Battletoads in Battlemaniacs

I decided long ago that I just wasn’t hardcore enough to finish the original Battletoads game. Why, then, would I attempt to play a sequel? Maybe I’m a glutton for punishment, maybe I’m eternally optimistic to think that I’ll have a chance to be better at a sequel, maybe I’m a sucker for pretty graphics, or maybe I just wanted the chance to play as Pimple, the unplayable ‘Toad from the first game.

The story is very similar to the first game in the series. In that game a princess and a Battletoad (Pimple) got kidnapped, and the remaining team had to go to the planet and save them. In this game the daughter of some guy and a Battletoad (Zitz) got kidnapped, and the remaining team had to go into a virtual reality simulator to save them.

You even have similar locales: Speeder Bike Level, Tree Level, Giant Snake Level (Karnath’s Lair), Clinger Winger-like stage, and a Race-to-the-bottom-of-a-shaft-to-diffuse-a-bomb level. All ripped unceremoniously from the first game, given a face lift, and crowbarred into this one. The only original stages are the first stage and the bonus levels (where you inexplicably slide around on a giant checker across a chessboard, avoiding rats and collecting bowling pins for extra lives).

So what you end up with is essentially a remake of the original game, distilled down to its ‘greatest hits’, and polished up to a fine luster. But what about the difficulty? The first game is monstrously difficult for my addled game-playing skills, and this one is too. But I’m not sure if it’s a combination of the reduced stage count or the slightly increased opportunities for extra lives, but I was actually able to complete this game, several times, in fact. Though, oddly enough, due to the bizarre button layout, I was only able to to that by using my Super Advantage joystick controller.

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