One of gaming’s favorite memes, Battletoads, appears to be making a comeback in 2019. With more than two decades having passed since the release of Battletoads Arcade in 1994, fans began to lose hope of ever seeing their favorite anthropomorphic toads back in action. Fortunately, Microsoft has stepped in to help resurrect the iconic beat ‘em up with Rare and Dlala Studios partnering to handle production.
Here, we’ll be covering everything you need to know about the upcoming Battletoads reboot including story and gameplay details as well as some exciting rumors. Make sure to check back as we’ll be updating this story following any new announcements.
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Battletoads Release Date
Battletoads is expected to release sometime during 2019 for Xbox One and PC, launching on Game Pass as well. Once an official date has been revealed, we’ll confirm it here.
The game was first announced during Microsoft’s E3 2018 press conference where a short teaser was shown that offered little information other than the fact that a new Battletoads game was in the works. The following year at E3 2019, a new trailer was revealed showing off some gameplay in addition to the game’s updated, hand-drawn graphics.
The Battletoads games aren’t exactly well-remembered for having powerful narratives. The series is known for relying on its ridiculous, over-the-top humor and utilizing many of the tropes you’d expect from a 90s’ Saturday morning cartoon. Based on the trailer and a 9-minute gameplay demo from IGN, we can expect the new Battletoads to be just as packed with edgy one-liners and 90s attitude.
Aside from showing off returning characters Rash, Zitz and Pimple, the gameplay demo introduces Porkshank, who will reportedly serve as the game’s first boss. The muscular gang-leader’s design appears to be inspired by the Psyko Pig enemies from the earlier games. This leads us to believe other enemy designs may receive updated versions in the reboot.
Battletoads Gameplay – What Could Be Changed?
Aside from being a popular meme, the Battletoads games are well known for their at times punishingly hard difficulty, especially the original NES game. With the reboot, Rare and Dlala seem to have struck the perfect balance between challenge and fun.
Players will notice a larger amount of checkpoints throughout levels and the removal of the original’s “lives” on lower difficulties. Instead, when a character faints, they’ll simply respawn at the most recent checkpoint. Additionally, character indicators will make it easier for players to keep track of the action during chaotic brawls. If you prefer to keep things traditional, Battletoads will include a Hard difficulty that plays much closer to the original.
Combat still takes place on a three-dimensional 2D plane and sees players controlling one of the three toads as they chain together combos using a variety of punches, kicks and new special abilities that allow the toads to transform parts of their bodies into different weapons such as a laser or jackhammer.
Fans may recall how different controlling each toad felt despite them all having the same core controls. This is because each one is excels in different areas—Pimple is the powerful but slow, Rash is nimble but much weaker, and Zitz falls somewhere in the middle. This is something that the reboot emphasizes with each player fulfilling a different role. For example, one player may focus on stunning enemies while another deals tons of AoE damage and the third gets ready to deliver the final blow.
The original Battletoads’ bike levels were notorious for robbing players of all their lives in a matter of minutes. These sections see the camera switching to a back-facing perspective in order for the player to see oncoming obstacles as they travel down a long road.
Players are able to jump as well as move/dash left or right in order to dodge obstacles. While reportedly just as challenging as the original levels, the reboot plans to add checkpoints to bike levels in order reduce the penalty for failing.
The Final Word
Battletoads has a much bigger challenge ahead of it than most retro reboots released today. It shares very few similarities with a majority of Xbox’s catalog and at this point is remembered more for its shortcomings than its strengths. However, Rare and Dlala seem to be making the right calls when it comes to adapting the classic beat ‘em up for the modern age.
If 2019’s Battletoads is able to cater to fans while also attracting a new group of players, we may very well see more Rare properties get the proper revival they deserve. For now, all we can do is wait for an official release date from Microsoft. In the meantime, we consider you start calling dibs on which of the three toads you want to play as before your friends do.