Battletoads (PC) Review

By Lilly K. 25.09.2020

Review for Battletoads on PC

Battletoads is created by Rare, a developer with a long history of much-loved classics, such as the Donkey Kong franchise and Banjo Kazooie, and was made in collaboration with Dlala Studios and published by Microsoft. First released on the original NES, Battletoads was a side-scrolling beat'em up that featured a variety of level types, such as descending on ropes or riding hoverbikes. After a couple more releases in the series, it got very quiet and, after the release of Battletoads Arcade, it seemed to have totally disappeared... A soft reboot of the franchise, and the series' first entry in the past 26 years, Battletoads is essentially a restart that does not ignore its history.

Battletoads creates an interesting visual via vibrant and expressive 2D hand-drawn graphics. While 2D side-scrolling levels make up the main part of the experience, there is more variety to the actual playthrough, including, but not limited to, quick-time scenes, as well as mini-game scrolling and hoverbike levels — all of which are fast-paced and frantic. Whether you're being overwhelmed by numerous enemies in the beat'em up levels or smashing into obstacles and falling down pits in the hoverbike stages, it is a total blast. This makes for a varied experience that does not get boring, even when doing the same thing over and over.

The comedic script has a fair share of cringe-worthy and dirty humour, aptly fitting the toad aesthetic. Cut-scenes and voicework are somewhat stilted and awkward but are well-produced and interesting. Essentially, it has the long awkward pauses down during in-game dialogue. Additionally, the player will be rewarded with laugh-out-loud moments throughout the entire experience, which is always a big positive. It lives up to the bonkers premise that the series sets for itself, with some extremely cartoony antics.

Screenshot for Battletoads on PC

The controls on the keyboard are a bit fiddly, which is disappointing if no controller is at hand, but luckily it does not totally disrupt the gaming experience as attacks are assigned to the mouse buttons and movement on WASD. For those wanting the PC experience and have a controller at hand, it is definitely recommended as the controls are more well-mapped on it; furthermore, the game includes that classic PC warning: "we recommend using a controller with this game".

Battletoads is playable in local co-op, a RARE-ity on PC, but it does not feature online multiplayer. While this may be disappointing for those who are unable to see others in person, perhaps because of a zombie virus outbreak, it is still much appreciated to have a game offering local co-op as not many implement this feature in the days of the almighty Internet. Additionally, it is refreshing to see a title offering a fun experience for a group of friends meeting at home.

In fact, Battletoads is best played with a friend as it can reduce the monotony of the larger combat scenarios. Playing with friends also offers some cool options, such as revivals and hot swapping — the ability to swap and control a different toad, so long as they are playing

themselves or are in two-player mode. With three players, each individual personifies one of the toads, which removes hot swapping but incentivises revivals.

The overall atmosphere created by the visuals, script and music is fantastic; it reeks of style. Hand-drawn characters and enemies have incredibly varied and smooth animations, which makes movement feel right. These designs harmonise with the backgrounds of the stages, providing an overall feeling of consistency, but they never blend into the backgrounds, meaning the gameplay is not out of focus. This is supported by some heavy and bass-y guitar riffs with remixes of the series' music, as well as some new bangers, all of which is punctuated with great heavy sound effects that offer a sense of place.

Screenshot for Battletoads on PC

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

Battletoads is a stunning return for both the toads and Rare, a team that hasn't had much output recently. While it can become a little tedious to play alone, this is an excellent game to try with a small group of friends on a Friday night. Humour, variety of gameplay, and local co-op make this a great addition to anyone's library.

Developer

Dlala Studios

Publisher

Microsoft Game Studios

Genre

Action Adventure

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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