Battletoads is back. The series, which has been dormant since 1994’s Battletoads Arcade (last seen in Rare Replay), has returned to Xbox One and PC, in a self-aware game that repeatedly winks at how long it’s been. This new game, which leans into the comedy hard and switches up gameplay styles between levels, hasn’t received universally glowing reviews, but reactions have trended towards positive.
The original NES game is a classic that holds a fond place in many people’s hearts–albeit one that was brutally, infamously difficult. The new game lets you choose your own difficulty level, and tellingly, the highest one is simply called “Battletoads”. Still, this iteration tries to be a bit more accessible.
In addition to GameSpot’s own review, other outlets have weighed in on how this style of game holds up. Opinions differ on whether the game is funny or not, whether more levels should focus on the series’ staple brawling gameplay, and how effective a reboot it is.
The game is available through Xbox Game Pass, so if the reviews pique your interest and you’re a subscriber you can check it out yourself at no additional cost. If you’re a Sea of Thieves fan, you might want to play it just to unlock the new ship set.
Here’s what the reviews have to say about Battletoads. To see even more, check out GameSpot sister site Metacritic.
- Game: Battletoads
- Platforms: PC, Xbox One
- Developer: Dlala Studios
- Release date: August 20
- Price: $20
GameSpot – 6/10
“I walked away wishing there was a lot more Battletoads. Most of the game’s foundation is solid. The beat-’em-up combat, the art, and a lot of secondary gameplay is surprising and fun. Though its blend of gameplay variations feels unbalanced at times, and it isn’t always the laugh-riot it tries to be, Battletoads is an entertaining little romp.” – Mike Epstein [Full Review]
Video Games Chronicle – 5/5
“Battletoads fends off any hint of monotony by mixing things up with a diverse and complex fight system, wonderfully varied and bonkers enemies, interesting levels full of obstacles and puzzles, and entirely new and inventive variant stages with gameplay that spans entirely different genres. The slapstick humor is intentionally corny, but its characters end up being genuinely lovable, the plot is nonsensical but charmingly self-aware and doesn’t take itself seriously, and the soundtrack is absolutely banging. Battletoads isn’t just a worthy reboot, it’s one of the best beat-em-ups in a brilliant year for the genre.” – Mike Jackson [Full Review]
IGN – 8/10
“After more than a quarter of a century in limbo, this new iteration of the legendarily difficult Battletoads takes everything that made the NES original memorable and reworks it into a friendlier, funnier beat ‘em up. Entertaining characters with a great visual style, simple but rewarding combat and minigames, and a rad soundtrack coalesce into a respectably enjoyable revival, with its most notable shortcomings being that enemy variety is a little slim and the story is over too quickly.” – Terence Wiggins [Full Review]
Pure Xbox – 8/10
“The good far outweighs the bad here, though, and the result is a game that has completely turned our expectations inside out, considering how worried the trailers had made some of us. Rest assured, the Battletoads are back, and now they’re here we hope this isn’t the last we’ll hear of them. Battletoads is without a doubt one of the funniest games of this generation, and it’s a pretty nifty beat ’em up to boot. It does have the occasional lull when things start to feel a little repetitive, but by and large it’s a hugely entertaining experience and well worth your time.” – Chris Scullion [Full Review]
Destructoid – 7/10
“Battletoads is another one of 2020’s infamous oddities. I suspect it’s going to be highly polarizing (not only due to the adherence to retro style difficulty but the newness of the art and humor), but it somewhat won me over due to sheer force of will. I also can safely assume that I’m going to be on the higher-end of the spectrum of liking it: but if we never see these dudes again because this game was an absolute cacophony, I’ll be a bit bummed.” – Chris Carter [Full Review]
Game Informer – 5/10
“The kindest thing I can say about Battletoads is this: It works. The controls are fine, I encountered no major technical issues, and an optional invincibility feature allows you to easily clear sections that are giving you too much trouble. Simply being playable from beginning to end is a tragically low bar to clear, but it’s the main thing Battletoads has going for it. Otherwise, this baffling experience digs through decades of gaming history to unearth the Battletoads name only to drag it through the mud.” – Joe Juba [Full Review]
Attack of the Fanboy – 2/5
“The original Battletoads games had a lot of variety in their level design, but the core gameplay remained the same throughout and had consistency outside of levels like the Turbo Tunnel. In comparison, the new Battletoads felt like a game that couldn’t make up its mind on what it wanted to be compared to something like the very enjoyable return of Streets of Rage earlier this year. Having so many different stage types, a majority of which are way too short, makes the game almost feel like a mini-game collection than the full scale Battletoads game that fans have been waiting for all these years.” – Dean James [Full Review]
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