Microsoft has not done a great job with Rare. At Least not compared to when Nintendo worked with Rare. The gulf between the quality of the Nintendo Games and the quality of the Microsoft games is quite deep. They have been doing better recently, as far as the Xbox One era is concerned (thank you for finally giving up on the Kinect); Killer Instinct, Rare Replay, and the soon to come Sea of Thieves. Two good and one that has potential.
Rare Replay had particularly caught my attention. As someone that grew up with those games, the nostalgia hit me hard and reminded me of the great library that they have amassed and done very little with. Of course not all the games in there were gems. I doubt anyone is clamoring for a Cobra Triangle remake (though I did waste many hours on it when I was a kid), but playing Battletoads again reminded me of the love and hatred I had for that game. Thank god Rare decided to have a rewind button because I don’t know how anyone, especially modern gamers, could get through such a tough game. While playing through in another failed attempt to finally beat the original, I was thinking of what would be the equivalent of this game today. As I sat there playing Battletoads; constantly dying and rewinding. Thinking about games I’ve played and the games I’ve liked. I kept going back to the same answer: God of War.
When you think about it, it makes perfect sense. If God of War had been thought up during the NES/SNES era, it would have certainly been a side scrolling beat’em up with light platforming and lighter puzzle solving (well probably no puzzle solving). Pretty much a 2D version of what exists today minus the puzzles.
There’s all sorts of ways to take advantage of the Battletoads skill set to even surpass a God of War gameplay wise, or at least mimic some of the ideas from it. You want to swing around? Well they got tongues that could take care of that. They can scale walls easily, they’re amphibians after all, they tend to have that ability in real life (and if that’s just frogs and salamanders well…it’s a video game and I’m not a herpetologist) Also using poison in some way? I don’t know, just spit balling here and don’t forget about jumping. I know the story is probably going to be nonsense, but hopefully it’s entertaining and funny nonsense with a lot of set pieces.
When you play Battletoads Arcade, it has everything a God of War game has, or rather God of War has everything it had. A plethora of enemies to kill? Check. Screen filling bosses? Check. Light platforming? Check. It even has a tunnel stage. The infamous hover-bike tunnel stage from the original has an equivalent in God of War III and that’s the Icarus wing tunnel stages. God of War also uses the beat’em up staple of moving forward, stop, clear out enemies, and then proceed forward again. Well, so does Devil May Cry and any number of games of that ilk, but you get what I’m trying to say.
Instead of Microsoft wasting the Battletoads in Killer Instinct, they should make a fully-fledged God of War style Battletoads game. They have the 3D models already created (Rash at least). They have the fighting move set. They would just have to tone the fighting move sets down a bit for it to work for a new game. Got to have more to it than just fighting in this day and age. Just a remake of Battletoads Arcade would probably do the job and please Microsoft don’t make it open world. The new Ninja Turtles game tried that and failed. I’ll take intricate linear stages over bland open worlds any day of the week.
Rare is Microsoft’s golden goose. A new Battletoads is their golden egg. Why Microsoft can’t see it or refuses to acknowledge it is beyond me. Microsoft needs to make this happen. With E3 just around the corner hopefully Microsoft has some surprises in store. Make the Xbox fans and the cynical gamers scream from the top of the mountains “glory be to the Xbox”. I’ve heard Microsoft likes to listen to their fans and takes pride in giving them what they want. So Microsoft, I implore you; lend me your ear, mull it over a bit, and make the right decision.