Amiga Power1st October 1994
Published in Amiga Power #42
It'd probably be best not to try licking them - you might turn green.
Battletoads, before you consider exciting yourself over the emergence of the most long-awaited game in Amiga history, is cack. Our seeds of suspicion that this might be the case were sown by the fact that Mindscape didn't even see fit to send us a review copy. Were they just having a busy week? Had they just forgotten? Or does it rather suggest that they thought if they put it in a nice box and got it into the shops before we at Amiga Power had a chance to dissuade you otherwise, it might just sell? [Who can tell? - Ed]
We can only hope that none of you acted before sensibly waiting for a word or two from us because, rather embarrassingly, we didn't even know Battletoads was out until I inadvertently walked into a computer shop in Bristol the other day (to try to get recognised - still no luck, though) and, in an unguarded moment, saw it on the shelf. Or more correctly, reduced to £10 in the Bargain bin, a large-scale version of which should surely be constructed, and into which all copies of Battletoads should be flung to rot for ever more. We often tell you here at Amiga Power that games are 'crap', but if there was ever a reason for relaxing Future Publishing's rules on swearing, then Battletoads is it; this game is not so much crap as ["Quite clearly" - Ed] terrible.
Battletoads is divided into twelve levels. The first is a scrolling beat-'em-up, very much a poor man's Golden Axe (walk up to baddies and press Fire), the second is like that bit in Ghostbusters 2 (the game) where you are lowered down a cavern on a rope (swing into baddies and press Fire), the third has you in a spaceship flying through a scrolling tunnel (move up and down to avoid the rocks and press Fire), the fourth is a vertically scrolling version of the first and, from what I gather from the positively ancient NES original (on which this is based), it carries on in pretty much the same vein from there on.
"Everything" is, of course, the answer to the question "Okay, but what exactly is the problem?" The sprites are tiny with only three frames of animation, the scrolling brings tears to the eyes, the sound effects are so bad they'd make a Speccy blush, and (if you haven't already thrown a brick through the screen in disgust at the appalling backdrops) the music would have you seriously considering ripping the speaker out of your television.
There are programming bugs (jump over a gap and the screen might not scroll in time to let you over; you can kill baddies off-screen, and sometimes even walk off yourself), there are blatant design flaws (you can fall off the edge of level one - great) and the manual is awful, filling you in for eight pages on the toads' ages, history, hobbies, favourite flavours of Cornetto, etc, and then cramming the controls into seven lines (with no mention of how to barge into people on level one, or how to turn into a bashing ball while swinging down the ropes on level two. Cheers). Having such a varied line-up of levels was stupid (you can't help thinking that if they'd got the beat-'em-up bit right and moderated the rest into sub-games, it wouldn't be quite so bar). [Er, Rich, is obviously complaining about the variety of levels being poor, rather than dismissing the variety itself as a silly idea. - Ed] and, oh, I give up.
Battletoads is cack, right, and if it gets ten percent it ought to count itself extremely lucky.
The Bottom Line
Uppers: At long last, finally, eventually, boy-we-previewed-this-so-long-ago-I-don't-think-my-voice-had-even-broken-then, you can play Battletoads on your Amiga.
Downers: Don't however, expect your computer ever to speak to you again if you try.
There is absolutely no fun to be had playing Battletoads on the Amiga. It's chronically badly-programmed, and the only reason you'd ever carry on playing past your first game is to see what all the levels look like. Quite frankly, this never ever should have been released.