Battletoads in Battlemaniacs

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Battletoads in Battlemaniacs
Battletoads in Battlemaniacs
North American SNES box art
Developer(s) Rare Ltd. (SNES)
Syrox Developments (SMS)
Publisher(s) NA Tradewest (SNES)

EU Tradewest (SNES)
AU Nintendo (SNES)
JP NCS (SNES)
BRA Tec Toy (SMS)

Composer(s) David Wise
Matt Furniss
Series Battletoads
Platform(s) SNES, Master System
Release date(s) SNES
NA 199306June 1993

EU 199310October 1993
AU 1993
JP 19940107January 7, 1994

Genre(s) Beat 'em up, platformer, action
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer

Battletoads in Battlemaniacs is a 1993 platforming beat 'em up video game developed by Rare and published by Tradewest for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. The game was released in North America in June 1993, in Europe in October 1993 and in Japan on January 7, 1994. It was also ported for the Sega Master System and released exclusively in Brazil. Released around the same time as Battletoads & Double Dragon, Battletoads in Battlemaniacs is an installment in the Battletoads series.

The game follows two Battletoads, Rash and Pimple, on a quest to stop Silas Volkmire and the evil Dark Queen from ruling over the world. Many of its levels are enhanced or remixed versions of levels from the original Battletoads, featuring similar mechanics and gameplay styles. Battletoads in Battlemaniacs received mostly positive response from critics, receiving an aggregate score of 78% from GameRankings. The game was praised for its varied gameplay and music, but criticized for its lack of originality and easy difficulty.

Gameplay[edit]

Pimple uses the "Battletoad Butt" special move to defeat an enemy. As in previous games, the artistic style of Battletoads in Battlemaniacs is decidedly cartoony, as shown here by the massive, exaggerated ram horns.

Battletoads in Battlemaniacs is an action-platform beat 'em up game that takes place inside the Gamescape, a fictional, virtual world where computer-generated villains created by Silas Volkmire run amok.[1] The player controls either Rash or Pimple, depending on which controller they have plugged in, and have longer health meters than in previous games. Unlike previous entries in the Battletoads series, however, each character has their own combo attacks and special moves. Pimple, for example, can use the "BT Big Hammer" special move at the end of a combo, wherein an exaggerated hammer protrudes from his fists, instantly killing his foes.[2] Rash, on the other hand, can use the classic "Big Boot Block" move from the original Battletoads, where his foot transforms into a massive, spiky boot.[2]

The game is split up into six stages, each with their own special type of gameplay. For example, the first stage, "Khaos Mountains" is a side-scrolling beat 'em up, whereas the fifth stage, "Tracktors" is a racing level that takes place on rails.[3] Though the stages feature unique twists on gameplay styles, all of the stages are actually enhanced versions of their Battletoads counterparts. For instance, stage three, "Speeder Bikes" is very similar to the original game's third stage, which also featured the player racing on speedbikes and dodging obstacles in the same way.[3] In addition, stage four, "Karnath's Revenge" also resembles the original game's sixth stage, wherein the player rides along massive, fast-moving snakes in order to get to the exit.[3]

Battletoads in Battlemaniacs also features a handful of bonus stages in which the player can earn extra lives. These stages appear after the second and fifth stages, respectively, and feature Rash or Pimple on a circular disc as the screen scrolls to the right, allowing the player to collect red and blue colored bowling pins and avoid the black ones. In addition, the game features a handful of boss fights, ranging from a massive stone pig named Rocky, who jumps high in the air and stomps the ground, to the Dark Queen herself, who teleports around her tower and shoots magic missiles at the player.[4]

Plot[edit]

The story begins with the Battletoads visiting the Gyachung-La fortress in northern Tibet. Professor T. Bird has invited them there to witness the Psicone Corporation's first demonstration of their new virtual reality game system, T.R.I.P.S (Total Reality Integrated Playing System).[5] While showing off the system's artificial world (entitled "The Gamescape"), a pig of the apocalypse leaps out of the screen and kidnaps Michiko Tashoku (daughter of Psicone Corporation's CEO, Yuriko Tashoku). Zitz attempts to rescue her, but gets knocked out by the pig and captured as well. The pig escapes back into the Gamescape and Silas Volkmire appears on the screen, announcing his plans to turn the real world into his own Gamescape, and that Michiko and Zitz are being held captive under the evil Dark Queen.[6] With nothing left to lose, Rash and Pimple enter the Gamescape to rescue their friends and stop Volkmire and the Dark Queen from fulfilling their plans.

Along the way, they fight Rocky, a giant stone pig, and race against Scuzz, a rat that challenges them all throughout the final level. The Battletoads finally reach the Dark Queen in her tower and defeat her, but she manages to escape again. Bird picks up Volkmire on his scanners and finds out that he's trying to escape using a teleporter, so the Battletoads leave the Gamescape and hop into the Battlecopter to chase after him.[7]

Depending on the player's actions during this final gameplay segment, there are two possible endings that may occur. If the player is unable to shoot three missiles at Volkmire's teleporter, he gets away, and the Battletoads feel dejected knowing that Volkmire is free and the Dark Queen wants revenge.[8] If the player successfully shoots three missiles at Volkmire's teleporter, the ship crashes in the Himalayas and is recovered, but Volkmire is nowhere to be found.[9] Similarly to the first ending, it is alluded to that Volkmire and the Dark Queen will want revenge.[10]

Release[edit]

Battletoads in Battlemaniacs was first released for the SNES in North America in June 1993, in Europe in October of 1993, in Australia in 1993 and in Japan on January 7, 1994 for the SNES. The game ported in 1994 to the Sega Master System by Syrox Developments and was going to be published in Europe by Virgin Interactive with a stated July 1994 launch date.

However, the European release was pulled out in the last moment by unknown reasons and with the game already having been reviewed by British video game press. The game was released in a barely finished state by Tec Toy in Brazil in 1996; it an unpolished build of the game, with some stages not having music and minor glitches, some including a choppy scrolling floor in the bonus stages and invisible obstacles in the turbo tunnel.[11]

Reception[edit]

Reception
Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 78% (SNES)[12]
Review scores
Publication Score
Electronic Gaming Monthly 8.25/10 stars[12]
Nintendo Power 3.625/5 stars[13]
Sega Power 72% (SMS)[11]

GameRankings, a game review aggregator, assigned Battletoads in Battlemaniacs for the SNES an averaged score of 78% based on two reviews.[12] Retrospectively, the staff of GamesRadar ranked the SNES version as the 30th best game on the platform, praising it for having "some of the best graphics on the system" and offering "one hell of an experience," stating: "The bosses are massive, the music is rockin', and the ever-present ‘90s attitude is in full effect--who cares if it’s a cynical knock-off of TMNT when it looks and plays this good?"[14] In 2013, Arcade Sushi ranked it as the fourth best retro game in the beat 'em up genre.[15]

Andy Smith from Sega Power gave the Master System version 72%, praising the game for its "varied types of action" and "occasional humorous touches", but criticizing it for its "mediocre graphics", "[b]utton-stabbing tendencies" and its easy difficulty.[11] Smith's most common complaint was the game's lack of originality, explaining that "Battletoads had shades of originality. Battlemaniacs just has shades." He described the game as "showing signs of rapid aging."[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Rare Staff (June 1993), Battletoads in Battlemaniacs Instruction Manual, Tradewest, p. 8, SNS-NX-USA 
  2. ^ a b Rare Staff (June 1993), Battletoads in Battlemaniacs Instruction Manual, Tradewest, p. 20, SNS-NX-USA 
  3. ^ a b c Rare Staff (June 1993), Battletoads in Battlemaniacs Instruction Manual, Tradewest, pp. 8–10, SNS-NX-USA 
  4. ^ Rare Staff (June 1993), Battletoads in Battlemaniacs Instruction Manual, Tradewest, pp. 11–12, SNS-NX-USA 
  5. ^ Rare (June 1993). Battletoads in Battlemaniacs. Tradewest. "Professor T. Bird: 'Toads, I have invited you here to witness the first demonstration of Psicone's new games generator." 
  6. ^ Rare (June 1993). Battletoads in Battlemaniacs. Tradewest. "Silas Volkmire: Pay attention battlejerks! I, Silas Volkmire, intend to turn your miserable world into my very own gamescape! The Dark Queen holds your feeble friends captive, and if you try anything, you'll never see them again! Ha-ha-ha-ha!!" 
  7. ^ Rare (June 1993). Battletoads in Battlemaniacs. Tradewest. "Professor T. Bird: I've just picked up Silas Volkmire on my scanners, trying to escape using a teleporter!!" 
  8. ^ Rare (June 1993). Battletoads in Battlemaniacs. Tradewest. "Narrator: Dejected, the 'Toads return to Psicone, their only consolation being that his partner in crime, the Dark Queen, won't be causing any trouble. / Narrator: But with Volkmire free, and the Queen wanting revenge, it will only be a matter of time before the dire duo try again..." 
  9. ^ Rare (June 1993). Battletoads in Battlemaniacs. Tradewest. "Narrator: Volkmire's burnt out ship is retrieved from the Himalayas, but of his body, there is no trace..." 
  10. ^ Rare (June 1993). Battletoads in Battlemaniacs. Tradewest. "Narrator: Who knows what happened to him, but you can be sure of one thing, both he and the Dark Queen will remember the day they took on the Battletoads - and lost!!" 
  11. ^ a b c d "Battlemaniacs", Sega Power (56), July 1994: 52, archived from the original on 2012-02-19, retrieved 2013-08-16 
  12. ^ a b c Battletoads in Battlemaniacs, GameRankings, archived from the original on 2013-07-21, retrieved 2013-08-16 
  13. ^ "Battletoads in Battlemaniacs", Nintendo Power (49), June 1993 
  14. ^ "Best SNES games". GamesRadar. 2014-05-09. Retrieved 2014-05-13. 
  15. ^ "10 Best Retro Beat ‘Em Ups". Arcadesushi.com. 2013-05-30. Retrieved 2013-09-27. 

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