Battletoads: This Toads For You Preview
Battletoads: This Toads For You Box Art
System: Wii
Dev: Square Enix
Pub: Square Enix
Release: June 2011
Players: 1-3
Screen Resolution: N/A
Battletoads Come to Wii
by Robert VerBruggen

What was the best game of the NES era? Battletoads, if you ask us. This masterpiece combined beat-'em-up gameplay with well-balanced difficulty, not to mention graphics that still look amazing twenty years later. Its creators also had a remarkably original idea when it came to character design: the protagonists were a gang of anthropomorphic toads that looked pretty much like turtles, and they ran around beating things up. This notion had never been explored by another creator of children's entertainment, ever, and especially not another franchise of cartoons and beat-'em-up video games.

Battletoads: This Toads For You Screenshot

That's why Cheat Code Central is proud to break the news that a fresh Battletoads adventure will be coming to the Wii, courtesy of Square Enix. The folks at SE are promising to blend the original title's spirit with the kind of games they themselves were making in 1991. That's right: It will be a 2D RPG with real-time beat-'em-up battles. "I really believe this is the best game we've ever published," said Yoichi Wada, Square Enix's president, in an exclusive interview with CCC. "It's better than Front Mission Evolved."

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This will be an absolutely authentic, old-school experience. "You'll just be walking along, minding your own business in a wide-open field, with no enemies in sight, and then BAM! You're in a battle," Wada said.

Once a battle begins, things get interesting. You'll face your previously invisible attackers not in a turn-based fight, but on a variation of a classic Battletoads level. This can mean button-mashing your way through layers of enemies, running an obstacle course on a speed bike, or facing down a boss. As you level up, you will develop magical powers that can make your life easier. To reflect their supernatural abilities, your toads will sprout the hip, colorful hairstyles SE made famous in its Final Fantasy series. Just imagine an androgynous Zitz with a spiky blue 'do!

Battletoads: This Toads For You Screenshot

The Battletoads' clever finishing moves will be back, too. Whereas the first game preceded the groundbreaking developments of Mortal Kombat and the ESRB M rating, today Square Enix will be free to fully and accurately depict the full scope of toad violence. "We see it as a crucial part of our social message that we not mislead the public as to the depravity of goring an enemy with horns," Wada explained. In an early build we played, the blood spattered so far and wide that it stuck on the "camera" and dripped slowly down the screen. We can't even describe what happens when you finish an enemy off with a wrecking ball.

In each section of the map, there will be a practice hub. "In a true early-'90s RPG, you can never get enough EXP just by playing through the game," Wada said. "So we're sure to put lots of training opportunities throughout the map, where you can just kill enemies over and over to level up. Some call this 'grinding.' We call it classic."

Of course, the developers are having a hard time figuring out one aspect of the gameplay: saving. "Asking people to play a twenty-hour RPG adventure without turning off their console seems like a bit much, but at the same time, would it be any fun if you didn't lose lots of hard work every time your toads ran out of lives?" asked Wada. The team decided to compromise: If you want to save, you have to beat a "tower climb" level with one life. If you fail, not only is it game over, but all your previous saves are erased.

Battletoads: This Toads For You Screenshot

Of course, the developers are having a hard time figuring out one aspect of the gameplay: saving. "Asking people to play a twenty-hour RPG adventure without turning off their console seems like a bit much, but at the same time, would it be any fun if you didn't lose lots of hard work every time your toads ran out of lives?" asked Wada. The team decided to compromise: If you want to save, you have to beat a "tower climb" level with one life. If you fail, not only is it game over, but all your previous saves are erased.

As a preorder bonus, Square Enix will be offering a limited-edition Battletoads Wii-mote protector. "A lot of people loved the original Battletoads so much they threw their controllers in joy," notes Wada. "Given the lawsuits that Nintendo has suffered from damage caused by stray Wii-motes already, we figured we'd make sure we were protected. Always practice safe gaming -- put a rubber glove on your controller!"

Speaking of the Wii-mote, the developers are hard at work incorporating MotionPlus into the action. In the game's many obstacle courses, players will control their toads purely by gesture, which is of course easier and more precise than pressing buttons on a D-pad. Experimenting with this feature made us so happy we put the demo system's Wii-mote protector to the test!

Wada was reticent to share details about the plot, and our translator had a really thick accent, but here's what we were able to pull out of the SE head with our reportorial cunning (we think): The primary villain will be an evil, deep-voiced Japanese man named Ripper, who wears samurai armor and a cape at all times. His sidekick, Crane, is basically a big brain with eyes who's hooked into a machine that helps him move. Whenever they leave their headquarters, the Technology Dome, the two travel underground by means of a "moving module," which is basically a big drill. (Maybe this explains why you never see the enemies before they attack.) The game will also introduce Sliver, a large mouse who offers the heroes wisdom and guidance when the going gets tough.

Where do they come up with this stuff?

Anyhow, the game is due in June -- the 20th anniversary of the original. Mark your calendars, and plan on visiting your local game seller at midnight so you don't miss out on a single second of owning this fantastic title.

By Robert VerBruggen
CCC Freelance Writer


Game Features:

  • An all-new Wii adventure based on the classic NES game!
  • Developer Square Enix brings a classic RPG touch, and emo hair, to a timeless and original fighting-turtle franchise.
  • Innovative saving system brings an unprecedented level of challenge to an already difficult series.



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