. Before I get to why, let’s pause for a break.

The first level really is decent. I openly admit fairly often on Twitter that I’m not a fan of beat ’em ups, so for me to admit that this level isn’t terrible is rather meaningful. It might be too easy and too short, and the fact that friendly fire is always on (while playing two player, one player can hit and hurt the other, even knocking him or her to their death) is ridiculous, but the ill effects are minimal here.

The 2nd level is bad. It’s even called Wookie Hole and you rappel down what I can only assume is Chewbacca’s colon. It is full of birds for some reason. It starts off alright, but by the end, it takes the game into the memorisation territory for the first time. You will have to memorise where certain enemies and obstacles appear, or you will die.

If you make it to the third stage, you’ve made it to the game’s most infamous level: Turbo Tunnel. This is where most people broke their first controller. Lengthy sections of it and the entire end require lightning fast reflex, luck, and, to beat it, absolute memorisation of all the obstacles. Who thought this would be fun?! And Turbo Tunnel isn’t even the hardest level! Later levels, like Surf City, Karnath’s Lair, Volkmire’s Inferno, Terra Tubes, Rat Race, and Clinger Winger, besides having terrible names, are all levels that are not only impossible to beat the first time you reach them, even with all your lives and continues, some are borderline just plain impossible to beat for the vast majority of gamers. Unless you are willing to cheat or simply spend an obscene amount of hours committing multiple levels to memory, you will simply never beat them.

So I said I beat the game, right? I must be some kind of uber-gamer or did I cheat? YOU’RE FUCKING RIGHT, I CHEATED! I’ll admit it. I played this game as a kid. Probably rented it more than once. I think one of my friends might have owned it too, so I had ample opportunity to practice and master the game (and for the nostalgia to take hold…it didn’t.) I then gave the game a serious try over a span of weeks, but I just couldn’t beat Turbo Tunnel. So yes, I resorted to cheating. The emulator I was using had two useful features: rewind and slow motion. I also said “SCREW IT!” and cheated through the rest of the game.

I did beat it again and REALLY tried to not cheat. I used the rewind feature on the emulator so I at least didn’t have to beat the first levels over and over and over. I eventually managed to beat every level without using slow motion with the exceptions of Turbo Tunnel and Clinger Winger. For the former, I just couldn’t beat it, but I accidentally hit the warp, so I kinda beat it. The latter is by far the worst level in the game. It is excrutiatingly difficult and as far as I can tell, does not offer check points like many other levels do. You have to beat the whole thing from start to finish in one go. As for the rest, I managed to beat at regular speed, but only by dying, without exaggeration, over 1000 times.

Battletoads-Clinger-Winger

Listen, I love those old school difficult games. There was nothing more satisfying than playing the Ninja Gaiden trilogy and getting a little bit further into the game, beating another boss, and starting a new level. Sure, you might try to memorise where a bird or bat would appear at a few places, or the pattern of a new enemy, but never did you have to learn a specific set of movements you absolutely had to make, spanning entire sections of levels or whole levels, and where the failure to do so would mean you simply wouldn’t be able to complete the level. You might get hit a couple more times than necessary, but it was all part of the fun. Didn’t we have to memorise enough crap at school. Coming home to a game like Battletoads… how could it not feel like just more homework? Do I really need to point out that video games should never feel like homework?

I haven’t even touched on the bosses, which are often just as terrible as the levels. There is just so little I’d call fun in this game. I am utterly baffled by the love it gets. People will openly shit on Zelda 2, Super Mario Bros. 2, Final Fantasy VIII, E.T., or Pac-Man (2600), but hardly anyone dares criticise Battletoads. This game is much more like Superman 64 than the games I just mentioned. It is virtually unplayable. Hell, so many people will mention the 2 player mode as a reason to like it, while the game is literally impossible to beat in two player mode unless one of the players has lost all their lives. The game breaking bug appears in the 11th level, Clinger Winger. The second player just can’t move.

Beavis-and-Butthead-Winger

Now, there are lots of games I don’t like that people love. Most of the time, I get it. I’m just not a fan of the genre or the game simply wasn’t for me. Usually, I can understand where the fans are coming from, even though I don’t feel the same way, but Battletoads is a different story. It has good graphics and a decent soundtrack, but over half of the game requires you to memorise enemy and obstacle placement. This is worse than QTE abuse in modern games. At least games with QTEs give you some kind of visual cue to let you know which button to hit. With Battletoads, you just have to memorize that you have to go “up, down, up, up, up, down, down, up, jump, jump, up, jump, etc, etc, etc” for an entire level. I think the vast majority of people have only played the first three levels and imagined the rest of the game was more like the first two levels. It is certainly what I assumed. I had never imagined that the rest of the game would be even worse. Outside of nostalgia and masochism, I can’t think of a reason why anyone would think this is a decent game, let alone a good or great one. This game is garbage.

Battletoads-Game-Over

 

Lots of people seem to disagree though, but I doubt they’d agree with where it ranked, and especially which games it beat out. Battletoads ended up in 76th place… which currently puts it ahead of Doom, Halo, and Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, among MANY others. Do people really think everyone should play Battletoads more than everyone should play Doom? I don’t know if I want to live in a world with those people. To the people who have never played it, do yourselves a favour, don’t bother playing this game. It’s a waste of time. It is garbage. Also, the pause music isn’t that great. Get over it.


Update: Battletoads is now in 79th place.

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About Atsinganoi

Atsinganoi started gaming in the early 80s on an Atari 2600 and still thinks they're kinda neat. You can find him on Twitter if you want, just don't call him a frog.

7 Comments

  1. I can only offer a slow, solemn nod — and hold fondly the memory of not placing this on my particular list…

  2. I played this a lot as a kid.

    As an adult, I’m not sure why I did.

    I also don’t know why I continue to play it from time to time…but I do…

    I must be garbage too.

    Garbage Wally. That’s me.

    • I played it a bunch as a kid, too. I never enjoyed it, but I kept trying it because people get saying how great it was. I also thought that maybe the game was pure shit after Turbo Tunnels. Maybe it only had just the one really bad level, like many great video games will have the one water level everyone hates. In the case of Battletoads, it’s the opposite. The good level is the anomaly.

  3. Wow I had no idea how bad this game was. People tend to talk about it like it’s on legendary status, but now I know they are all trolling.

    Glad you played this one and reviewed it so I don’t have to play it now! 😀

    Skirmish Frogs > Battletoads 4 EVA

    • I’ve never understood it, because you’re right, this game often does get talked about like it’s an absolute classic. The mind boggles.

  4. I always enjoyed the beat-em-up segments of the game, and to a lesser extent, the rappelling portions, because it was something new and different. But darn it all if the speed bike levels aren’t the 9th circle of hell.

  5. Pingback: Game Overkill – Master List – Skirmish Frogs

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