At a Glance: While looking at the title screen of this "game", I recalled my childhood years. If I learned one thing in grade school, it was this: skulls and crossbones = evil. If I learned two things in grade school, the second thing would be that overflowing garbage cans usually mean danger. For these two reasons, I was scared - no wait, FRIGHTENED - of the game called Renegade. Taito America Corp released this game in 1987, with a title that was chosen over "Rudeboy Chen and the Amazing Cloning Machine" only days before its initial release. Personally, I would have stuck with the latter of those two titles.
Platform: NES (Download Emulator here - 192k)
Download: Download ROM here - 70k
Game Plot: Of course in the opening credits, we are given absolutely no insight whatsoever as to what might face us during our journey through Renegade. Luckily we don't need any guidance; see those guys over there that don't look like you? KICK THEM! See the guy on the other side of the screen with the stick? KICK HIM! If you ever get confused as to who to kick and who not to kick, just remind yourself that of the four men on the screen, you are the only one who does not look like the other three. Anyone who is not you deserves, for some ungodly reason, to be savagely beaten. Of course when you finally kick each character enough so that their bodies begin to flash (Nintendo's way of telling you that your enemy is in fact dead), more half-Asian, half-American, white shirted, black panted men will arrive with the intentions of thwarting your efforts, whatever the hell they may be.
Anyway, when you have caused enough of the poorly dressed Asian-American men to flash / die, either a door will open or the laws of physics will once again apply, allowing you to move beyond a given portion of scenery. My only guess as to why you are being sought after by these men with blunt wooden objects is simply because they want to steal your ultra hip reddish-brown leisure suit. I assume that when one of the characters finally rips the jacket and pants from your body, you will in turn chase and attempt to beat him. Everyone wants that groovy suit! The game must never end for these crazy "Renegaders". It is possible that you never really know who is wearing the suit. Perhaps that is what makes this game so much fun to play, or perhaps this is the wretched puzzle which keeps me up at night shaking violently?
Weapons: I don't think guns and weapons of mass destruction (i.e. guns, C4, the WB, Microsoft) had been created before the development of this masterpiece. That's why the creators stick with the original weapons of combat - fists, feet, and blunt objects. You can kick, jump kick, punch, continuously knee to the "groinal region" and throw your enemies. Your genetically engineered counterparts, however, are equipped with wooden sticks, chains, purses, tampons, Post-It notes, and other deadly devices. Perhaps this is a message to all those who support human genetic engineering and cloning; Taito is obviously sending a very strong societal message that cloned and engineered humans will always have an advantage ("a wooden stick" in this case) over us "normals." So in fifty years when you're crying to your non generically engineered god, Don't say Taito didn't warn you.
Enemies: This game certainly has enemies. Thousands of them. Scratch that. Tens of them.
Number of Levels: There are four levels ("missions"). I got as far as the fourth mission and then realized something - I didn't have to be playing this game. I am able to contend that I was in the final level because THE GAME WAS ABSOLUTELY IMPOSSIBLE. I am an above-average Nintendo player, a connoisseur of sorts. Every time I've been in one of those "beat this Nintendo game or die" situations, I've been able to come out un-dead-ized. I lost patience with this game and have no idea how someone would be able to beat it without saving at every "not getting kicked in the head" moment. If you are somehow able to complete this game, please give me your home address so I may meet you in front of your home and circumcise my children in your holy name.
Number of Bosses: Every level has some kind of "boss" at the end of it. Usually it's the same guy Rudeboy Chen has been fighting all level, but expanded 125% larger by the animators and equipped with a larger fighting rod / stick / chair / umbrella of sorts. Upon beating the boss, Rudeboy Chen will boast, "you ain't tough enough for me". No, Rudeboy Chen, no we're not.
Defining Moment: There was a point midway through the game when I was being hit by angry women with purses and S&M paraphernalia (whips, chains, back issues of Zillions, Penny Arcade action figures, etc.). This was all taking place IN A HAIR SALON. At one point I was forced to knee one woman in the groin to keep her and her "Purse of Ruin" away. Seems that no one likes Rudeboy Chen very much in this city. Not even the women in hair salons. Not even me.
Each category in the rating system is based out of a possible -10 score (-10 being the worst). The overall score is based out of a possible -50 score (-50 being the worst).