Awful Moments in Multiplayer Games: Battletoads

battletoadsBattletoads is considered a classic. Released on the NES in 1991, ported to just about everything, and spawning spin-offs and sequels, the Tradewest triple-threat of Zitz, Rash, and Pimple still live on in gaming lore.

Why is it here? It’s one of the few games to include multiplayer that actually made the game harder. While the opening level seems simple, including fun beat-em-up and platforming action with fantastic animation, the second is not so simple. Here the Battletoads drop down a pit on a ropes, using special moves to bash enemies… and your partner. The crowded confines and instant death of electrical fields are bad enough, but when you also have to contend with your partner, it’s just one more thing to deal with.

Then level three happens… a speeder bike stage where even split second reaction time is not enough. It’s about memory, and if either player is off by a split second, be prepared to start wasting shared continues. Killer, climbable¬† snakes follow, along with one of the tallest towers ever in a video game where enemies zip around corners as both players try to stay on the same page.

It is not enough to beat Battletoads going solo, which is an achievement by itself. The sheer brutality comes into play when you’re with a friend, certainly a detriment to this frustratingly hard classic, and reason enough for entry here.

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