Target: Renegade (NES)

Target: Renegade Box Art

Target: Renegade

System: NES

Release Date: March 1990

Developer: Software Creations

Publisher: Taito

Genre: Beat ‘em Up

Target: Renegade is a sequel to Renegade, but it is not in the Kunio-Kun lineage of games. Instead, Ocean Software licensed their own sequels for home computers. Mr. Big has kidnapped your brother, Matt, and it’s up to you to get them dusted through seven levels of beat ‘em up action to save him.

The Renegade can punch with the A Button and kick with the B Button. Other special attacks are the flying kick by pressing up + the B Button. Get movement with an up diagonal + the B Button. This attack is necessary to take out the Bret Hart look alike motorcycle enemies, but isn’t super useful elsewhere, as you get several frames of ducking when you land, which makes you vulnerable. What I found most useful was the sweep attack with down + the B Button. This was the only sure fire way to take out most enemies without trouble. See how Critic Jay Sherman drops with sweeps?

There are a few weapons that can be found in the levels, but they aren’t really any stronger than the foot sweep, so I stayed away from them. There can be up to four enemies on screen at once, and you need to dance your way away from them as you attack to stay safe. Trying to stand still and duke it out will lead to you getting beat up. There are bosses at the end of the level. It took me a few tries to figure out the first level boss, but you just need to punch him in the gut and move to avoid his super strong kick. This is true for the first three levels, with the third boss taking 32 punches to defeat! Other bosses can be attacked with more attacks and are much easier.

Enemies occasionally drop a heart on the ground that will replenish your health. Unfortunately, they only sit there for a few seconds and even if you’re right on top of it, picking them up doesn’t always work. This is annoying and would have been alleviated by letting me just walk over it. You want to stay as healthy as possible, as you don’t replenish all of your health between levels. The Bouncers of the final level were annoying, but quick sweeps kept them at bay. The final battle is against Mr. Big and his bazooka. He’s as easy as the other bosses. Beating him temporarily reunites the brothers before he’s carted off again and you get to continue play from the beginning.

Graphics: 1.0

For 1990, it looks plain with poor animations. They should have done some updates from the 1988 computer releases.

Sound: 1.5

I’ve heard music and sound that is much worse, but that’s not saying this is good.

Gameplay: 1.0

If you try to rely on punches and kicks, you’ll be dead. Sweeps are the way to go, which doesn’t leave you options.

Difficulty: 1.5

You get one continue before you have to start over. Enemies will drain you if they get too close.

Fun Factor: 1.0

It’s too plain to be much fun.

Overall Grade: 1.2

Target: Renegade earns a D+. This came out a couple years too late to make much of an impact. There are plenty of better games available in the beat ‘em up genre by 1990.

Target: Renegade Video Review on YouTube