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Battletoads – Genesis


Platform:  Sega Genesis (Mega Drive)

Developer: Rare

Publisher: Tradewest

Release date: 1991

Genre: Beat ’em Up, Action

Nerd Rating: 65/100

Battletoads is one of those games you love it AND you hate it.  It was originally released on the NES (but I’ve never owned a copy), and word is that the NES game is UNBEATABLE… but only because it glitches or freezes or something at a certain point in the game.  I could be wrong, but that’s what I’ve heard from another gaming professional.  He might be right, and if he is, he easily could have lied and told me that Battletoads for the Genesis is ALSO unbeatable.  And I would have believed him because I’ve never been able to beat this game… NEVER! It has eluded me for close to 2 decades now, and it’s so frustratingly difficult that I rarely even play this game.

Giant Metal Zorio and I used to try this game over and over and over and over.  We would play the 2-player mode and go as far as hqdefault

possible while trying not to effin’ hate each other for holding the other one back.  The thing about the multiplayer mode in this game is it’s just plain stupid.  If one of the 2 of you die, then you have to restart that level from a checkpoint or at the very beginning.  So for a series I might be doing exceptionally well and Giant Metal Zorio is sucking some huge c…… well, you know. And for the next series, maybe he’s rocking it and I’m blowing some major di…… you get the point.  It doesn’t make sense AT ALL for it to function this way. But it does. Oh well… we accept it for what it is and move on.Battletoads-level-map3

The game starts off like an awesome side-scrolling beat’em up reminiscent of TMNT (except on some mountain) and it showcases some decent graphics and some great music that immediately sets the tone for the entire game.  The first level is unbelievably easy, but you’ll instantly learn that if you are playing 2-player you can easily put a beatin’ on your friend (which makes for some good laughs, but isn’t even close to funny when you’re in the ice stage).  The controls feel pretty good, but it’s pretty difficult to time some jumps and tell exactly where you are on the ground in a 3D sense.  This can prove fatal, so be careful.

After about 2 minutes of breezing through the first round, you’ll face a boss right away in a pretty gnarly 3D-esque battle against a laser/canon firing robot monster.  The cool thing is you’re POV is from the cockpit of the enemy.  This is pretty unique. I can’t think of any other game that features this POV.   After defeating that boss, you’ll begin belaying down the never-ending tunnel with laser-shooting toaster ovens and crows that drop swords when you kill them.  *NERD HINT: This is a good chance to get some extra lives. Kick / hit the dead bird against the wall over and over and you’ll earn a few extra lives. Don’t let those birds clip your rope though.

battletoads_15348Once you reach the bottom, you’ll see the difficulty just start beating you in your stupid face.  You’ll go around punching rats, kicking them, and smashing them into the ground until you kick them in their stupid faces and they die.  Out of nowhere, some little creature comes by and LITERALLY STEALS YOUR HEALTH BARS FOR NO DAMN REASON! You have to punch these little fuckwads in the dick or they’ll disappear with your health bars. NOW COMES THE NEAR-IMPOSSIBLE PART: You jump on a jet-ski-looking hovercraft-motorcycle-thingamajigger and dodge walls and jump over the ball pits.  It’s basically impossible for 1 person to get this right, much less 2 of you (especially when you’re forced to restart at a checkpoint every time just one of you dies).  So you do it alone. The only way. Don’t even try 2 player mode. Just kill yourself.  I finally beat the jet-ski part of level 2 and found myself in the hardest level ever.

Without diving too deep into each and every level, let’s just talk about how this game is.  It’s difficult. It’s hard. But when you accomplish some stuff, you feel SO rewarded.  The graphics are pretty great and the enemies get progressively tougher as you advance, but it’s not just the enemies that make the game hard, it’s the challenges that are forced upon you. The sound effects are pretty decent and not too linear or similar. One of the really cool things about the game is how well it transitions from one stage to the next.  It’s really tough to define any part of the game as a “level” because it transitions seamlessly from stage to stage. I truly like that aspect of the game. But damnit… I hate this game because it’s so hard.


It’s fun and sometimes tedious (because you die a lot and have to repeat the same shit a lot), but it’s for real tough.  Often regarded as one of the hardest games ever made, Battletoads for the Sega Genesis will make you scream, make you cry, make you cut your wrists, and make you kill your neighbor.  It can typically be bought at a fair price of $15-$20, and is a classic Genesis game worth any gamer’s collection.

Nerd Rating: 65/100

Submitted by Nerd Berry

Written by Nerdberry


Nerdberry here. It’s about time I updated this badboy (been a loooong time). I’m currently loving time on my Xbox 360, as I destroy aliens left and right through the Gears of War games (man these games are good).

But that doesn’t mean I’ve lost my love for retro-gaming! My wife and I just bought a house (December, 2015) and we have a baby due ANY DAY NOW (my mini-nerdette-berry is 1 day late as of December 10th), so I haven’t fully unpacked the hundreds of cartridges that I own.



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  4. I remember loving this game, we used to go across the street to a kid named PJ’s house just to play it. Good times, I really loved Battletoads/Double Dragon too, that was killer.

    • Dude for real! This game was awesome and friggin hard. But so was Battletoads / Double Dragon. But the 2nd game was hard as crap and possibly more difficult than THIS one!

  5. Pingback: The Jungle Book (SNES)

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  7. Re: Chwilowki

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