Battletoads Soundtrack (Arcade), David Wise, 1994
The final entry in the Battletoads franchise also happens to be one of its less well-known ones. Electronic Arts made a rare attempt at releasing an arcade game, publishing Battletoads as a coin-op, three-player beat’em up. It’s hard to say how successful or not the game was, but no console ports ever saw the light of day. And so, three years after the release of the original NES Battletoads game, the franchise was laid to rest – at least until E3 2018.
The fact that the arcade Battletoads didn’t seem to have made any waves is a bit of a shame. According to both reviewers of the arcade title and the 2015 Rare Replay re-release, this Battletoads game might well have been the strongest entry in the franchise. In a departure from previous Battletoads titles, this game skipped any genre-hopping (no more platforming and speed biking) and only focused on the brawling elements. This made for a less adventurous, but more focused game. Battletoads was also enhanced by great graphics that ramped up the cartoonish violence that had always been part of the franchise – but usually in fairly tame fashion. This time however, Rare was clearly happy to work outside of the limits set by Nintendo’s content policy. The result played like a test run for Conker’s Bad Fur Day, with plenty of blood, swearing and crude jokes.