Game: "Renegade"
System: Nintendo Entertainment System
Genre: Action
Published by: Other

Reviewer: -RoG-
Posted: 1/26/2009

Review: Ah yes, Renegade. Originally known as Nekketsu Kōha Kunio-kun in Japan, this western version of the game is widely regarded as the granddady of beat 'em up genre video games. While most people who owned the Nintendo Entertainment System will sing praises for Double Dragon, you gotta remember that Renegade predated it by two years. So, it's not surprising that it's not going to look or play nearly as well.

For one thing, there's no side-scrolling action in Renegade. Each of the levels consist of single screens that you fight hordes of street thugs on. The artwork is also sub par, even by early NES game standards. Play the game through a few screens and you'll quickly find yourself wondering if it was created by a six-year-old using MS Paint. But that's not a bad thing if you ask me. The art is so bad it's actually one of the more endearing things about the game in my opinion.

While the regular fight levels are contained on a single screen, there is a fun side-scrolling motorcycle riding battle on the second level before you fight the boss. The third and final level is the one most people who played this game remember. Why? Because after fighting your way through a gang of women who try to beat you with their purses, you find yourself in a nightmare of rooms inside a building, and if you choose the wrong door, it'd send you right back to the beginning of the level. On top of that, it contained these giant sumo women who pick you up, slap the crap out of you, and then toss you across the room like a rag doll.

If you manage to find your way through the hodgepodge of rooms, you'll come face to face with Sabu. He's a gun-toting bastard who can kill you quickly. My advice is to keep jump kicking him until he's dead. If you don't, he'll shoot you and shout, "Get lost, punk!" He's a class act, that Sabu. Should you emerge victorious against him, you won't find yourself in the warm embrace of a kidnapped girlfriend. No, you're treated to a black screen with "The End" in the middle of it. Hey, a lot of games back then didn't do much for wrapping up their loose stories, and Renegade was no exception.

If nothing else, Renegade is a nice early look into the history of beat 'em up games. Also, being one of the earlier NES games I owned, it brings back a lot of memories for me. There aren't too many games out there where you get to fight gangs of pink kung fu guys or purse-slinging women, so give it a shot. And if you don't own a NES, it was also released on the Wii's Virtual Console.

Overall rating: WholeWholeHalf
(Scored on a 0.5 - 5 pickles rating: 0.5 being the worst and 5 being the best)

Reader Comments

Doctor Caliente
Jan 27th, 2009, 09:41 AM
Ah Renegade...

This game is kinda like the Mega Man 1 to the later NES beat'em up games. You know what I mean, Mega Man 1 was just OKAY while later games in the series were freaking awesome. Renegade is one of those OKAY games that helped spawn much better fare later on down the line.
skank pronger
Jan 27th, 2009, 10:11 AM
"Sabu" is the Japanese word for shoe. When a Japanese worker wanted to screw up a machine for whatever reason, he would throw his shoe into it. Hence, the word sabotage.
Full of Country Goodness
Jan 27th, 2009, 11:33 AM
Um, point of order there chief.

An alternate definition claims the word to be older by almost a century, the times of Industrial Revolution. It is said that powered looms could be damaged by angry or disgruntled workers throwing their wooden shoes or clogs (known in French as sabots, hence the term Sabotage) into the machinery, effectively clogging the machinery. This is often referenced as one of the first inklings of the Luddite Movement.

It's also mentioned in Star Trek V.
skank pronger
Jan 27th, 2009, 02:54 PM
The definition was given to me by a girl I had a crush on several years ago. She named her cat Sabu. If I'm wrong, blame it on unrequited love.
Jan 27th, 2009, 04:43 PM
Holy crap. That small screenshot with the gargantuan lady makes her look like if she had two heads.
Jan 27th, 2009, 10:31 PM
great review, I always look forward to the weeklies, especially when the video game review is on classic games, anyways I agree with you about the ending, but 2.5 pickles seems harsh to me. It makes me sob
dead end
Jan 28th, 2009, 02:09 AM
i cant help but feel a fondness for it cuz of childhood, but i recognize the reality now that it's extremely short and depressingly bad, so the score fits well i think.
Pickled Patriarch
Jan 28th, 2009, 03:00 AM
Yeah that's my point. It deserves credit for both the memories it brings back and how it was one of the earliest beat 'em ups, but Double Dragon is a waaaay better (and longer) game, so I definitely stand by the 2.5 pickle rating.
Jan 28th, 2009, 07:05 PM
The art doesn't look that bad, homeslice.
Master of Awesome Sauce!
Jan 30th, 2009, 07:39 PM
What you gotta remember is that this game started the "Kunio" saga, so if it wasn't for Renegade we would not have River City Ransom or Super Dodge Ball!
Pickled Patriarch
Jan 31st, 2009, 06:04 AM
Right you are Kirby. We owe countless hours of NES entertainment to Renegade. Without that game, we never would have seen a character shout "BARF!" upon getting hit with a trashcan.
The Ugly Puckling
Jan 31st, 2009, 09:31 AM
Or Wilford Brimley beating old people to save Oatville U.S.A!
Pickled Patriarch
Jan 31st, 2009, 03:06 PM
Hahaha indeed! Think of all the oats we would've missed out on had it not been for Renegade!