by Fred Gray, Mike Lamb, Ronnie Fowles, Bob Wakelin
Imagine Software Ltd
Crash Issue 44, Sep 1987   page(s) 34,35

Producer: Ocean
Retail Price: £7.95
Author: Mike Lamb

The things you do for girls... Having arranged to meet Lucy across town, you find yourself getting off a train at a station filled with disreputable types intent on mugging you - or worse.

So to reach your lady love you must negotiate five Landscapes of action: the station, the pier, the seedy back streets, the streets near your meeting place and the meeting place itself.

At each location you meet different gangs - unarmed muggers, chain-swinging Hell's Angels, whip-wielding females led by Big Bertha, and razor-waving thugs. Your only chance of getting through the night is to use your martial-arts skills and send your attackers reeling.

You can kick, knee and punch your opponents. Most assailants need to be downed twice before they're overcome, but some can be pushed to their destruction. Knocking out an opponent earns you points - the more effective the blow, the more points.

After you've defeated several thugs, the gang leader steps to the fore. Like you, he loses energy each time he's hit, and if his energy falls too low he and his gang are beaten.

Each level must be completed in a specified time, or you lose one of your three lives. And even when you reach your girlfriend Lucy, your moments of undying love are cut short as the gangs close in and your ordeal begins again…


Joysticks: Cursor, Kempston, Sinclair
Graphics: vivid and detailed
Sound: good title tune
Options: definable keys, high-score table

The graphics in Renegade are very good, and colour is used brightly. The difficulty needs a little tweaking, though - all the screens are really easy apart from the last. Still, this is one of the best beat-'em-ups around, with a lot of variety and a more definite objective than Way Of The Exploding Fist. Loads of fun!
MIKE [89%]

There's lots of detail in this fighting game, but it doesn't have the addictiveness of such beat-'em-ups as Barbarian. Still, the little features make up for most of it. It's very easy to involve yourself in Renegade, because of the tremendous atmosphere created by the superbly-animated characters and ornate backgrounds. Yes, after a few games the action can get boring, with the same move being carried out over and over again - so turn off the Spectrum and come back to it a few days later when you want to let out some aggression! The fun soon starts up again. Like Mikie, Renegade is pretty easy to finish, but it's quite competitive for high scoring.
PAUL [83%]

This just has to be the beat-'em-up to end them all, with its outstandingly detailed and colourful graphics, incredible playability and racy tune. Another beauty of Renegade is the control method, simple but highly effective. With up to eight opponents on the screen your task may seem formidable, but it's not impossible - they don't all attack at once. Breaking new ground in computer violence, Renegade may antagonise some, but for the pleasure and excitement it brings this game must not be missed.
RICKY [94%]

Presentation: 84%
Graphics: 89%
Playability: 89%
Addictive Qualities: 87%
Overall: 89%

Summary: General Rating: A beat-'em-up with real punch.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Crash Issue 74, Mar 1990   page(s) 48,49

The Hit Squad
£2.99 (rerelease)

No street is safe these days is it? All these beat 'em up games are full of nasty people who like nothing more than to bash you on the head with a metal bar or punch you where the sun doesn't shine! It's a bit of a pity then that your girl has arranged to meet you at the end of one of the toughest streets in the city, isn't it really?

Fight your way through levels of villains, drug pushers and thugs using your martial art skills to get to your date (isn't it always the same!).

This is the original Renegade game (after it game Target; Renegade and Renegade III: The Final Chapter) and I'd forgotten how slow it was. Compared to newer games this looks like Renegade has had one too many of the snail pills! The graphics are good though: excellently drawn and coloured backgrounds with detailed characters fighting it out underneath. Not only do you have to cope with people on foot attacking you, you also have to find some way of beating the motorcyclists who zoom past now and then trying to knock you over.

Each level in Renegade gets harder and harder, and the backgrounds change too. You start off in the subway then take a lift to come to the junk yard and street scenes. You can collect weapons found lying about to help you smash your way through each level, or if you'refeeling particularly nasty you get to beat up someone who has a chain or pipe and steal it.

Renegade is one of the classic Spectrum games and will always be known as an original beat 'em up: this is the one all the others copied!

Overall: 81%

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Crash Issue 45, Oct 1987   page(s) 41


There's been an explosion in martial-arts sims since The Way Of The Exploding Fist, as RICKY EDDY and ROBIN CANDY observe in this good beat-'em-up guide. And the ninjas just won't lie down - all they want to do is...

They started three years ago, when Bug Byte revealed an interesting little number called Kung Fu. It was an admirable wireframe attempt to produce a martial-arts simulation - 'probably the most unusual game to be seen on the Spectrum for a long while,' said CRASH in amazement.

But sceptics thought the genre would never catch on. It took Melbourne House to show them the way - The Way Of The Exploding Fist, which sold more than 150,000 copies for the Spectrum and nearly half a million across all formats.

Since then, nothing's kept the combat games down. They've been grotesque (Barbarian), skillful (Fist) and downright silly (Ninja Hamster).

The genre soon caught the nickname 'beat-'em-ups', as the gameplay always involves a player beating up his opponent, whether the computer or another player.

And with the advent of the 128s and their improved sound chips, the fighting effects became more hideous - the most disturbing beat-'em-up sounds must be the animal squeals on Ninja Hamster.

But most of these martial-arts simulations are so unrealistic, set in pseudo-Oriental fantasy worlds, that it's just harmless surrogate violence - and everyone likes a bit of that.


89% Issue 33

RICKY: Definitely the best beat-'em-up! Renegade is an epic of nonstop fighting with some original scenario touches.

What is the cause of all this violence, though?

It's Lucy - not just any Lucy, but your luscious Lucy, the love of your life. You're off to meet her, but on your way you run into violent street gangs intent upon mugging and killing.

There are six locations to battle through, each featuring a different set of villains - such as bikers, mad women, gangsters and evil mobs.

Renegade isn't too difficult, and it's a game you play more for high scores than for reaching the last stage. Fight, beat an enjoy till you can smell the blood.

ROBIN: I was hard put to choose between this and The Way Of The Tiger as my favourite beat-'em-up - Renegade is just so good. It's not the hardest game in the world, but it's enjoyable.

Programmer Mike Lamb managed to escape from the one-opponent-at-a-time format typical of this genre, and presents the player with up to eight baddies onscreen to be defeated.

The presentation is very slick, it would be hard to fault the graphics and sound, and with plenty of gameplay this makes an excellent buy. Try to get Renegade AND The Way Of The Tiger!

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Overall (Robin Candy): 88%
Overall (Richard Eddy): 92%

Transcript by Chris Bourne

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