I’ve mentioned Battletoads (NES) before in previous threads with me wishing it was on the VC etc but I wanted to actually talk about the game and what it meant for me as a gamer.
I first played Battletoads at a friends house - and we couldn’t get past the speeder bike level. Yes we played it together..yes we got mad at each other but yes, I wanted this game for Christmas.
Needless to say, I got it, and had a wonderful (insert several curse words, frustration fits, and the occasional tossed controller) time playing this game.
Battletoads did something unique in the gameplay department - something only a handful of games have truly done (and I mean done well) in the history of videogames. Each level played a little differently - it wasn’t just the same thing with more obstacles in the way or tougher enemies like most games did to throw you off. You would finally master beating up those Psyko Pigs in the 1st level, then you were plummeting down a pit with little blue electric boxes and big crows that threatened to cut your rope. After you beat that, you were back beating enemies up but ...what’s this?? A bike?
Holy S#!^ !!
After flying by the seat of your pants - and dying many times over by falling into the pit or hitting a wall going a million miles an hour, this is the moment when you either give up on this game, or keep trying. Each level was different so far...what’s the next one bring? What about the level after that?
Surfs up!!.... oh wait.. "Snakes...why does it have to be Snakes?"
Battletoads did have some secrets to help with the challenge. There were various places where you could gain infinite 1-ups which were handy because you didn’t have unlimited continues in this game. Warp Zones were handy too but were difficult to find unless you knew where to look.
At the end of all the chaos - the memorable boss fights, the obstacle courses, the frantic race to the bomb in level 10 (how many times did you DIE when your big oversized boot was just millimeters away from the bomb before the rat hit it?) you come across the Dark Queen and played an anti-climatic battle that ended with one of the worse endings ever. Oh well. For those of you who couldn’t beat the game, I pity you. Keep trying.
Not the best boss fight in the world..but when you made it this far, the battle was really tense - simply because the tower (level 12) was hell...
Even though the ending wasn’t the best, the fact that you beat this very challenging game was satisfying enough to most players. It never said “Thank you for your playing” or “A Winner is You!” at the end which would have made it worse (and funny) but it did convince me to play it again....and again. Love this game.
I just found the speeder bike thing excruciatingly hard in a way that's unenjoyable.
Of course, I usually played Battletoads two-player, so it went about like you'd expect.
Like most people I'd reckon, I always thought this was a great game that was marred by that fundamental flaw.
Also: The most naked Ninja Turtles rip-off of them all.
I don't think the speeder bike level is any harder than the rest of the game that follows.
I don't know what they were thinking when they put all this effort into making all of these brilliant and unique levels, but then made the difficulty so outrageous that almost no one would ever see them (until youtube).
@Tranquilo Hey! Thanks for asking - I've been doing pretty good. Health is good and I'm keeping busy with work. The overall year has been decent but we've had two grandparents pass away within 11 weeks of each other. One being last week. Dealing with the snow so I'm positive it will be a white Xmas this year. @kriswright Yeah. Your thoughts are mirrored. We had a strange connection with amphibians for some reason, and I never passed level 3 with two people. I think it was designed as one player and they threw in 2 players to try and make it more fun. More fun it was not.
The thing is, it could have easily worked if they'd just done things Contra-style. You run out of lives, it's up to the other guy to complete as much as he can before starting with a fresh slate of continues. A few little changes in code and Battletoads is a two-player game.
EDIT: Also, what's up with that Jello Jiggler Girl supervillain they're fighting? I mean, she makes April O'Neil look like Sporty Spice. I know it was Rare, but... wow.