After being locked away for quite a long time, the Battletoads have returned. Once again you’ll be able to play as Rash, Zitz and Pimple in this brand new adventure. It is actually a narrative driven brawler with a pile of mini games slapped on to the end of it.
It’s a weird combination, and it works most of the time. The story finds the toad squad trying to get used to a new life after having been discovered following many years of below ground life. They’re trying to find their old nemesis, though things might have changed a tad in the gap of time that has gone on.
I actually quite liked the narrative element in this one, I thought it was one of the stronger points. It was downright hilarious at points, and I loved the meta commentary on the gaming industry. The particular mentions, and or jabs at Rare were particularly funny. I think they absolutely nailed the story structure here.
Now, it’s the gameplay that’s a bit of a problem. The brawler points were fantastic, it felt smooth and intense. There was a good challenge, and just a well set balance. What I absolutely hated were the mini games. They were cute at first, being nice transitions. When you get to act three it’s essentially just a twin stick shooter and some awful basic platforming game. That’s all the third chapter is, an hour or so of just mini games that have nothing to really do with the actual idea of what a beat ‘em up is.
Again, sprinkling them in is fine. They went overboard. I don’t know if they were padding time, or what. I would have preferred a shorter experience as the story was great and the brawling points were excellent. It was just bogged down so heavily by these side additions. It’s a case of where they do a bunch of different games, but none of the side ones were particularly well done. I don’t even want to get started on the hit detection on the sliding carpet level, that was infuriating.
I actually personally liked the hover bike sections, but I can see folks having issues with those. They can be hard. The ship fixing game was particularly drab. At one point in act three, I asked myself what does this have to do with Battletoads? I couldn’t even remember the last time it was like regular brawling gameplay, such a strange direction for it. The real shame, is that in the background of act three, the story was quite cool. Other than that, there are no additional modes in the game.
You can try to get collectibles on each level, or fight for the best time. It would have been nice to have some arcade twists, or a boss run of sorts. Just something a little extra to round this out further, hopefully post-launch they can get some twists going. Maybe even some gameplay mutations or something to spice it up for replays.
This is actually a really cool looking game. I loved the art aesthetic here. It was smooth, the characters looked neat and they had some awesome abilities. The controls worked well, offering distinct combos whether you’re playing alone or with others. I feel that having no online coop was a huge mistake, but with the style of mini games being presented I could see why they didn’t include it. Still, online coop should have been included as that would have been a nice addition.
Anyways, I was impressed by the visuals. Even in the various mini games, the look was consistent and well done. I thought it was stylish throughout, featuring dynamic backdrops and neat stand out visual moments. The combat was exciting, with a great variety of enemies within the many brawling sections. The mini games are extreme hits or misses depending on what you’re playing.
The hit detection at times in the mini games was just bad. I somewhat liked the twin stick shooter segments, but they were somewhat bland upon reflection. I thought the music was awesome, really helped carry the mood and the tunes matched the pace of action. It was fun to slurp up flies, and that has a particularly good story beat too that you’ll witness while playing.
Battletoads had really great brawling segments that featured an awesome visual aesthetic that was matched with a hilarious story, however it was bogged down with bad mini games. I really don’t know why they went in that direction with it. The first act is just excellent, and even the second one is generally great. The third one just could have been almost entirely revamped for a better time, as the story beats were really funny.
I liked how that part ended, and the fourth act was generally a good wrap up. I think they nailed a lot of this, at the same time the parts that hurt this, really leave a lasting sour impression. I think if they were to follow up on this, mini games should be for transitional points. There to spice it up, provide a calm atmosphere and then to amp up the action as we get ready to battle again.
I felt online multiplayer should have been included, it was disappointing not to see that here. This is definitely respectful to the legacy of the series. It brings a good challenge, and varied action throughout. I can see some points being extremely frustrating to players. It would have also been nice to have more extra modes to this, even just minor variations on the campaign for replay value.
I don’t see many outside the hardcore audience revisiting this for just the collectibles or a better run time. I want to see more from this, and I think it’s on the right track to do something truly wonderful within this genre. I hope I’m fair in going over this, I had a good time with it. I just can’t forgive some of the choices in this one however as they create a great level of confliction on how I feel about this game.
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Battletoads Review on Xbox One X
Review Code Provided by Microsoft