Battletoads (2020, Xbox One)


The Battletoads trio spend much of this reboot/reset/sequel/follow-up attempting to regain their popularity in a haze of fourth wall-shattering humor. It’s legitimately funny, frequently so, and the art style coincides with modern animation; Battletoads wouldn’t be out of place on Cartoon Network.

By the finale, they come together, defeat evil, and shuck their quest for fame. Turns out their celebrity was being used as a distraction against a fascist regime. Funny, were it not so often draped in our current reality. Battletoads is anything but real, from escaping an enema cleansing to, well, three talking toad (maybe) brothers.

Actually playing this thing lacks that same zest though. It’s boring, loaded with dead air, and so maniacal, trying to see through the misshapen enemies to appreciate the animation is nigh impossible. Haphazard variety works on occasion, mostly not though, and the core brawling too sloppy to appreciate. Mini-game flurries either go too long or lack engagement. A mess, basically. The Battletoads have no chance at fame, at least not in videogames. On cable? It’s a possibility.


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