Battletoads & Double Dragon - The Ultimate Team Review by: rcarter2Toads + Dragons = Awesome
Just when you think you can't get any better than human sized toads beating the crap out of mutants, RARE tries to step it up a notch by teaming them with the double dragons. Battletoads is a game for the NES that is not only amazing, but also famous for it's difficulty. The Battletoads franchise also made a game for the SNES and it's own arcade game. The Double Dragons is also a game that was released for the NES, becoming a very popular beat em' up series that had quite a few sequels in it's franchise as well. RARE decided to give the Battletoads a sequel, but wanted to step up their game by combining them with the Double Dragons. In this game, you will see very familiar enemies from both franchises. But because it is a Battletoads sequel, the game play and graphics are identical to the first Battletoads, and not so similar to the Double Dragons games.
As stated before, the graphics of this game are literally identical to the first double dragons game. The main difference is the fact that the backgrounds are different, and the enemy sprites are less pixelated and more detailed (for the most part). This is not a bad thing, because Battletoads was top notch in graphics at the time. The environments are pretty well done and have a lot of variety, though mostly space themed. But most of the game does
take place on a massive spaceship. But you get a few outside a spaceship levels, a factory, and you also get to fight in the city ally. Though the games sprites are a bit cleaner than the predecessor, it gets a bump down in rank because the background environments just don't meet up with the predecessor, which is a little disappointment. Though they are well done and have a variety, the fact that there was a theme they stuck to a lot, it makes it less memorable.
Bump. Crash. Clash. Boom. Bang. Zing. When you play an action game, those are the sounds you want to hear. This game does not disappoint. There are sound effects for almost everything, and you will hear a lot of new sound effects in almost every level. I can't count how many there are, and it just seems they got an unlimited amount coming out the whazoo. One thing is certain, you will not get a feeling of repetition in sound effects. What is great is the fact that the music isn't overpowering, nor is it taking any kind of back seat to the sound effects. The music is unique to each level, and all of them are fast and exciting. It just adds to the epicness of these characters. I only wish they kept the pause music from the previous Battletoads game :( Regardless, I would be shocked to hear that someone turned down the speakers on this game. Crank those bad boys up!
Come on, people. You are hard hitting toads and street martial artists beating down space fighters, mutants, robots, and you even get to blast a huge space craft to kingdom come. The one thing everyone talked about with the first Battletoads was the one thing that was also hated by so many: THE INSANE DIFFICULTY. RARE decided to tone it down in this game, making it not only playable to non hard-core gamers, but just great fun. This is everything that was fun about Battletoads without the frustration of the difficulty. And because the difficulty was pretty much cut in half, that means Cooperative Play is much more enjoyable. You have not lived until you play this in Co-Op mode. RARE also added 2 modes for 2 Player gaming. You can take the less frustrating route and choose Game B, where you cannot harm each other. When you are better at the game, you can make a challenge and add the fact that you much be mindful of where your partner, which creates a whole new feeling of game play. You might finding yourself playing this again and again.
This stems off from the generic save the princess story that the last game had. We have heard that one too many times. This game takes place after that event. The Dark Queen wants revenge, so she builds a spaceship as big as a city. But she isn't making the same mistake twice by giving the toads the same old enemies (Bowser should take notes. How many times is he going to put his son or his underlings through Mario's stomping?) She seeks out the Shadow Boss (the big honcho from the Double Dragons games) to recruit him and his gang. The toads team up with the ones who have dealt with them before: The Double Dragons. The thing is, you get all that from the opening sequence if you wait for a minute. There isn't much development past that part,but it really isn't the biggest deal. This is more about the smashing game play. At least we still see the hawk (toads commander) have more witty banter with the enemies after you mangle them.
There certainly isn't a lack of things to do in this game. Not only do you get to beat up a lot of enemies, you get to do a few of the classic Battletoads things. You get another ride on the motor bikes (but not NEARLY as long or difficult) and go down deep pits via descending rope. An added twist to that is that some sequences have you move horizontally instead of vertically with those ropes. But the best feature of this whole game, in my opinion, is level 4. You are in a small space craft shooting rocks, mines, saucers, and then you have an epic exploding shootout against the queen in her giant Rat Ship. The controls of this level are identical to the Asteroids games (who doesn't love that game?). The main thing that brings down the depth is that what I listed here are the only things you do. Unfortunately, you don't surf, fly jets, ride snakes, or anything like that. This is mainly because the game is rather short (not even half as long as the first Battletoads). But I gotta admit that they did a good job with how short the game was.
I love a difficult game (given that the difficulty doesn't stem from bad controls or a lot of glitchy movements). So I naturally would mark this game down quite a few points here. I think it is accurate to say that if you take the difficulty of the first Battletoads, cut it in half, and you would get the difficulty of this game. But I did not cut the points here in half just because I know that the reason for RARE taking it easy was because there were too many complaints over the first one. I admit that this makes it more open to everyone to enjoy, so I give it that. Also, if it were as difficult as the first one, the Co-Op wouldn't be so freaking awesome, because it was just impossible in Battletoads.
This game gets a very solid score just short of a 9. For everyone who loved Battletoads, you will like this. If you hated it only for it's difficulty, you will like this. If you were just a big Double Dragons fan, you might have mixed feelings, because this is very little like Double Dragons. But to refresh, the graphics are great and have very clean sprites, but the space theme gives it less variety as far as background. The sound and music are freaking awesome, so don't bother touching that mute button. Because of the decrease in difficulty making Co-Op more feasible, this game is really addicting. The story takes a step up from our normal generic rescue story. You get to do a few things, but not as much as the first game. But the space craft level is incredibly fun when you get the hang of it. Lastly, the difficulty was knocked down for a valid reason, but was knocked down too much, in my opinion. The game could have benefited in having an easy mode/hard mode feature to keep people who like insane difficulty fulfilled. But overall, this needs to be in your NES collection.