Battletoads, that most nineties of franchises, is returning to the gaming scene in August after lying dormant for a quarter of a century. Specifically, Microsoft and developer Dlala Studios is finally releasing Battletoads 2020. If you’re a youngster and don’t know what you’re in for, I recommend taking a look at the trailer:
The new Battletoads game was revealed, rather unexpectedly, at the 2018 Microsoft E3 show. Fans have been calling for an HD remake for years — GameInformer added it to a list of series that deserve a revival in 2010. The series got a boost in popularity when the original 1991 NES game was re-released as part of the Rare Replay collection (which, as Microsoft so helpfully touts in its release announcement, is available on Xbox Game Pass).
Microsoft touts the game’s genre mishmash, with vehicle sections, bullet hell, and “even some puzzle-solving” mixed in with the beat-em-up gameplay. You’ll also apparently be able to bring friends into the game with 3-person couch co-op. Considering it’s also being released on Steam, which has Remote Play Together, that’ll likely mean you can play with just about anyone if you’re on PC.
If I can find a word to describe the game based on what’s been shown so far, the dominant word I would use to describe it would be “silly.” It doesn’t look like it takes itself, or games in general, seriously. While jokes in the trailer don’t have the most sophisticated punchlines, I’ll be very honest when I say this will be what I need come the end of August, by which time the games I will have played the most in the preceding three months are Last of Us Part 2, Ghost of Tsushima, and Mafia 2 Remastered. If you were missing some nineties energy — understandable given the lockdown is starting to get a little old, even to an introverted tortoise like myself — then Battletoads will sate your need, no matter how self-consciously.
Battletoads 2020 is coming out August 20 on Xbox One and Steam. It’ll also be available to Game Pass subscribers the same day.