Renegade - Florinthedwarf's BIG ZX Spectrum Retro Review!

Oi you! Yeah you! You're distracting me from the impending elbow heading towards my head!

We've all wanted to reverse kick someone in the groin and then claim it was for good. Well, Renegade is here to help! No longer will you be chased down the street by the groin-stricken person's friends with the threat of arrest and/or fine, this time it's because they really did ask for it. And, you need to rescue your girlfriend, or something along those lines. Of course, being able to reverse kick someone in the groin is not the only thing going for Renegade - though it is right up there - there are plenty of moves thrown in to keep you engrossed and makes this one of the best fighters out there for the Speccy.

Reverse kick to the groin fig.1
Good fighters are few and far between on the Speecy, in my opinion anyway! Yeah, sure we had The Way of the Exploding Fist and Bruce Lee, though Bruce Lee was more of a platformer but is still held in high regard for the Speccy (and rightly so!), so if you're looking for an actual proper beat 'em up, you may struggle. (Ninja Hamster was such a let down). So having struggled for years trying to get to grips with HKM, Street Fighter and the aforementioned Ninja Hamster, Renegade came along and blew away my 11 year old mind. The loading screen excited me, and when it loaded and that tune started playing....oh yes. Redefined the keys (Q,A,O, P, Space - obviously) and I was off.

Thug meet gravity - gravity, do your thing. Good byeeeeeee...*thud*
The opening level started and there I am in the middle of a subway station, one poor little man surrounded by thugs (some even with baseball bats - wussys!) who start approaching me slowly (gulp). Luckily and thankfully, you are only directly approached two at a time so that you actually stand a chance of surviving. What moves do you have in you itenary to deal with these little tykes? Well, plenty as it turns out! Punches to the face, kicks to the face, flying kicks, knees to the face, the ability to throw over your shoulder, (this move only available on the 128K version - sorry 48K owners!) but the creme de la creme has to be the reverse kick to the groin - oof!

Reverse kick to the groin Fig. 2 (note groin of steel)
The combos you can get going when you get into the swing of things are quite impressive, coupled with nice crunching noises as each hit flies in. A few brief punches to the face and then a quick head grab, some knees to the face and then over shoulder - beautiful.

Thwack! Crunch! Crunch! Wheeeeeeeeeeeee!! *splat*

Each level is virtually set out the same where you take on a gang until you're down to a few remaining and then the previously stationary boss gets involved (who is always a lot harder than his minions - I guess that's why he's the boys!). Beat the boss and then it's on to the next level. That does make it sound quite simple... but this isn't the case. There are various elements that differ from one level to the next, notably the presence of the edge the subway station and the rooftop (found on the first and second levels respectively) whereby you can send thugs to their grisly death as they go over the edge and meet their maker (lots of fun!). Though, you can yourself also fall (or get hit) over the edge, so be careful! Also thrown into the mix are motorbikes that are driven towards you of which you have to fly kick the rider off - class! - and the presence of ladies with whips on level three who are more than willing to use them. Though not in that way. To hurt you obviously, though still exciting none the less.

Freddie Mercury - Renegade fan. If only you got to wear those glasses in the game.
How cool a game is Renegade? Well, awesomely cool! If you needed proof, check out the video to 'The Invisible Man' by Queen (screenshot above). Not just any game could make it into such an awesome video - not only did old Freddy have an epic voice, he had an epic taste in computer games too. Nice choice, Mr M! Also in the cool stakes is our main man, Mr Renegade, wrapped in cool shades, leather waistcoat (swoon!) and with that six pack exposed (corr!) he is the epitome of cool. On top of all that he quite literally can kick some ass too.

Hello ladies! Oh, am I in trouble?
Going back to game itself, as briefly touched upon in my opening paragraph, the objective is to rescue your kidnapped girlfriend by working your way through various gangs until you get to the head honcho. Armed with a gun and surrounded by goons with knives, he's a tricky customer to beat but surely working out how to take him out is worth it to get your lady back? Or if not, just the opportunity to kick people in the groin is enough? Either way, it's a win-win situation.

I swear I heard a bike around here somewhere...

It's hard to say anything negative about Renegade, with its great graphics and animation, soundtrack and the array of moves on hand, it really is one of the great fighters out there and I could go as far to say the best fighter on the Speccy. Ok, I will go that far - it is the best fighter on the Speccy. In my opinion anyway! Of course Target Renegade followed soon after and was heaped with praise because it also is one of the best fighters on the Speccy. Some say better than its' predecessor which I can see the argument for but if pushed, I would have to say Renegade just pips it.

So there we have it, another game added to my list of Speccy classics, and I hope you agree that it deserves to be there. This is truly one of the great Speccy games and any praise for it is thoroughly deserved.

Especially the reverse kicks to the groin.

Please feel free to comment as always. Is Renegade up there as one of the greats for you too? Any games you think should be included in the list? Let me know! Comment or tweet me @florinthedwarf

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