So… I had a huge virus on my computer that destroyed all my pictures, files, documents, and so much more. Therefore, my planned list of the best explosives experts had to be delayed.
Instead I took a quick Twitter poll for suggestions for a quick list I could write in just one weekend. The winner was the top 10 retro remakes. These are the games that are remakes of old retro games. This might be breaking the “retro rule” of this site, but the line is blurry… so let’s do it anyway.
Also because there are SO many remakes/reboots I decided to only count platformers for this list.
This game is garbage. Ok, the first level is alright. Review over.
I suppose I could let you in on why certain “humans” listed the game, though they’ll probably just depress you. I actually contacted a psychologist I work with to see if some of this stuff would be enough evidence to have someone committed to an insane assylum. He didn’t really answer the question and kinda just walked away slowly. Anyway, here’s what Hunter had to say:
Ah Battlestoads. So good.
As a kid, beat ‘em ups were the easiest games to play. Pop your quarter in, hit the start button, and slam the buttons as hard as you could killing all the enemies on screen.
Battletoads has a strange history for me. My first experience being the NES cart. The few levels were beat ‘em up fame. Just smash the buttons. Then you get to the racing portion in the infamous “turbo tunnel”. That’s when it stopped being a fun romp through button smashing and became real. That’s when I put the game down until much, much later.
Then I discovered the arcade and for a while avoided it so not to be shown up by the older kids. My brother, on the other hand, convinced me to try it stating that “it was different than the one at home”. And he was right. Straight beat ‘em up action and nothing more. A fun play through. Even with the strange animations showing the Battletoads taking much pleasure in drilling their enemies heads into the ground. Still weird to this day.
The thing about Battletoads that always had me coming back was simply the music. The main over world theme, the drop into the abyss, and even the short segments in between. Oh and the pause music. That was my ringtone for many months until it drove my wife to the point of insanity and forced me to change it.
At the end of the day, Battletoads is what I use to describe that point in video games. High end graphics, great soundtrack, and “Nintendo hard” difficulty. Still a great game to return to after all of these years.
I can’t comment on the arcade version. I never played it. Maybe it really is good. I can’t imagine it being worse than the NES version. Anyway, here’s some damn clown:
Ahh, Battletoads…I remember seeing this game for the first time when my brother and I spent the night at our cousin’s house. Our uncle decided that he didn’t want a bunch of kids running around, so he rented an NES system from the local store, along with two games: Jaws and Battletoads! When we first saw the epic start to Battletoads, we knew we were in for it! The most frustrating part was continually knocking each other off the rappel ropes, but that didn’t stop us from laughing our asses off the entire time, not to mention the feverish hysteria when we finally paid the Turbo Tunnel a visit!
Battletoads reminds me constantly that I’m mortal, so whenever I’m feeling like my ego’s too inflated, I’ll pop it in for an hour, and remember that I’m human!
So there we had someone who listed the game, but had nothing positive to say about it besides the begining. A game making me feel human or mortal isn’t high on my list of reasons for thinking a game should be played by everyone, unless it was some uber-artsy game that somehow condensed the human condition into some kind of pixelated masterpiece. Battletoads is not this. NEXT!
I just remember playing it as a kid and loving it. Looking back now, not so great of a game lol. But the best part is hanging down a rope and squishing birdies and Venus fly traps against the wall.
Leave it to my oldest friend to finally bring some sanity to the discussion, though he did admit he listed a game that isn’t great, so there’s that to think of as well when evaluating his mental health. This is painful. Won’t anyone be the voice of reason?
I listed it because 1. it’s the kind of “old school hard” that everyone needs to experience so when they complain that a modern game is too difficult they’ll know what actually hard games are. 2. I played this game so much as a kid that it’s partially just nostalgia for me. 3. For a list of “games you must play” I think it deserves a spot so everyone is in on the jokes.
I’d say I’m sorry for listing it, but I don’t want to be a liar as well.
Congratulations everyone. We now live in a world where someone who calls himself a libertarian Freemason is the only person that I, an anarcho-socialist, can agree with. Battletoads is “old school hard” and I agree everyone should play some of these games. I would suggest Ninja Gaiden and Mega Man instead of Battletoads, but I get it. I also understand the nostalgia, but I’ll get to that more in depth later. As for it deserving a spot so everyone can be in on the jokes… okay, maybe I can agree that this game is so terrible, everyone should play it just so they can see how terrible it was. Maybe.
Finally, we have Tom Hall, who may have sent me my favourite lister commentary of all-time:
I’ll confess. I was trolling. Part of the fun of people asking their readers what to play is sometimes making the reviewer suffer through either a super difficult or super terrible game. So… yeah. I’m a jerk. But hey! You did it. Look at you. I helped you build character. So really, all things considered, you’re welcome.
FINALLY! Someone willing to admit the truth about Battletoads. And you know what, Tom? I did beat Battletoads and it was the worst game I have ever beaten. Before I get to why, let’s pause for a break.
The first level really is decent. I openly admit fairly often on Twitter that I’m not a fan of beat ‘em ups, so for me to admit that this level isn’t terrible is rather meaningful. It might be too easy and too short, and the fact that friendly fire is always on (while playing two player, one player can hit and hurt the other, even knocking him or her to their death) is ridiculous, but the ill effects are minimal here.
The 2nd level is bad. It’s even called Wookie Hole. It starts off alright, but by the end, it takes the game into the memorisation territory for the first time. You will have to memorise where certain enemies and obstacles appear, or you will die.
If you make it to the third stage, you’ve made it to the game’s most infamous level: Turbo Tunnel. This is where most people broke their first controller. Lengthy sections of it and the entire end, require lightning fast reflex, luck, and to beat it, absolute memorisation of all the obstacles. Who thought this would be fun?! And Turbo Tunnel isn’t even the hardest level! Later levels, like Surf City, Karnath’s Lair, Volkmire’s Inferno, Terra Tubes, Rat Race, and Clinger Winger, besides have terrible names, are all levels that are not only impossible to beat the first time you reach them, even with all your lives and continues, some are borderline just plain impossible to beat for the vast majority of gamers. Unless you are willing to cheat or simply spend an insane amount of hours committing multiple levels to memory, you will simply never beat them.
So I said I beat the game, right? I must be some kind of uber-gamer or did I cheat? YOU’RE FUCKING RIGHT, I CHEATED! I’ll admit it. I played this game as a kid. Probably rented it more than once. I think one of my friends might have owned it too, so I had ample opportunity to practice and master the game (and for the nostalgia to take hold…it didn’t.) I then gave the game a serious try over the holidays, but I just couldn’t beat Turbo Tunnel. So yes, I resorted to cheating. The emulator I was using had two useful features: rewind and slow motion. I also said “SCREW IT!” and cheated through the rest of the game.
I did beat it again and REALLY tried to not cheat. I used the rewind feature on the emulator so I at least didn’t have to beat the first levels over and over and over. I eventually managed to beat every level using slow motion with the exceptions of Turbo Tunnel and Clinger Winger. For the former, I just couldn’t beat it, but I accidentally hit the warp, so I kinda beat it. The latter is by far the worst level in the game. It is excrutiatingly difficult and as far as I can tell, does not offer check points like many other levels do. You have to beat the whole thing from start to finish in one go. As for the rest, I managed to beat at regular speed, but only by dying, without exaggeration, over 1000 times.
I love those old school difficult games. There was nothing more satisfying than playing the Ninja Gaiden trilogy and getting a little bit further into the game, beating another boss, and starting a new level. Sure, you might try to memorise where a bird or bat would appear at a few places, or the pattern of a new enemy, but never did you have to learn a specific set of movements you absolutely had to make, spanning entire sections or levels, and where the failure to do so would mean you simply wouldn’t be able to complete the level. You might get hit a couple more times than necessary, but it was all part of the fun. Didn’t we have to memorise enough crap at school. Coming home to a game like Battletoads… how could it not feel like just more homework? Do I really need to point out that video games should never feel like homework?
I haven’t even touched on the bosses, which are often just as terrible as the levels. There is just so little I’d call fun in this game. I am utterly baffled by the love it gets. People will openly shit on Zelda 2, Super Mario Bros. 2, Final Fantasy VIII, E.T., or Pac-Man (2600), but hardly anyone dares criticise Battletoads. This game is much more like Superman 64 the games I just mentioned. It is virtually unplayable. Hell, so many people will mention the 2 player mode as a reason to like it, while the game is literally impossible to beat in two player mode unless one of the players has lost all their lives. The game breaking bug appears in the 11th level, Clinger Winger. The second player just can’t move.
Now, there are lots of games I don’t like that people love. Most of the time, I get it. I’m just not a fan of the genre or the game simply wasn’t for me. Usually, I can understand where the fans are coming from, even though I don’t feel the same way, but Battletoads is a different story. It has good graphics and a decent soundtrack, but over half of the game requires you to memorise enemy and obstacle placement. This is worse than QTE abuse in modern games. I think the vast majority of people have only played the first three levels and imagined the rest of the game was more like the first two levels. It is certainly what I assumed. I had never imagined that the rest of the game would be even worse. Outside of nostalgia and masochism, I can’t think of a reason why anyone would think this is a great game.
Lots of people seem to disagree though, but I doubt they’d agree with where it ranked, and especially which games it beat out. Battletoads ended up in 74th place… two spots ahead of Doom. Do people really think everyone should play Battletoads more than everyone should play Doom? … I don’t know if I want to live in a world with those people. I think that for games that finished 75th to 162nd, I will finish the reviews by pointing out how many spots behind Battletoads they finished. To the people who have never played it, do yourselves a favour, don’t bother playing this game. It’s a waste of time. Also, the pause music isn’t that great. Get over it.
The next game was supposed to be Skies of Arcadia Legends, but my Wii died last week, so I no longer have the means to play it. Not sure what I will do about it. The Wii is the worst console I have ever owned, so I really don’t want to buy it again. Hopefully, I can fix it myself. We’ll see. Meanwhile, I need to keep going, so Faxanadu will be up next, just in time for Review a Great Game Day. Afterwards, I haven’t quite decided between Resident Evil, Sonic Adventure, and Pokémon Red/Blue.
Take a journey back into the mid 90s arcade scene with me.
What was popular? Street Fighter. Mortal Kombat. NBA Jam. Daytona USA.
All fantastic games, mind you, but it’s a far cry from the cutesy characters of the 80s. Pac-Man and Frogger were long gone, either a distant memory or a distant walk to the back end of the arcade. These games were in your face, with announcers screaming “FINISH HIM! BRAZIL! BOOMSHAKALAKA!”
While hardly a retro game, having been released in 2007, I thought I’d still talk about The Simpsons Game today as I’ve tackled like three Simpsons games before and this one does parody retro games as well as newer ones.
If you follow me on Twitter you may know that my wife and I are expecting our second child in a little over a month. We are both extremely excited and utterly terrified at the prospect of two kids. Preparing for a newborn is akin to prepping for an impending natural disaster…just replace batteries with diapers. I remember how crazy those first few months were with our daughter, Mae. We were young parents on our own and had no real experience with kids. Even though it has been nearly 5 years since our first child was born, I hope I can remember the challenges and apply some of those lessons learned with Mae to baby #2. Today I propose something a little different than what normally appears in my series. I wanted to share a few gaming related tips I recall from my first go around at raising a gamer. Read More
Retro Platforms: Amiga, Arcade, Atari ST, Commodore 64, Sega Genesis, Sega Master System, ZX Spectrum
Platform Reviewed: Sega Genesis
For whatever reason, many retro shooters are themed around space combat: maybe it’s because of a sense of grandiose exploration, perhaps being able to fly quickly in an unlimited space seems exhilarating, or it could just be that stars are really pretty to look at. Aliens have invaded planets, you guide a destined ship meant to save the universe, impossible odds, and so on. But despite the continued reliance on this type of adventure, developers manage to introduce unique atmospheres, ship designs, gameplay mechanics, and even camera styles to help vary things up. Galaxy Force II shows an early attempt to expand rail shooters into 3D, and it experiments with a timer-based health system, indoor and outdoor environmental transitions, and a behind-ship perspective. Despite being fun and creative, however, the game also suffers from some system limitations. Read More
Happy St. Patrick’s Day! I know, it was Tuesday but that is when I’m writing this. As I sip on my whiskey and enjoy the music of my people (I am super Irish, FYI), the time has come continue reuniting my first eight Nintendo 64 reviews with the rest of the class. It has been a fun project for sure, but I am getting antsy to write some new reviews. Still, at only half way there is still much to do. It was about at this point in the review series I realized that I needed to start mixing in games I wasn’t familiar with and that lead to this review from July 14, 2013 of Milo’s Astro Lanes. Read More
Then he groaned, and closed his eyes. He was lying in bed, in one of the dormitory rooms of One More Castle, with a thick blanket wrapped snugly around his handsome frame. He tried to breathe through his snot-stuffed nose, and failed.
Hey folks… I have to admit, I’m kind of ashamed of myself after that last post… Publishing an article I wrote while half drunk on a beach chair lacked some professionalism and I apologize. Not wanting to repeat the same mistake, I was in dire need of some motivation. Fortunately, gaming has a solution for everything. This time, the answer was Classically Trained by Jon Harisson. Some of you may know him as @CT_Blog on Twitter, others may be familiar with the website. Basically, using “allegamy” to further your personal and professional development. I don’t want to dig too much into it, just check out this example instead. Read More
In the early summer of 1996, I was obsessed with getting a Sega Saturn.
Like, I couldn’t eat, sleep or breathe without thinking of this system from the same folks who brought me Sonic the Hedgehog and a sorely underrated X-Men game on the Genesis. More than likely I was being brainwashed by the good people at Sega Visions magazine, who made no mention of the Sega’s blunders in debuting the Saturn in the United States. They just made sure I knew all about this fantastic machine and the amazing games it could play.
Saturday mornings and retro games go together like bacon and, well…everything. We have been preparing for a new addition to our family recently and have had to schedule our gaming time very carefully and Saturdays are perfect for us. There is something about cereal and pajamas that just makes retro games a little more fun. Our past few Saturdays together resulted in some really great Sega moments. The Genesis may not be the best console out there, but it’s ability to bring people together makes it really special. Earlier in this series I had discovered that at one point Sega had a small collection of games branded “Sega Club” that were specifically targeted at 3-5 year olds. My track record for choosing games that fit my daughter’s skill level has been pretty poor lately so I thought I would let the professionals over at Sega Club help point me to age appropriate games. So far we have only had a chance to play one other Sega Club game, Sesame Street Counting Cafe, and thought that it was fun; yet somewhat bland. I finally got my hands on Ecco Jr., another Sega Club exclusive. The game features two adorable dolphins and an orca whale that go on an adventure to meet their hero, Big Blue…why yes you’re right, that does sound delightful. Read More
You know what’s really fun? Redoing a list after getting about 75% done! That’s what happened to this list and that’s why it’s a week late. Honestly, I was about ready to give up and repost an old list from ScrewAttack, but I decided to redo it anyway.