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Battletoads (2020) – Toads, but not always fighting. Review / Games


Genre Action
Publisher Microsoft Studios
Developer Dlala Studios
Minimum Requirements Intel Pentium G620 2.6 GHz / AMD Phenom II X3 710 2.6 GHz processor, 8 GB RAM, DirectX 11 graphics card and 1 GB memory, such as NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 / AMD Radeon R7 250X, 15 GB HDD
Recommended Requirements Intel Core i3-4340 3.6 GHz / AMD Phenom II X4 965 3.4 GHz processor, 8 GB RAM, DirectX 11 graphics card and 1 GB memory, such as NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 Ti / AMD Radeon R7 260
release date 20 August 2020
Age qualification from 12 years old
Platforms PC, Xbox One
Official site

Played on PC

Many rejoiced at the announcement of the reboot of Battletoads, but its debut trailer was not so warmly received by the audience. The style chosen by the developers from Dlala Studios, reminiscent of Nickelodeon cartoons like The Ren and Stimpy Show, was not to everyone’s liking. Therefore, fans of the series had fears that the game itself would not be quite what was expected of it. And so it happened – although there are bright moments in Battletoads, its disadvantages spoil the impression too much.

⇡ #Jabs from the toad

These problems are almost completely unrelated to the style – when you play the game yourself, the visual component even starts to be liked. Funny animations really make you remember cartoons with characters whose eyes crawl out of their sockets from fright and whose fists increase in size during blows. Everything is bright, colorful, positive, but not ripped out. The only noticeable drawback is that the projectiles from the weapons of some opponents merge with other objects and creatures during fights due to these animations twisted to the maximum.

Can not argue!

The battles are also good. There are three battle toads to choose from (one hits hard and slowly, the other weakly and quickly, and the third is a cross between them), and fighting for any of them is fun. There are the usual blows and tossing, there is the ability to pull opponents to you with your tongue, and you can spit gum at far-away targets to stun them for a while. Sometimes enemies put a block, for which there is a separate button to break through. Plus, they allow you to switch between toads on the fly, and if you do this in the middle of a combo, then the character who replaced it will make some kind of crushing move.

Enemies are diverse: they fight in close combat, shoot, chase after toads and briefly lose their ability to move when they hit a wall. Heroes can dash to the side to run away from dangers or approach enemies, and all these mechanics make fights dynamic: stun one, hit another, bounce, finish off from the other side, and so on. As a beat ’em up, the new Battletoads is not as good as the recent Streets of Rage 4, but you still enjoy beating up all kinds of aliens.

All toads are equally good, so you always want to switch between them.

All toads are equally good, so you always want to switch between them.

⇡ #Wrong turn

However, the beat ‘em up is not complete – the creators of the restart decided to repeat what Rare did many years ago, that is, mixed a bunch of different genres in one game. It was then necessary to make the original Battletoads stand out better from other similar games. Now it looks more like a mess of poorly connected elements that are either poorly thought out, or tightened, or simply unnecessary.

For example, the restart of such a series could not do without races, but here these episodes last so long that they get bored just a couple of minutes after a promising start. The rest of the mini-games are even worse: a couple of games of “rock, paper, scissors” (in which you don’t know what to do), a parody of the Olympic Games with primitive tasks – Battletoads seems to lead you in the wrong direction. And when in the second half of the game, one after another, you go through the levels in the spirit of platformers with obstacles, without fighting with anyone and sadly moving boxes, the interest in restarting is rapidly fading away.

These puzzles are all too common

These puzzles are all too common

The feeling is that at some point the developers are tired of drawing new opponents (and they are introduced quite often at first), so the closer to the end, the less the game sounds like beat ‘em up and offers completely different things from which it was launched. While some of the mini-games are fun (and sometimes you even wonder what the developers have prepared for the next level), you always hope to participate in the next episode in some kind of fight. But no, entertainment in the spirit of Mario Party, drawn-out races and an uncomplicated platformer seemed to the creators more fun.

It is a pity that it happened, because the game could actually turn out to be quite good. Here and good-quality jokes are found (although there are completely unsuccessful ones, only the chirping of crickets after them is missing), and there is a lot of variety. But there is no desire to replay the game for the sake of collectibles or higher ranks – all these inappropriate and drawn-out mini-games make Battletoads a faded restart that is not remembered by anything.

Races and chases are good, but not when you spend ten minutes on them

Races and chases are good, but not when you spend ten minutes on them

Separately, it should be said about the cooperative mode. Supporting co-op is great, but the lack of an online mode seems like a very strange decision. Especially against the background of Streets of Rage 4, which has multiplayer on the Web. If the indie developers were able to do this, what problems did the game have with such a large publisher? A question that will surely remain unanswered.

***

The main problem with the return of Battletoads is that it doesn’t evoke any emotions. I don’t want to scold the game too much – after all, the fights are great, and I like the visual style more than not. At the same time, praising the restart is difficult due to the fact that in the second half it is taken in the wrong direction, and instead of fun fights with aliens, we get a jumble of dreary mini-games. Neither fish nor meat – there just exists a game called Battletoads (2020) that will hardly impress anyone with anything. Ideal for a Game Pass subscription – got it for something better, but you can try it too.

Advantages:

  • the visual style is not as bad as it seemed at first;
  • solid combat system;
  • good jokes are more common than bad ones.

Disadvantages:

  • with each chapter, fights become less and less, although these are the best moments of the game;
  • busting with stupid mini-games that are either too long or very primitive;
  • lack of online co-op.

Graphic arts

In dynamics, Battletoads looks good – perhaps this is not what you expect from a relaunch of such a series, but the style chosen by the artists is sustained throughout the game.

Sound

The soundtrack includes updated versions of songs from old Battletoads, as well as new tracks. You won’t want to listen separately, but everything sounds great in the game.

Single player game

Battletoads can be completed in four hours. More time will be spent on a high difficulty level, where you will have to die much more often. But whether you want to replay the game … Most likely not.

Collective game

Three players can play behind one screen, but online co-op is not supported.

General impression

Battletoads could be a great game and a good beat ’em up, if its creators paid more attention to fighting, rather than drawn-out and inappropriate mini-games.

Rating: 6/10

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