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Written by  :  Andrew Fisher (685)
Written on  :  Sep 09, 2019
Platform  :  Arcade
Rating  :  3.67 Stars3.67 Stars3.67 Stars3.67 Stars3.67 Stars
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Obvious source of Double Dragon and The Combatribes

The Good

I'm reviewing Nekketsu Kouha Kunio-kun, not the westernised Renegade. So you play the role of Kunio, high school student and street fighter. The opening strongly resembles Marian's capture at the start of Double Dragon, one of the gang members punching out a friend of the hero, backed up by gangmates, but in this game the friend is a red-headed schoolmate of Kunio and he isn't captured. Kunio runs after the attackers to avenge his friend and this happens at the start of every stage, each time a new gang attacking. I like the idea of the hero defending his friend, supposedly bullied because of his red hair, a change from "rescuing the girl".

So the game is clearly Technos practicing their idea of a street fighting, beat-'em-up game, which they would of course practice again the following year to great success with Double Dragon and again in 1990 with The Combatribes. Nekketsu Kouha Kunio-kun actually resembles The Combatribes more than Double Dragon in that the fighting is around an "arena" rather than while progressing rightward through a scene and in that you face a new gang in each stage, but it also resembles Double Dragon II in that the attack buttons perform either punch or back-kick, depending on the direction you're facing. So the overall idea of the game is good I think, it's fun having cartoonish, Japanese teenage gang fights.

The Bad

I found the difficulty a huge problem. When your life bar runs down and you're beaten, you have to start the stage again, but if you're too careful, you fall afoul of the strict two-minute time limit and have to start again. So I think the game too quickly demands too much speed and accuracy. Another issue is that you can't jump towards an enemy and hence can't launch a flying kick towards them, you can only perform a stationary, "defensive flying kick".

The Bottom Line

Fun, but needs to be hacked so that you have more time to complete each stage ;)