Renegade III - Yes seriously, Florinthedwarf has done a BIG review of this Speccy game!

The final chapter, you say? Woo hoo!
Come on now, people. It's not that bad surely? Any takers? Not to start a review negatively, it just seems that when anyone mentions the game that cannot be named, you're either met with groans or laughter. I always thought laughter was good but soon learnt that this is not always the case (mainly in school when teachers were marking my work, but that's for another time).

Of course, Renegade and Target Renegade are bona fide Speccy classics and some would say that they were expecting Renegade III to be the best in the series given the progression of the first two games (though they would be wrong as the first is better than the second, but that's for another time). Who can forget the high bar set in each of the two previous incarnations? The reverse-kick-the-groin™ majesty of the first game to the brilliant simultaneous two player option and added weapons of the second; the Renegade name oozed class. Renegade III was released and after receiving high scores in respectable Spectrum magazines (Crash scored it 91%) and people were excited about what they would find in this one to whet their appetite and have them crying for more...

If you keep punching me Mister, you're gonna be dino-sore.
Well, if you were a fan of Captain Caveman, consider that boxed ticked. This of course means that Renegade III had our hero, Mr René Gade, travelling through time to kick the crap out of historical and future creatures/creations. Why? Erm...great question. But to be honest, I don't know. More than likely to rescue your girlfriend who has been kidnapped (again) but why a kidnapper would invent a time machine just to steal someone's girlfriend seems like a lot of effort to go to to me. Horses for courses, I guess. Not only do you get to kick the daylights out of everyone's favourite caveman on the first level, poor Cavey, but there are also dinosaurs who are asking to be on the wrong end of a good shoeing.

Yes.

Dinosaurs.

Mummy's have no soul? Here, have some of mine.

Being dinosaurs, you'd think they'd take you out easily but merely biting your head off but no; these ones think it would be easier to punch you instead. I guess they just fancy a challenge or maybe Rocky Balboa fell into the time machine along with the kidnapper, the dinosaurs spotted an opportunity to fulfil their goals of being world champion and pleaded with Mr B to train them. 'I jus' can't do it, ya know. I'm too old for all dat.', but after a few days of badgering, he gives in and decides it would be great idea for there to be a dinosaur boxing champion. 'Ya know, 'dis might jus' work. Hey, ain't nobody trained a dinosaur before.' *queue title music*

Is he jumping or falling? I'm about to find out! Argh! I want my mummy!

Further levels take you to ancient Egypt and even a future zone if you manage to get that far along in the game, so not only do you get to kick the arse of early man but also bandage-clad mummies and shiny metal robots. The one thing that confuses me the most is why do these creatures and creations want to kill you? Why would their first reaction to someone or something new be to punch it? I guess this just adds to the bizarre storyline of the game as a whole. The whole premise is a strange given the themes of the two previous games so what was with the time travel idea of the third instalment? Something you'd have to ask the programmers, I guess.

When I say it's fun to kick people, I only mean it in jest...er.

But enough about the strangeness and oddities of the game... how does it play? Mr Gade walks along with a little shuffle as usual and moves-wise, you still get the customary punch, kick and flying kick, (which is more of a jump kick here) but unfortunately there's no return of the reverse-kick-the-groin™ or over the shoulder throw. No knees to the face, no punches to the face on the floor (though granted, would be difficult to do on a dinosaur) so you're looking at limited moves this time around. Our hero looks slightly different to his usual self having bulked up a little but still with his signature shades, jeans and bare chest, so at least there's something to look at for the ladies out there.

The excellent cover art by the late, great Bob Wakelin

Looks-wise, we have a monochrome affair this time which is a lot different to the multi-coloured predecessors. There are nice details to the sprites and you can clearly see who, or indeed what, you are fighting with. Every successfully landed hit leads the recipient to fly back a few yards which is quite fun but then they come back after you, which is not so much fun. By having them fly back every time you hit them, it can be quite annoying as you can't really get a combo going and the one of the things I enjoyed most about the first two games was getting in multiple hits in one go. It was quite satisfying to land punch after punch meaning that you could really get into the game and feel like you could take your frustrations out on the bad guy who was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

As you progress, you'll find the levels get a little repetitive. The enemies seem to have the same routine when it comes to attacking you - this you'll notice the most when you reach the end of each level as they all line up four on each side to attack. Annoyingly, you'll find this easy to deal with (if you're after a challenge) as crouching and hitting each enemy in turn will soon see you finish them all off.

What? He's behind me? Comedian, are we?

On a positive note, music maestro Jonathan Dunn leaves his trademark, erm, mark on this one. As soon as the game menu and hear the tune, you know that Mr Dunn has indeed been hired to make, at least, the music memorable.

I remember seeing this game on the shelf of the shop all those years ago and, probably like everyone else at the time, being very excited to see a Renegade game staring back at me. Was I disappointed when playing it? Honestly ? Yes. Maybe it was because I thought it would as good as the other two; I mean, who wouldn't? The series had lost it's character, it's theme, and it may sound a little odd but it's seriousness. To go from taking on gangs to punching dinosaurs and jesters was just a bit too far to be taken as a serious beat 'em up. If it was ever meant to be.


Like what you read? Let me know what you think!

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