Per the NeoGAF forum, Microsoft has filed for a new trademark for the Battletoads franchise. The trademark filing occurred earlier this month. According to the forum post, the filing was a 1B filing (Application Based on Intent to Use) for game software. The trademark filing does not necessarily mean Microsoft is developing a new Battletoads game or reboot of the franchise, but I hope it is. Previously, Rare created the Battletoads franchise. Microsoft bought out Rare in 2002 for $375 million, so it makes sense that Microsoft is refiling for a trademark. Battletoads was essentially bought out by Microsoft in 2002. It is time for Microsoft to again exploit the Battletoads franchise.
It has been 20 years since the last Battletoads video game with the simply titled Battletoads or Super Battletoads. The game was an arcade-only installment of the franchise, and it was never ported to the 16-bit consoles. The 1994 game contained way more blood and violence and was actually my favorite one in the franchise. It was much more suggestive, edgier and over-the-top than previous games I had played in the franchise. I remember wandering into an arcade at CiCi’s Pizza as a kid and seeing the arcade Battletoads for the first time. I had loved the NES and Gameboy editions of the franchise, so I thought, “Oh, a new Battletoads game. Cool.” Then, I suddenly realized things were different when Zits’ arm transformed into a giant drill, and he used it to violently impale a mutant monster. It was not mean spirited violence, though. The violence and gore was cartoony and exaggerated, more like The Itchy & Scratchy Show antics on The Simpsons. The 1994 arcade game had great graphics and animation for its time.
At the very least, Microsoft should consider re-releasing the older games in the franchise to the Xbox Live Arcade, especially the 1994 arcade version. I am not expecting an updated version with new graphics or anything, but I would enjoy the experience of playing a Battletoads game again.
If Microsoft and Rare ever do develop a reboot of the franchise, they should stick with the basics. Battletoads is a fun, beat ’em up, action-adventure platform game. A reboot would hopefully stick with the formula. The game does not even need to be some massive AAA game release. It could probably be a downloadable title to make things easier–similar to Double Helix’s update of the Strider franchise. Either way, I hope the trademark filing news means Battletoads could see some sort of return sooner rather than later.