If you think playing a horrible game with horrible controls that is not much more than a Double Dragon clone, then we were right it is a fun time.
Honestly I didn’t have much hope when it comes to Target Renegade. I kind of expected something that was playable but not that great. I sort of got what I expected. It’s certainly not great but this game is almost unplayable.
You have all the markings of crap. You have a simple concept: Beat people up. Somehow Target Renegade manages to screw this up. It really comes down to the controls. Yes I’ll be comparing a lot to Double Dragon but honestly look at it. It’s a blatant rip off. Double Dragon has controls you can understand and adapt to. In Target Renegade you quickly learn that there are certain moves you just can’t avoid having to use. I know that in most beat em up games kicks are often better than punches but in Target Renegade you’re FORCED to use kick and specifically this leg sweep move. Now I’ve been playing games for a huge part of my life so my hands are pretty used to it, but I can’t remember a time where my hands actually got tired from the repetitive motion of performing this move. It felt like cheating, and it’s a tenet of bad game design.
Each level we played had a boss and each boss had a “strategy.” By strategy I mean you have to use one specific attack to beat the boss while moving up and down. It’s flimsy at best and got super boring after a while. Each level seemed to be the same where you move from one end of the level to the other and then you fight a boss. Nothing super exciting or memorable.
Enemy wise, oh boy. Every character seems to have something wrong with them, like Target Renegade is trying to fight a group of circus freaks. Each enemy does a significant amount of damage to your health and they also have almost no hit stagger. Basically as soon as you hit them they’re hitting you. It’s almost impossible to get away with a clean victory.
The sound is a bit interesting in that the sound effects are horrible. My favorite is the motorcycle sounds from level 1 which sound like a cow from that kids toy. The music however is pretty good. Tim Follin who has done a lot of NES soundtracks put his realistic sounds to the game and it is the one saving grace of Target Renegade. I have to admit though after an hour of the same three songs I was a bit tired.
Target Renegade could have been a great game. I’m not even talking about the controls. If they had just embraced the crappiness they could have made the game funny. All the sprites that look ridiculous could have been exaggerated even more and that would have made the game equally fun and funny. I would have been way less harsh on my opinion of the game if they went that route. Similar to Bad Street Brawler.
In the end you just sit playing Target Renegade wishing you had a copy of Double Dragon with decent hit detection and slightly less putrid graphics. If they had made the game over the top hilarious it would be a gem, instead Target Renegade is just another turd in the NES library.