Wednesday, 9 September 2020

Battletoads Review - Meet the Next Generation

Battletoads Game Review

The heroes of the new Battletoads have spent 26 years in a dark bunker - like the series itself, the previous part of which was released back in 1994. Having got out to freedom, Rush, Sitz and Pimple categorically declare that the classics are no longer needed. And you know what? They are right!

Developer: Rare, Dlala Studios

Publisher: Xbox Game Studios

Release date: 20 August 2020

For many years, battle toads were in simulation: there they defeated all enemies with one left and were always in the spotlight. According to those who pulled them out of the bunker, it is as easy as shelling pears to identify the fake of the virtual world, but our heroes did not suspect a trick.

However, the toads will not have to get used to reality for long: soon they will unite with the Dark Queen and set off to fight space enemies!

The writers did their best: each character gets a share of the screen time and reveals his character (Rush wants fame, Zitz is the leader, and Pimple is a good-natured strongman), the action jumps from one world to another, and the flow of gags does not stop.

And despite the fact that the jokes are designed for a teenage audience, even an adult gamer will find it funny: some phrases are not childish at all. This is indeed a very fun adventure, and, for example, it would be interesting for me to watch an animated series based on motives - the adventures of battle toads would fit perfectly into such a format.

Battletoads looks cartoonish, modern animation style. This drawing caused a flurry of criticism from the fans of the series, and in some ways they are right - the game is very different from the previous parts.

Battletoads Review

However, it is worth remembering the break of 26 years - everything is changing, and the younger audience (which Battletoads is targeting) will definitely like the updated visual style. If we abstract from other releases of the line, the project looks nice and is filled with a huge number of hand-made animations - here, until the very end, you don't get tired of observing the transformations of the characters, the actions of opponents, and the behavior of objects in the background. Looking at the picture, it becomes clear why the development of the game took so long: let me remind you that it was announced back in 2018.

Battletoads Game Review

As for the gameplay, if you are waiting for the classic beat'em'up, you will have to disappoint: the levels of this genre take up half the game at most. The developers started experimenting: here the usual side-view fights turn into third-person races, mini-games, and even a space shooter in the spirit of Ikaruga! A few years ago, Nier: Automata did a similar trick, but now Battletoads has picked up the baton.

Therefore, participating in the adventures of Rush, Zitz, and Pimple, you never know what to expect next. You have just scattered opponents with melee techniques, and in the next mission, you are already rushing through an obstacle course in order to complete a mini-game five minutes later in which you need to fit the hero's figure into a template, and then completely test new characters.

And if you think that the new Battletoads is lighter than the first parts of the series, which are famous for their complexity, you are greatly mistaken: it will “burn” as before because many levels contain a serious challenge. Including a hoverbike ride that can give a head start to a similar challenge from the original game. And what about the chase, during which it is necessary to hold down the buttons corresponding to the type of surface on which the heroes slide!

In general, those thirsty for hardcore will be satisfied, and the only way to blame the game for rendering is because of the often set control points. Without them, it would have been very difficult, because such tests are also distinguished by excessive protractedness: each race, race, or flight should be reduced by a third, from which they would only benefit, becoming a vivid memory. Alas, no: suffering one defeat after another, you start to get annoyed more and more, and you dream that the mission is too much to end.

Battletoads - this is a cooperative game (share passing through the network in the game, but in the Steam-version you can play with a friend via Remote Play Together), and many trials in her design for interaction between players. For example, in a space shooter, one participant controls the ship, while the other shoots. And in the terminal hacking mini-game, players must simultaneously execute commands in order to progress through the computer interface.

But in the brawls there was no place for joint actions: players can only resurrect fallen comrades and throw opponents to each other like a ball. 

However, even without the interactions between the toads, the combat system feels great. Traditionally for the genre, you can combine light and heavy attacks, kick enemies, roll, jump, and so on. The visual style somewhat harms the perception of the characters: in the most violent battles, the action turns into a mess, and it can be difficult to understand who is who. Having got used to it a little, you begin to notice the signals over the heads of the monsters and read their intentions, but still, sometimes it is not easy.

To cope with opponents, it is not enough to hammer on the buttons of the gamepad in the hope that the heroes will do everything themselves. You need to notice the peculiarities of opponents, quickly react to their actions, leave the line of attack, and apply the right techniques - some monsters, for example, do not take regular punches. In general, there is room for "creativity" here, and enough to make the fight interesting.

New "toads" can be disliked for their visual style. But in all that concerns the gameplay, the project from Rare and Dlala Studios shows the highest class - it is a hardcore, funny and versatile action game that brazenly burst into the genre to say: 

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