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Monday, September 13, 2010

Battletoads (1991)

Battletoads
So the polls are closed and you guys voted for me to try Battletoads for the NES. I had heard of Battletoads before starting this, especially how the difficulty made kids throw controllers and yell at the TV in rage. It was released in June of 1991, and I was born in December, so it barely manages to be older than me. Now before I start, I would like to say thank you guys for all your feedback and support, but seriously why would you want me to go through this kind of torture? I thought Contra was hard, and now I spend around 10 hours on this game and only managed to get half way through before finally giving up. And then I see this runthrough and I just want to cry.

While reading the manual, I was glad to find that the developers had a good sense of humor, naming their characters Zitz, Pimple and Rash. I'm not sure how provocative the games usually were when I was born, but I have a feeling the Dark Queen was a little risque for her time. So the Dark Queen has kidnapped Pimple and his girl-toad, and it's up to Rash and Zitz to save them.
These things were annoying, but not impossible

 Game Commentary: After the first level, I thought that people must have been over-exaggerating the difficulty of this game; I didn't die once and had a fairly easy time blowing through the enemies. The "Wookie Tunnel" wasn't anything overly difficult either, so I was beginning to have my doubts. And then all my doubts were shoved back in my face, I was thrown to the ground, and then repeatedly kicked while I was down (figuratively speaking). The "Turbo Tunnel" was extremely difficult for me; if I hadn't found the warp in the first level, I would have given up there. Because I could warp there from the beginning of the game, I spent the next two hours just trying to get past this tunnel. I never actually fully beat the level, and instead accidentally ran into the warp and couldn't believe it. I jumped up and down yelling and cheering with such enthusiasm that my family came to check on me (they thought that I had won a lot of money or something like that). I honestly couldn't remember a time when I had been so happy that I had cleared a level. Clearing the first level on Contra was gratifying, but did not come close to how I felt at this time.
I never stopped to wonder why there was a Kangaroo riding a
rocket, trying to drop blocks on a toad riding a hoverbike

The next level was slightly easier for me, only because the 1UPs allowed me to not have to start the game over again. The mini-boss at the end seemed way to easy after the torture I had just been put through, but nevertheless I was on to the Snake Pit. This is where I started raging uncontrollably and literally almost broke something. I do not understand why the developers thought the 2nd and particularly the 3rd part of the Snake Pit would be a good idea, unless their goal was to make people hate them with a passion. Those of you who have played this, you know what how I felt when I over-jumped the Exit and landed on the spikes... When I finally ran out of continues the 3rd time through, I couldn't convince myself to go any further. And thus ended my futile attempt at beating the infamous Battletoads.
So close, yet so far away!

What I Loved: This game was really fun if you weren't concerned with dying, having to start over or generally progressing through the game. The fighting mechanics were very nice and the animations were very funny (who doesn't want to see a toad slam a kangaroo into the ground and kick it repeatedly in the face?). The humor in the game was entertaining when I wasn't too busy yelling at the game or the controls. It was also nice how each stage presented something unique and interesting (yet ridiculously hard) about it, be it climbing and jumping on snakes to "surfing" your way around whirlpools.


What I Hated: How unnecessarily difficult this game is. I played half way through the game and already was ready to break some controllers, and it only gets harder from there. It would have helped tremendously if there had been a save system that allowed you to not have to start the whole game over, but I have heard that saving systems were never heard of in NES games.

My General Impression: Now many of you have read my Contra post and know that I have gained an appreciation for harder games, but this was a little lot over the top for me. The gameplay was really enjoyable and the humor was subtle but still funny, but the hatred I had for the developers when I stopped playing was too great for me to continue to appreciate these parts of the game. Many of the later parts rely on memorization (and luck), but when you have to play through the whole game to practice these later levels, it becomes extremely frustrating.

I genuinely enjoyed this game and would recommend people play it, but I would definitely warn them to not take it too seriously and not to expect to beat it or else controllers will be thrown and things will be broken.


**Edit: This game has some of the coolest pause music I've ever heard **

52 comments:

Oscar said...

ive never even heard of this game lol but thanks for the review

scaryice said...

You didn't even make it the hardest levels...

Oh, and the run you linked to has been surpassed. Here's a 19:36 speed run:

http://speeddemosarchive.com/Battletoads.html

Frank Sands said...

Oh, I don't think that any *sane* person actually likes Battletoads, it's just a consensus of one of the most difficult games ever made. There are a few other "impossible" games on the NES, like the Ninja Gaiden series or Silver Surfer. You should check out the Angry Video Game Nerd (AVGN) videos, they are great, and have tons of NES and other platforms old games.

Guillermo said...

im only 22 but I seem old compared to all of you..you´ve never heard of battletoads(Oscar) and the funniest is that mostly of you think that a game being hard doesnt have a point...but it does...and it really needs more reaction than lucky :D

Ryan said...

Frank Sands, I'm trying not to check him out until I've played the games he is reviewing. That way I know what he's talking about when he goes ballistic haha. Thanks though

Frank Sands said...

Ryan, I've seen his reviews of games I knew and games I didn't even knew existed and there wasn't any loss. Sometimes, these obscure ones were even funnier than the ones where I knew the game. One I recommend in particular is the 3 part review of the Ghostbusters. It is just legendary.

Ryan said...

Alright thanks, I'll make sure to check him out. The few that I did see had me laughing still I couldn't breathe

DaveT said...

Now you have a measuring stuck for the difficult of games.

Annah said...

I seriously feel like playing video games now after looking at this. I miss good ol' Mario on Nintendo. Congrats on Blog of Note.

Derek Baird said...

Battletoads is indeed pretty far up there on the horrendously difficult scale. The craziest part about this that you seem to be overlooking though is that when I was a kid, this was the only thing there was to play. No PC with emulators and roms, no internet, just an NES with a bunch of games you've already beaten through and through. As a kid, my motivation to finish Battletoads came from that very desperation; there was nothing else to play and damnit, I would not be denied my victory. Also, my parents didn't buy me new games until I could finish the ones I already had. I was like 8 or 9 when I finished Battletoads, and wow.

The frustration you experienced is very real, but played during its intended life cycle wasn't as bad because games had a different culture and feel about them. Games were challenges meant to stomp your face in and overcome, not enjoyable cinematic experiences they are today.

ClassicCartoonsGuy said...

I've never heard of this game, but it looks pretty good. I don't think I would enjoy it though, because as a writer, I like to continually advance the storyline. If I have a lot of trouble on a game, I'm quick to put it down. I like challenges, I don't put them down right away, but if it's ridiculously hard, then I'll pass.

Best Mobiles View said...

very nice game

flcarnie said...

try some Mega Man games, they're a lot of fun, pretty challenging, but not break your controller difficult.

Bethany said...

I remember seeing an ad for this game in a Barbie magazine back when I was in 1st grade. I still think it was an odd choice for that particular publication. Sounds like it was awesome though!

Bob Smith said...

I used to play this when I was about 5 or 6 with my older brother. Some of the best times

Steve said...

As a 25 year old with hundreds of furious and happy memories of playing this in co-op with my dad, I say well done sir.

Another one I might recommend is Abadox for NES (ok it was basically a rip off of R-Type, but whatever. It was near and dear to my 5 year old heart)

Bearodactyl Rex said...

I remember playing this one as a kid. Hardest game ever.

nikexie2010 said...

Nice!Let me recall my colorful childhood.- air max 95

N3OS3R said...

Games were simpler & better, nowadays it all about comercial stuff, thought im still young, I know old games were better, nice blog btw *_+

boxset4less1 said...

nice game !

М. Бат-Эрдэнэ said...

hey this is very nice game. i love this game. i forgettin this game. thanks i am mongolia

King of New York Hacks said...

How this game never got to me I'll never know...but I will hunt it down.

Andy said...

Awesome blog man. I see you're a big sports fan; why not try out some good ol Tecmo Bowl?

Allan! said...

I've been meaning to check out this title myself. Never had it as a kid.

Kev13 said...

You're defintely playing some of the old classics here, games were definitely cool without great graphics. One of my favorite old (really old) games was a MUD called Zork. I played that game for countless hours....

zobop republic said...

They don't make these games like they used to. I use to play Atari 2600 back in the 1980's.

Billy Apathy said...

Want to have even more fun? Go find Battletoads Vs. Double Dragon.

Seriously. Go. NOW.

AWESOM-O said...

Great blog you've got here. I'll read.

Rigante The Realist said...

I havnt herd of this game but your blog sounds really good, but I cant say that I would enjoy playing it too much, I broke 2 controller's playing the first PS2 Transformer's game.

Tycenchiken said...

I played this game once but never really understood it. But this is sweet. keep it up

-Freshman said...

awesome blog, following you :D

wheatgerm said...

Tharts a good game

Danatoth said...

Oh man. Battletoads has made me pull out my hair on more than one occasion. I'm actually pretty certain that I've smashed a controller because of it before =0 But it get's my vote as the best looking nes game XD

Ankiseth said...

Another interesting one to check out if no one's mentioned it is the remake/extension of this game for SNES. Both are just ball-bustingly difficult, but if you manage to finish either of them, holy shit...that joy knows no bounds.

Interesting blog, from one old video game enthusiast to another. Followed.

Quincy said...

Dude. Awesome Blog. And I'm surprised by how old you are no offense. You should definitely get your hands on a copy of Metal Gear Solid for PlayStation, the first game I bought when I was a kid. lol. Loved Metal Gear, best story driven game eva!!

Skutt Panda PO said...

good post keep going!!!

soccernews said...

i dont think this game exist , but uhm it seem to exist

incognito said...

oh man, nostalgia'd hard. I grew up on games like that. But I have to admit, I never finished it either.

Drake Sigar said...

Try the vertical tunnel on two player co-op, you’ll never speak to your friend again!

22.turning.mommy said...

ok I am 23 and my brother is 28 and to this day we can't get passed the part with the damn ski jumpers. I think its like the second stage you come to. As much as I love this game, we give up because of those damn ski jumpers. Have you tried BattleToads Vs. Double Dragons? That game isn't that bad either.

rummor said...

It's amazing game. I remember it!

LivingChaos said...

This was one of the hardest game ever. Nay. It was the HARDEST game ever. I could only make it a few levels in before ultimately getting whipped.

adnguyen1986 said...

You just brought back so many memories! Great post

Raind said...

Best game for 2 players. Absolute madness for 1991, it was like woohoo. let's kick some asses!:D

Kev D. said...

I think my older brother beat it, but I'd have to check with him to confirm. Sick game though.

And what's with the 'Oscar' dude who commented saying that he has never heard of this game, but his pic is a NES controller. Weak. Seriously weak.

If i remember correctly this was a RARE game right? Being an N64 fan, I'm sure you dig what they went on to create. Respect the beginnings.

Omi T said...

Yeaa this game was really hard man...I think at one point I did break a controller trying to play this game. Back in the days you really needed some crazy levels of determination to get through games.

Exophase said...

Like you say, this is an extremely hard game - levels 9-12 are, IMO, quite a bit worse than the rest (although 7, Volkmire's Inferno can be hard for some too).

6 is one of those levels that seems impossibly hard, but once you get it down you'll generally have no problem. It's just a matter of committing the basic timing to muscle memory. Trust me, if you stick with it you'll get through it, especially once you really get a feel for the nuances. It isn't that bad.

I've only just recently been able to beat this game. Unfortunately, I have to use the term a little loosely, because I kind of have to cheat on level 11. It's not cheating in the sense that it isn't using any cheating device or esoteric knowledge/cheat code or anything, but it's surely not what the developers intended me to do. Still, if anyone else is finding the level really hard, try this: at every turn, pause the game. Then change directions and unpause. It's much easier to time the pauses then time a smooth direction change since that involves not pressing diagonals in the interim.

Oh, and even with this cheat, I still was only able to pass it using a real NES controller with an adapter (been emulating it). With my Logitech controller it was REALLY hard to maintain staying still in one direction for some reason. This could be true on anything with a sort of circular d-pad. So if you have this problem pick up an adapter (retrousb.com) and an NES controller (got two for $5 at a used game store), or USB NES style controller (also at retrousb.com)

One more tip - don't skip level 2. You can rack up lots of 1-ups and points there by batting birds off of the wall repeatedly. And don't skip level 4 because there's a 1-up there, nor level 7 because there are two 1-ups.. and both are doable enough without dying. By the time you get to the end of the game you should have maxed out points at 999,999.

gG said...

Ryan, great idea for a blog!

when you say "but I have heard that saving systems were never heard of in NES games."
I can add that - at least here in Italy - Zelda II was shipped in a special cartridge that saved your game!

and btw, if you haven't yet, you should really play it ^_^

SuperSpongy said...

Usually we would just play until we got to level 3, die and that was the game for the day. And yes, this is still my favorite pause music, epic.

Maunderingcabal said...

Quick! SOmeone call gamestop and ask if they have battletoads.

Rafael C.P. said...

The NES Final Fantasy games had saving systems.

And great blog, already on my RSS reader!

Konstanty Kwas said...

I remember when i was played with my friend on this game! great sequel was in PC, but old football menager winkel was better

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