If there’s one franchise where the love outstrips the games available, it’s Battletoads. There have only ever been five Battletoads games, and the last one came out in 1994, but you’ll be hard pressed to find a gamer in their late twenties or early thirties who didn’t know and curse relentlessly the Turbo Tunnel. And a large hint has been dropped that some more Battletoads is on the way.
Nothing is actually set in stone, mind you, but the hints are there. The most obvious is Phil Spencer at yesterday’s Windows 10 presentation, wearing a Battletoads T-shirt and telling Gamespot that he’s never “worn a t-shirt that’s been a complete head-fake.” Considering this is the same company that revived Killer Instinct, even if it was poorly thought through, and Microsoft is more or less following the same path it did with Killer Instinct: Renewing the trademark, dropping the hint, and then revealing the game.
That said, I’m not sure what form this game could, or should, take. The original series is acclaimed for bringing new meaning to the phrase Nintendo Hard, and it’s also a side-scrolling brawler, not exactly the most vivacious of genres lately. Still, underlying the ridiculous difficulty and middle-school humor was some rock-solid game design, and that tends never to go out of style. We’ll likely see what Microsoft has planned for Zitz, Rash and Pimple sometime this year.