Battletoads is almost here! Ryan and I have been watching Xbox, Rare, and DLaLa’s twitter feeds like hawks just waiting for any further information on this game ever since its 2018 reveal. To get an idea of just how hyped I am, check out my E3 2019 gameplay preview.
I was convinced that Battletoads would have been shadow dropped during the Xbox Games Showcase last week but that prediction didn’t come to past. Needless to say I was a little bummed out. Ryan and I speculated that we likely wouldn’t get any further information until late August at the earliest.
Then, like a beam of sunshine piercing the clouds, Rare tweeted out a simple teaser of three frog emojis. That was enough to send fans (including Ryan and I) into accelerated hype mode. If you’re skeptical of the response, please don’t take my word for it. A quick glance at Rare’s twitter feed shows that the Battletoads teaser tweet had more likes, retweets, and responses than most of their Sea of Theves-related tweets for the last month.
Believe me when I tell you that I was refreshing that feed all day thinking that more news was imminent! Eventually, I gave up thinking it was just a troll-tease but then this morning the hype train pulled into the station. A brand new trailer was released complete with an August 20th 2020 release date at the end! Yes, just three weeks from the writing of this post we’ll all be playing Battletoads on Xbox One, Windows 10, and via Steam!
Beyond that the trailer reveals much more about the game than previously known.
The story and art style
There was a glimpse of the story which seems to involve the “Evil Queen” teaming up with the ‘toads against a new enemy called the “Topians”. It is not immediately clear what makes the Topians a threat but I suspect that there is more going on to them beyond their lighthearted appearance.
It also appears that there will be Saturday-morning cartoon quality cut scenes. Know that when I say “Saturday-morning cartoon quality” I mean that in the best way. I know that in some of the later Battletoads games the mood is more gritty and there are a significant group of fans that are disappointed that this new game strays away from that. I have to admit I actually really like the art style and the cartoonish presentation.
This new art style strongly suggests that developer DLaLa is targeting a younger audience. I was a kid when I played the first game on the NES back in 1991 so I think its great that DLaLa went this route with the art so that people in my generation can play with their kids and not worry too much about suggestive humor or over the top gore.
A mix of gameplay genres
The trailer also confirms that Battletoads will have multiple gameplay genres. Obviously, the classic beat-em-up style is served up but with it comes everything from platforming, to side scrolling shooter action.
The mix of gameplay styles is an integral element to what makes Battletoads so fun and memorable beyond just the punishing difficulty. Knowing that DeLaLa is keeping that in this new game is very reassuring.
Battletoads is now an Xbox Game Pass Killer App
However, easily the biggest news from this new trailer is the official release date.
Though, there is a deeper story here that I think is getting lost in the excitement. Battletoads is coming to Xbox’s Game Pass for console and PC on day one. That alone is awesome but there is another layer to it.
If anyone who already has Game Pass can pre-download the game right now. Furthermore, pre-downloads seem to be exclusive to Game Pass.
Currently, the game can’t be pre-ordered at all. As of the writing of this piece there isn’t even an MSRP for the game.
This is a clear move by Xbox to drive people to signing up for Game Pass by capitalizing on the nostalgia-fueled hype. My marketing-brain sees this as excellent strategy to get a quick jump in subscriptions.
GamePass members will be ready to go right down to the second while everyone else will need to wait for the download to finish. It is not a huge amount of time but the convenience can’t be understated. Especially when considering such a highly anticipated game.
What do you think of the trailer released today? Are you excited for Battletoads? Will you sign up for Game Pass just to pre-download the game right now?
Let us know in the comments or tweet to us at @GameOctane. We really want to know what you think!