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Nintendo Power Uncovered
Nintendo Power #25: June 1991 - Battletoads
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on November 05, 2013   |   Episode 25 (Show Archive)  

   
After nearly three hundred issues, Nintendo Power has finally come to an end. To send this long-running periodical off in style, the Cover Critic has decided to review every single issue. Join him as he experiences every aspect of Nintendo's journey through their magazine covers.

I don't know the history of Battletoads, Rare's well-received 8-bit action game. However, if I were to take a wild guess, I would assume it involved a lot of alcohol and somebody suggesting they could make a better Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. With names like Rash and Pimple, Battletoads was what the Mutant Turtles would have been if they weren't so worried about looking cultured.

This Nintendo Power cover catches the Toads at the very beginning of their three year reign, long before anybody could imagine a Double Dragon crossover. For many, this is their first exposure to Rare's impossible-to-beat brawler, so it's disappointing to see the short shrift Nintendo Power has given the trio.

There's no excuse for this shoddy work. Somehow the artists at Nintendo Power were able to erect a clay sculpture for Maniac Mansion, but putting all three Battletoads on the cover is a bridge too far. Granted, I doubt even the biggest Rare fanboy could tell me which Toad is missing, but that's hardly the point. Do you think the long-running magazine would do that to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? No, they definitely wouldn't.

The real problem isn't the lack of Zitz (or maybe Pimple?), but rather how stupid the game looks. Oh no, it's the attack of crows and tiny plants! The most menacing character on this cover is a flying orange demon, but he doesn't seem the slightest bit interested in the action below.

The lack of an even moderately interesting bad guy has made my eyes wander, noticing just how strange the staging is. It appears as if the game is set in some sort of theater, complete with a David Lynch-approved curtain and ice machine. I guess that explains the high-kick lifted directly from the Rockettes. But if that's the case, then why are there birds and plants inside the theater? Sometimes I miss the simplicity of the Mutant Turtles.

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