Earth is under fire by Colossus, a battleship the size of a city. Using powerful laser cannons, it has destroyed most of Earth’s defence forces, while its many troops clean up the rest of the planet. All expect for 5 warriors.
The Battletoads, who are well aware of evil forces in the galaxy, join forces with Billy and Jimmy Lee from Double Dragon to defend Earth from the deadly ship and its troops. Using a range of special moves you must fight your way through the streets into the heart of the ship and destroy it.
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Based off of the gameplay of the Battletoads franchise, Battletoads and Double Dragon is a side-scrolling beat-em-up game. Players can punch and kick enemies across a variety of levels on the Dark Queen’s ship. Using a variety of combos, players can perform special attacks such as grabs, special kicks, or spinning attacks. The game also allows players to run by double tapping on the D-pad, giving players the ability to perform a charging attack.
Other than traditional beat-em-up stages, there are a variety of levels that differ from traditional format. One level has the characters flying on high-speed hoverbikes, fighting each other along the way. Additionally, the game has more exploration than the Double Dragon games, with some levels incorporating vertical and horizontal directions (e.g. ladders, branching pathways). There are several levels that are in the style of a side-scrolling shooter, putting players in control of a ship attempting to destroy the Dark Queen’s minions.
Featuring a two player cooperative mode, Battletoads and Double Dragon was criticized for the inclusion of one feature in this mode. Players’ continues overlap, so when one player loses all of their lives, both players are forced to completely start over the level. This was a feature criticized especially by fans, who found that it makes the game very difficult.
While Technos Japan Corporation did allow for the license to be used, there was little involvement from their team, causing a variety of incorrectly named enemies, completely new enemies, or concepts based on the Double Dragon cartoon series.
This caused minor backlash from fans of Double Dragon for the more major inconsistencies, such as the Shadow Boss (which was the name of Jimmy Lee’s character in Double Dragon), Roper (a boss who is actually an incorrectly named Willy), and several characters new to the franchise (Shadow Marines, Doorman, Windowman of Doom, and Ryders).