Battletoads/Double Dragon: The Ultimate Team
Box Shot
Battletoads/Double Dragon: The Ultimate Team
Platform: NES
Publisher: Tradewest
Designer: Rare
Genre: Beat-em-up
Players: 2 (Simultaneous)
Published Date 1992
Reviewed by: Matt Hull

Here is an unsung game for the NES. Almost everyone you talk to will remember how great the original Battletoads was but try to talk about Battletoads:Double Dragon and they will ask you what that game is about. You'd think that it would be impossible for Tradewest/Rare to come up with a better game than Battletoads but they came through with one whale of a game. It's too bad that few people realize that they have missed playing a great game.

One of the neatest things about Battletoads/Double Dragon is that you can select characters from both the Battletoads and Double Dragon games. The game engine is the Battletoads world but the Double Dragon characters look as cool as ever and fit right it. You can choose from any of 5 characters. They are Rash, Zitz, Pimple, Billy, and Jimmy. What's so cool is that all of these characters look different from each other so you shouldn't get your guy confused with the other guy in the two player mode. Yes, Battletoads/Double Dragon has a two player mode and is better than the original in the fact that there is an A and B mode (you can choose whether or not you can inflict damage on your teammate.) The Double Dragon characters control great. You can jump by pressing just the A button (you had to press both A and B to jump in the Double Dragon games) and then pressing B to use a jump kick. One of the neatest things is all the moves that each character has. You can punch away, use the Battletoad Butt move, (one of my personal favorites) pick up your enemy and throw him, or use a special weapon such as a pole to get the enemy, get him up the pole, and play a little baseball. (you'll know what I mean if you've played the game) The only thing is that this is Battletoad/Dragon baseball where you use the enemy instead of a ball. :) This game adds some cool humor to it and is a blast to play. I was cracking up when seeing some of the moves that are in this game and the sound effects are really funny. The two player mode is extremely cool.

Another great feature of Battletoads/Double Dragon is the boss setup. You'll fight several bosses from the Battletoads series (Robo Manus and Big Blag) and classic foes from the Double Dragon series (Abobo and Roper) Tradewest/Rare did a sensational job evening things out among the Toads and Dragons enemywise. The story is that the Dark Queen has teamed up with the Shadow Boss and surprises everyone but busting out of the moon with a gargantuan spaceship called the Colossus (it earned this name alright...it's BIG). Now the Toads won't stand for that so they get ready for a battle. However, they are extremely pleased to hear that the Double Dragons want a piece of the action too. After defeating the evil spirit in Marion in Double Dragon 3, the Dragons are ready for some more action. You'll go on top of, inside, and around the Colossus spaceship.

Like in the original, Battletoads/Double Dragon features some beautiful graphics that look 16 bit. The bold colorful world that Rare likes to create is there and I was very pleased to see it the first time I played the game. There is a lot of double scrolling in this game that is unbelieveably smooth. You'll see parts of the spaceship moving and it just looks so fluid/smooth that I can't believe that it's 8 bit! :) The animation in this game is perfect IMO. That's one of the toughest things when making a NES game and Tradewest/Rare was obviously up for the challenge. The backgrounds are excellent and the feel of the game is there.

The soundtrack of Battletoads/Double Dragon is superb and each track (well, most of the tracks) is lengthy to say the least (which is a good thing!) The music sounds new yet "Battletoad-like." That fifth stage track is inredible And when you press pause, you'll hear the bass of the track (remember Super Mario Bros. 2?) I enjoyed the music to the max and it really added flavor to the game.

The play control seems very smooth and all. A little "floaty" but still very well done. Whenever I lose a life, I can't blame it on the play control. That must mean that the game controls well eh? I am very pleased by how responsive the controls are.

Like the first Battletoads game, Battletoads/Double Dragon is a challenging game. However, it is DEFINITELY not nearly as challenging as the first one which is a great thing. You have one vehicle level and a spaceship level and both aren't too difficult. Besides that, you have side-scrolling action packed levels. Although this game could have been longer, it still is a large NES game. It's a BIG plus over the original in the challenge department. You might sling a controller at the TV once or twice but nothing like the original where the TV would get marks on it from all the controllers being thrown at it. :)

Most importantly, Battletoads/Double Dragon is a great NES game that is a lot of fun to play especially with 2 players. Just seeing two sets of very popular characters in one game pak is really cool. It's like seeing a Capcom game with Mega Man and Nemo on the same team. Weird huh? Anyhow, I really like playing this game and it has a lot of lasting value to boot. The only things that I would have really had liked to see in this game is more levels and some Double Dragon style of music. It has 7 levels but with a great game like this, more is better. However, I am very pleased with the game anyway and I HIGHLY recommend it to anyone looking for a "new" NES game to play. It's more fun than the original Battletoads.