114. Toxic Crusaders

Toxic Crusaders (1992, NES) by Bandai

Current Any% Leaderboard (speedrun.com)

Toxic Crusaders (NES)
-Toxic Crusaders (Game Boy)
-Toxic Crusaders (Genesis)
-Kung-Fu (NES)

I admit: I’ve never seen The Toxic Avenger all the way through.  I’ve seen bits of it, pieces of it, and honestly I never was much of a fan.  It’s a gory, sloppy, slasher-house type of film, and I’m not a huge fan of those, but I do get the appeal: it’s a fun way to waste some time with friends or just to have some mindless entertainment.  I do remember the cartoon series from the ’90s, but not by much.  To me, it always felt like it was trying to be the Ninja Turtles.  I never liked it.  But I can see the appeal to kids, even if it never appealed to me.

The game based on that cartoon series flew under my radar then, as I never had interest in it at all.  I had never played nor even seen this game before the Nerd reviewed it 9 (!) years before I ran it in the Trials.  When I turned this on, I was coming off the heels of the WORST game I’ve played on the NES: Rocky & Bullwinkle.  So that might play into why I enjoyed this one so much, but I truly did: this is a TON of fun!  With vivid and bright graphics, some of the best music I’ve ever heard on the NES, and tight, responsive controls, I was stunned at how fun this game is to control.  That doesn’t mean it’s perfect (far from it!) but it plays up, and you’ll be stunned too!  The weird quirk of this title is that select is Toxie’s strong attack, while B is his weak one.  This makes it very awkward, especially in the speedrun where time loss can be the reason you clawgrip over to select instead of the comfortable B press.  But it becomes second nature after a while, with few pauses and few mistakes.  The other gripe I had with this game’s presentation was the intense flashing that played, especially in stage 5!

The speedrun does suffer a little bit, however, when you realize that, despite this title’s strengths, it’s still a beat-em-up.  You’re limited on how fast you can go by how fast you can clear the enemies out.  This is still dynamic enough to make this speedrun a fun one, but it can get a little repetitive.  And, once you reach stage 3, enemies’ hitboxes get larger and they move faster, and they can easily drain your health.  This game isn’t terribly difficult; Silver Surfer this is not.  But it is tough to 1CC it… which is rough, as you only GET 1 credit. No continues.  You can use passwords casually, but not in the speedrun.

That said, it’s an easy run to learn, plays up, and looks the part.  Your chat will love it, and you certainly won’t be bored… at first.  Fans, of course, will love this game too!  Give it a try!

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