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Battletoads & Double Dragon, also known as Battletoads & Double Dragon: The Ultimate Team, is a 1993 beat 'em up game developed by Rare and published by Tradewest. It was originally released for the NES and later ported to the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis, Super NES, and Game Boy.
The Ultimate Team is a crossover of both Technos Japan's Double Dragon and Rare's own Battletoads game franchises, although Technos had little or no credited involvement in the production of the game outside of the Double Dragon license. The game features the characters from the Double Dragon series, Billy and Jimmy Lee, two young martial arts experts; also included are the three humanoid toad protagonists from the Battletoads game. It is also the first Battletoads game to feature all three toads as playable characters. The game's engine and design are directly based upon the Battletoads series.
The player has a choice of five playable characters: Billy and Jimmy Lee from Double Dragon, and Zitz, Pimple and Rash from Battletoads. The player must then proceed through seven stages, kicking and punching each enemy that comes onscreen. A boss is included at the end of each stage, challenging the player before they can progress to a higher level of the game.
With two players, the continues are overlapping: whenever one player continues, then both players have to start at the beginning of the level (this is the opposite of games like Contra, where a strong player can tow a weak player along to advanced levels; in Battletoads & Double Dragon, a weak player will hold a strong player back).
After being defeated by the Battletoads, the evil Dark Queen flees to the outer reaches of the universe and the 'Toads and their mentor get on with their lives. However, one day the Earth's military is neutralized and a giant spaceship called Colossus emerges from the moon. Apparently, the Dark Queen is back in another plan to dominate the galaxy, and she has allied herself with the Shadow Warriors (from the Double Dragon series) to supplement her forces. Deciding to even the odds, the Battletoads get in contact with Billy and Jimmy Lee and ask them for their help. The brothers agree, and all five immediately take off for the Colossus in a mission to stop this two-pronged threat.
The initial NES version of the game features 3D scrolling and other advanced special effects not commonly found on the console. The Game Boy version is similar to the NES version, but it is only for one player. The sprites are the same size although the screen is smaller (leaving less room for movement) and the 3D effects were removed.
The later Mega Drive/Genesis and Super Nintendo versions of the game are quite similar, the only differences being the SNES version has better graphics and higher quality sound, while the Sega version runs more smoothly, features more music tracks, has sharper sprites for the 'toads, and more comical reactions from the characters and from defeated enemies, as well as blood from said enemies' post-defeat portraits.
The game was very well received upon its release, receiving scores in range of 80-100% in most reviews.
Nintendo Power staff rated it as the second-best NES game of 1993. The NES version was also nominated for Nintendo Power Awards 1993 in the categories "Graphics & Sound", "Theme & Fun", "Play Control", "Villain" (The Dark Queen) and "The Best Overall Game". The game was featured on the lists of top 11 video game crossovers" by UGO Networks and the 15 most bizarre crossovers in gaming by GamesRadar.