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Title: Nekketsu Kouha Kunio-Kun
Author:Technos Japan Corp.
Rom Player: JNES
Reviewer: Zaruki

Synopsis: Technos Japan Corp. has been known well for making beat ‘em up games like the Kunio series, Double Dragon, and the Combatribes. Nekketsu Kouha Kunio-kun was the first game in the Kunio series as well as the first 4 directional beat ‘em up. There's also an English version of the game called Renegade, which is (in my opinion) inferior compared to Kouha Kunio Kun.

Gameplay/Story: It depends on what version you're playing. In Renegade, you have no idea why you're really fighting throughout the whole game. However, the arcade version is about the main character Mr. K out to rescue his girlfriend. In NKK, you're at least treated with an introduction cutscene in the title screen after the music plays. Kunio (the main character) is out to save his friend Hiroshi, who was attacked by Sabu and dragged into his car. I give this game a 10 in gameplay, but a 6 for Renegade (But an 8 for the arcade version with at least an ending as the purpose to beat the game).

Controls: The controls are similar to Double Dragon 2, with the button B for attacking to the left and button A for attacking to the right. A+B activates the very important jump kick, tapping left or right twice lets you run to the desired direction, pressing down when near or on a knocked down enemy allows you to do a pin attack, and the usual Start for the pause. It's actually time consuming to get used to, and the first time playing it can make you lose lives, even when on the first stage. However, the controls can be mastered and before you know it, beating the enemies will (nearly) be a breeze.

Graphics: Once again, two different ratings for both versions. I give Renegade a 6, since the changed graphics are cruddy. The character sprites are horrible, especially the main character, the first two bosses, and the lackeys in stages 1 & 3. The only good graphics I can find is the title scene with decent detail, and the subway station is also pretty decent. I give the graphic an 8 for NKK because the sprites are better designed. The first stage station is well-detailed, and the mugshots for the bosses and main characters are also well done.

Music/Sound: The music's the same in both version, with the exception of the victory song after beating the final boss when Hiroshi is rescued. It's not a significant difference to change the rating. Some of the songs are pretty average, but the stage 3 and stage 4 songs are good. The sound effects don't entirely sound like what they are.

Originality: Considering that this was the first 4 directional beat ‘em up, it gets a high rating already for starting a genre. The rest of the rating goes to the unique control scheme not used in other Beat ‘em Ups (except for Double Dragon 2, which came later).

Overall: Both versions also have different ratings, but still fun enough to play once you master the controls. Renegade would get a 7 while NKK would get a 9. What made Renegade suffer is the graphics, but more importantly, the story. What Renegade lacks and what NKK has makes NKK a much better game.

Editor's note: As the review suggests, this game is almost entirely in Japanese.

Best Cheats: The first 2 bosses are pretty easy. All you have to do is use the jump kick on them (pressing A+B) all the time to beat them.

The third boss is very hard. Approach her and she'll drain your health down. The method I found to beat her is to give yourself distance away from her and try to run (do not run into the wall) and then stop and do a jump kick when she runs and is close enough.

As for the final boss, Sabu, avoid his gunshots otherwise, your dead, by scrolling up or down away from the bullet. Use the up and down to approach him and use a jump kick to take down his health.

Game Play: 10
Graphics: 8
Music/Sound: 7
Originality: 10
Overall Rating: 9

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