Renegade (NES)

Game Review

Renegade Review

Europe PAL Version

Posted by Marcel van Duyn

Crime doesn't pay

The company known as Technos might be best known for creating Double Dragon and River City Ransom, but before coming up with either of its two big hits, it made a number of lesser known titles — of which perhaps Renegade is the most well-known.

Renegade is actually the first game in the Kunio-kun series, which River City Ransom is also a part of. Although none of the games (others including Super Dodge Ball and Nintendo World Cup) are really related in their English incarnations, they all star the same character, Kunio, in the original Japanese releases.

In Renegade, you take control of "Mr. K", who, much like Billy and Jimmy Lee, has to save his kidnapped girlfriend by beating up street thugs. You fight through a variety of stages laying the smackdown on members of various gangs before you get an abrupt credits sequence and the game is over.

Unlike the later games from Technos, Renegade doesn't really feature long, interesting stages — each one only consists of single rooms, which are either one or two screens in length. New identical-looking baddies will keep coming in when you defeat the active ones, until you've beaten enough and the you move through a doorway to another section. Eventually you'll encounter a boss, and when he or she is defeated the stage will end.

Unfortunately, beating stages is easier said than done, as it'll take a while to get used to the awkward and clumsy controls. Pressing one of the two action buttons will make you punch in front, while the other makes you do a backwards kick. When you change directions this layout won't stay the same — the button functions will be swapped around, meaning that instead of "hit in front" and "hit behind", they function more like "hit left" and "hit right". The sooner you realize this odd decision, the faster you'll get the hang of it.

That is, if you're not getting beaten senseless by the enemies — they're relentless and will almost always try to gang up on you. Trying to put together anything resembling a combo will usually prove fruitless, as you'll immediately get punched back by the enemy you're hitting, basically meaning you're just exchanging one blow for another. And of course you've got limited life, as well as lives — lose all of them and you have to start all over.

One interesting aspect is that the game is one of the first of its kind to introduce running (by tapping a direction twice) and a special move (by hitting both attack buttons at the same time), but unless you become a master of AI manipulation, even these won't make surviving that much easier. It's also possible to sit on knocked down enemies to punch them some more, but the window of opportunity for doing this is incredibly small, and because of the aforementioned fact that enemies like to gang up on you, you'll usually get attacked from behind while making your clumsy squatting attempt.

In the end, the only real positive aspect of the game is its music, which is quite upbeat and energetic, and sounds fairly similar to that of River City Ransom. If only it could have played in a different game!


Although it might be interesting to see where the Kunio-kun series began, Renegade is a perfect example of a game that just hasn't aged well. The cumbersome controls, overly aggressive enemies and boring stages all combine to make you regret your purchase almost immediately, especially when you realise that Technos' later, much more refined beat 'em ups are also available.

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User Comments (27)



sleepinglion said:

Oh, Nintendo... please start caring about the Virtual Console service.
Even some polling data would be nice to see you ask for.
What are the top 50 or so classic titles Nintendo fans would like to see... because chances are a lot of these wouldn't even make the top 100.
Any company who thinks Urban Champion would make a better 3D Classics entry than 'The Legend of Zelda' seems a little out of touch with the consumers.



BearClaus said:

Releasing this in the ol' VC molasses trickle is a great way to make new consumers hate old video games. That way they'll buy the new ones, right?



unrandomsam said:

I think I played the Master System version a bit and one computer conversion. (Might have been Amstrad). Looking back at the Master System version it looks fine.



Obito_Sigma said:

And yet Nintendo prefers to release games like these in no week's notice, but they still troll us by never giving us a release date of SMB3 since August of last year.



Tasuki said:

I never even liked this game back in the NES days, there were alot better brawlers on that system then this one.



KnightRider666 said:

I was really disappointed with this one. C'mon Nintendo... Where the #### is Super Mario Bros. 3 already???



Shiryu said:

@antonvaltaz The biggest! The Commodore 64 didn't make much of a splash down here because of the grip Sinclair had in our market. We even built our own under the label Timex. Commodore would have the last laugh because after that, the 16 bit Amiga became the most popular microcomputer around here.



aquamidnight said:

I really thought America would get SMB3 this week since the U.K. got a game that was already released in the U.S. I have dreams of games I want to DL. Man, I would love to play Goonies! For the love of god, release TMNT! More Mega Man titles would rock. Anything! As many have indicated, I want to give Nintendo money, but they make it so difficult.



ogo79 said:

youll play renegade and you will like it.
everyone likes a renegade. hes edgy! hes rebellious! hes a risk taker! and he doesnt take no for an answer...hes a renegade!



Fandabidozi said:

Played the ZX Spectrum version to death back in the day, that was how to do a great port!



Tasuki said:

@aquamidnight: It's not up to Nintendo if TMNT gets released to the VC that's Nickelodeon and well since they pulled it from the Wii VC awhile back I doubt it will be coming to the Wii U or 3DS VC.



Bender said:

I guess you could say the renegade didn't have it made but came straight for the bounty (your cash monies).



SparkOfSpirit said:

We could have had Double Dragon II, but noooo...

Or we could have gotten that Renegade remake on the eshop which is probably 40 times better than this.



Wolfenstein83 said:

This game is only half a notch above the likes of Urban Champion.
I actually got this on the Wii VC a while back because I wanted to see what started the Technos games, boy was I in for a shock.
Simple graphics, tough gameplay, I pretty much got through most of the game by spamming the same attack over and over.
Like the review said, there isn't much variety of anything, from stages or enemies.
I would say the best part was the stage where you ride a motorcycle and kick the enemies off of theirs, that was fun.
Also for a couple of laughs there are some evil um...women, I think, though I believe they are big guys dressed as women and they beat you to death with their purses.
Funny enough I can't get farther than those he/she people and those purses carry the money I wasted on points to download this dinosaur of a brawler, the buck stops there I guess.
Heck if they are gonna bother to release idiot bait like this (for people like me) at least give us the arcade version, its probably slightly better, though I doubt it.
This game is a shame on classic gaming and my goodness the controls are horrible...just stay away from this game, it had good intentions but the road to hell is paved with them too.



Tasuki said:

@aquamidnight: Nickelodeon owns all rights to TMNT now including all past gen versions. Konami owns the game engine that the game is made off but Nickelodeon own the character likeness and all that.



aquamidnight said:

@Tasuki I didn't know any of that, sadly. Also, this is all quite unfortunate. What a great game to rock on the Wii U gamepad or the 3DS.

I should have snatched it up when I had the chance.

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