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Battletoads is coming back to Xbox One

Rare’s hard-as-hell side-scroller returns in 2019

Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

Battletoads, the legendary hard-ass side-scroller of the 8-bit console generation, will return in 2019 — with “body-morphing genre mashups, three-player couch co-op, 4K hand-drawn 2.5D graphics, and broad non-specific feature declarations,” Microsoft announced today at its E3 2018 keynote.

Dlala Studios is handling the job. A news release from Microsoft following the game’s reveal suggested this might be an entirely new game, as opposed to straight port of the first game. Battletoads was last brought to the Xbox One in 2014 as part of the 30-game Rare Replay anthology.

Originally released June 1, 1991 by Rare (a studio owned by Microsoft since 2003) for the Nintendo Entertainment System, Battletoads has long been a badge of courage for any player brave enough to try it. It was an unreasonably hard game, earning Internet meme status a decade ago.

For almost five years, Xbox has been tantalizing old-school side-scroller fans with the idea that Battletoads might one day return. In 2015, Spencer pointedly wore a green Battletoads T-shirt to a Windows 10 showcase prior to the announcement of Rare Replay. And Battletoad mascot Rash cameoed as a playable fighter in Killer Instinct’s third season of content on Xbox One.

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