If all you pranksters out there picked up the phone, called Microsoft, and asked if they had Battletoads, much to your dismay, the answer would now be yes. How unfortunate for your hecklers and trolls. If you haven’t read about Microsoft trademarking the Battletoads name, where have you been? Click the picture below to read you some news:
What does this trademark mean for the Battletoads series? I know my nostalgia meter is off the charts with this series. I am excited for, and highly anticipate, a reprisal of Zitz, Pmple, and Rash in some form soon. What kind of triumphant return could the toads make? Could there be all new, next-gen games released? How about a remastering of their games? Will it be a straight up re-release of the old games as arcade classics on XBLA? Could the Battletoads IP be meshed with other more current IP’s to make a new cross over title? I hope the answer to at least one of those questions is a resounding yes. At the very least, improved graphics and a remastered Battletoads vs Double Dragon would be on my list of must have games, although, I know the most likely outcome would be Microsoft re-releasing the games as arcade classics with online co-op game play. Regardless, that would still be quite fantastic. Why is that? For one, trolling the hell out of people with friendly fire would be hilarious. Well, that or just playing with all your friends and reliving your glory days of beating down a multitude of rats in one of the most difficult games from your past. Along with Contra and Ninja Gaiden, Battletoads set the bar for difficulty in gaming. In some ways the difficulty was cheap and could make you rage like no other, but it was always fun, even with all the broken controllers the game caused (but you know you actually broke those controllers). Also, how can you forget one of the catchiest pause menu songs in the history of gaming?
The big question, if they are planning next gen titles, how could Battletoads be brought into the 21st century with flair? My opinion, if it is a solo reprisal, they should use one of three games as their influence or template of how to do it: Castle Crashers for multi-player mayhem, Ninja Gaiden’s next gen games for a 3D flavor, or Muramasa for a 2D over the top action platformer. If they take the other route and use the toads as part of an amalgam of different IP’s mashed together, one possibility is a fighting game a la Super Smash Bros or Marvel vs Capcom. I don’t think any other series can truly capture lighting in a bottle the same way Super Smash Bros has, so I personally hope they don’t take it that direction. Adding them into a fighting game could show promise, especially if they also reprise other famous Rare characters and other Microsoft owned characters. The only necessary element regardless of play style or game type, the toads must retain their humor and over the top styling to their combat. If there aren’t any gigantic, ram-horned head butts, or ridiculously large, combat boot punts, it’s just not Battletoads. Also, if a next gen beat-em up is the goal, friendly fire better be possible as that was part of their charm in the co-op multiplayer mode. That’s right, kill your friends and give them the old:
Those are just my opinions. What are yours regarding Battletoads? Do you like the idea of resurrecting the series or even the characters? If so, what direction would you take it, whether it be remastering old games or creating next-gen Battletoads titles?