Main Articles Stacks Links Contact
[ Title ] [ Read ] [ Information ] [ Quality ] [ Hate Mail ]
[ Writer ] = BAD
[ 02/03/08 ] = Weighing The Worst

I don't think the NES is the best system of all-time (like most with my background), but there are some unforgettable titles on it that will always have a place in my heart. One of them is Renegade. Taito is known by many for games like Bubble Bobble, but I always think of Renegade (or Darius) when I hear the name Taito. By now, everyone knows how much I love side-scrolling fighters, so I thought I owed tribute to one of the titles that introduced me to the genre. It all started when we passed the Renegade arcade game at a grocery store, as my mom dragged me straight past it and toward the exit. On the ride home, and even when we got home, I couldn't stop thinking about how awesome the game looked. Of course, when my mom finally broke-down and said I could play that game on the way out by the exit, the bastards had by that time already gotten rid of it in favor of some bullshit crane game (since that day I've hated those fucking things). Great timing. Some time later, though, Taito graced us with a home version for the Nintendo.







Enter old friend. Even to this day, I thank an old elementary-school friend (who I don't have many things to thank for now that he's a druggie), for letting me borrow this game. Thanks to him, I was able to play this game (and it really meant a lot to me back then). Anyway, I went to scandalous, great lengths to play it. I used to wake up really early and play the game (with the volume off), until my mom woke up. When mom had awaken, I'd go back to bed and act like I was sleeping for a little while; with the TV off and the game still on. I'd "wake-up," say good morning, eat some breakfast, turn the TV back on, and pick up from where I left off until it was time for school. People say this game's "short," but trying to finish it with such little time (before school) was a painful process of elimination.

Fast-forward to the present (where whiny little bitches are debating its "worthiness" for digital distribution on the Wii Virtual Console service). Now, I've seen a lot of people saying shit like, "it's not exactly like the arcade version." Well, no, it's not exactly like it, but it was close enough to have every kid at school clamoring for it at the time. Sure, now you have a bunch of ungrateful idiots saying how "bad" the game is, but back then (before emulation) it was as close as you could get. Nobody I knew would blow all that money on an arcade cabinet when they could just get it for the NES (hundreds cheaper). Arcade hardware wasn't as cheap then as it is now. Funny thing is, people talk a lot of shit about this game not being "exactly like the arcade version," but it's closer than Double Dragon (and nobody ever talks shit about that game). The NES version was just as fun as the arcade version; even if it wasn't 100%. Screw Double Dragon; we had Renegade!

Here's what Renegade's all about; down the average hoodlums, get them in the mount, and pound their faces out MMA-style. You run into a dirty hippies, and when you do, you beat their hypocrite asses (for promoting peace while smoking joints rolled with pot that innocent people were probably killed for). You send dirtbags flying from dirtbikes and straight down to hell with well-placed jumpkicks. Mr. K apparently runs a prostitution ring of ugly bitches, too, so you whoop those bug-eyed tricks and send them back to the whorehouse they came from. And when their big "jumbo fuck" friend comes to save them, you send that fucking dyke back to the biker bar she came from by clotheslining her from across the screen. Their pimps notice the commotion, so you use a side-kick to put their purple asses into the ground. Show that spaghetti-headed motherfucker Mr. K how much you hate his stupid hair by ramming your knee into his face, rinsing, and repeating. The rinsing part is when you have to readjust your grip on someone's hair so that you can finish kneeing them in the face.

The best thing about this game, though, is how some of the enemies look like Jerry Garcia (which is great, because we all know that Jerry Garcia was a piece of shit). Even the game's main boss is a dirty fucking hippie! Any game where you get to beat hippies down is good in my book (unless it's a Square title). Look at it this way; it's good for both sides. For hippies because your idol is in a video game, and for the rest of us because we get to beat the shit out of your idol in a video game. Even if you don't count hippies, though, you get to beat-up a ton of other scumbags and bull-dykes (so the game still kicks ass). In one stage it's kind of like that movie called A Bronx Tale. That movie was sweet. My favorite enemy is Joel, who, by rights, should have been the end-boss; this dude has a mohawk (complete with rattail), wears a black vest (with no shirt), and a fucking mask. He's the baddest motherfucker in the game (as seen on the left, punching me in the face for being near his car)! Goddamn, on second thought maybe he should have been the main character.

"Aren't the enemies cheap?" Oh, hell yeah, they can be cheap! But it's nowhere near the cheap shit you see in other games from the genre (since your moves are actually useful). They did a great job with the difficulty; it's fair enough for anyone to have fun with, but get progressively challenging for more serious players. The simple, yet effective moves are one of the things that make it so much fun to play. It's hard to explain, but even now (over 20 years later) I get an overwhelming feeling of accomplishment when I jump-kick a fool off a motorcycle and watch the thing slide into a violent explosion. It's awesome. Renegade offered something you don't really see much (even to this day) in side-scrolling fighters, and that's the mount technique. Combine the mount with the deadly sidekicks to dispatch any fool who stands in your way. The sidekicks to the stomach and fists to the face make the game a faithful representation of hard-core music, too.

Speaking of music, the tunes in Renegade are perfect for hippie beatdowns and the eradication of other assorted scum. There's not much variety, but who needs variety when it already suits the ass-kicking well as it is? The botchy, abrasive sound effects of you kicking a dude in the stomach or pimping a pimp all compliment the music nicely. The high-pitched, squeaky sound of the jump-kick sticks out like a sore thumb, though. It's no wonder the enemies in this game get hit so often by it; if I was throwing-down and a high-pitch squeak erupted as his feet left the ground, I'd be so confused that I'd probably get kicked in the face, too! Fuck.

In the realm of NES side-scrolling fighters, Renegade seems overlooked too often. Don't get me wrong; the almighty POW, Ikari III, Bayou Billy, and Kung-Fu are all great in their own ways, but Renegade deserves more respect in the present. For its time, people appreciated that it was great on so many levels, but now they act like nobody ever liked it just because the arcade version is free through emulation). Haters can say what they will, but they can never erase the memories...