One of gaming’s favorite memes, Battletoads, could be making a big comeback sometime in the near future. More than two decades have flown by 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
Although Battletoads’ expected release was sometime during 2019 for Xbox One, PC, and Game Pass, an official release date is yet to be revealed. When that happens, 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 remembered for having compelling 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, Battletoads games are well known for their 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 more substantial 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 combos using a variety of punches, kicks, and new special abilities. These 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 excels in different areas. Pimple is powerful but slow. Rash is nimble but much weaker. 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 for the player to see oncoming obstacles as they travel down a long road.
Players can jump as well as move/dash left or right to dodge obstacles. While reportedly just as challenging as the original levels, the reboot plans to add checkpoints to bike levels in order to 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 the 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 Battletoads will please 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 suggest you start calling dibs on which of the three toads you want to play before your friends do.