Table of Contents

Page 1 - Renegade / River City Ransom
Page 2 - Other Fighting Games
Page 3 - Dodgeball
Page 4 - Other Sports Part 1
Page 5 - Other Sports Part 2

Downtown Special - Kunio Kun no Jidaigeki Dayo Zenin Shuugou! - Famicom/Gameboy/Gameboy Advance (1992)


Kunio Kun no Jidaigeki

Kunio Kun no Jidaigeki

Kunio Kun no Jidaigeki

The "true" sequel to River City Ransom that takes removes the setting from the modern day and back in time to feudal Japan. (A "jidaigeki" is a term for a period drama similar to Akira Kurosawa's films. Whether this game is meant to show Kunio's ancestors or simply being a play put on by the Nekketsu characters isn't entirely clear.) With Kunio taking on the role of "Kunimasa", the goal is to must through the country to find medicine for your master, all while beating up any rival gangs you come across. Unlike River City Ransom, which was fairly linear, Kunio-kun no Jidaigeki allows you to freely explore the landscape. This may sound like an interesting idea, but it tends to get really confusing, really quickly. You also seem to spend more time running around empty screens than you actually do fighting. There is a map showing the location of rival gangs, although it's a bit on the vague side. The individual stage layouts are far more advanced than River City Ransom, with many sloped platforms, pits, and rivers.

Additionally, you always have a partner helping you, even in single player mode. Unfortunately, the extra character sprite, combined with some of the fancy background effects, spells plenty of slowdown for the poor Famicom. There are still shops where you can purchase items and techniques, although the stat growth system is a bit different. You gain experience by beating up enemies, and you can choose how fast different stats will grow. The password system is also gone, replaced with a battery save system. Despite its technical flaws and confusing layout, it's a pretty cool game, even if it isn't quite up to River City Ransom's caliber. This was also ported to the Gameboy, and released on the Gameboy Advance years later in 2006 as part of the Kunio-Kun Nekketsu Collection Vol. 3.

Kunio Kun no Jidaigeki

Kunio Kun no Jidaigeki

Nekketsu Kouha Kunio-Kun: Bangai Rantouhen / Double Dragon 2 - Gameboy(1992)


Bangai Rantouhen

Bangai Rantouhen

Double Dragon 2

On the surface, Nekketsu Bangai Rantou Hen seems to be a junior version of River City Ransom, but it's really just a straightforward brawler with very poor controls. You can punch, kick and execute a few combos, but oddly enough, you can't really jump - by pressing both buttons simultaneously, you'll crouch in a defenseive stance. Hit a button and you'll execute a flying uppercut. Although the two-player mode offers some merit, it's otherwise a poor miniaturization of the series.

There's an interesting story behind this game's localization - Acclaim bought the rights to this title, but didn't want to publish it with the Kunio characters. So they changed everything - the character sprites, the background, even the music - to resemble a Double Dragon game. Otherwise, it plays exactly the same. Considering how closely intertwined the two series are, it doesn't come as much of a surprise. But they titled the game "Double Dragon 2", even though it's nothing like the arcade or NES port of the game.

Bangai Rantouhen

Screenshot Comparisons

American

Japanese

Shodai Nekketsu Kouha Kunio-kun - Super Famicom (1992)


Japanese Cover

Shodai Nekketsu Kouha Kunio-kun

Shodai Nekketsu Kouha Kunio-kun

Kunio and his friends from Nekketsu High go on a field trip to Osaka and soon, they get involved in the skirmishes of the Osaka Union gang. Riki also shows up in the city, allowing you to play the game with a friend. This was Technos' first game on the Super Famicom, sequel to Renegade, a beat 'em up with RPG elements, and some regard it as River City Ransom 2, but it is quite a bit different for many reason reasons. You cannot purchase items like in River City Ransom, you get them in vending machines, and instead of items to raise stats, you gain levels by earning experience. Kunio and Riki learn techniques from flying kicks to suplex throws, and ki powers to increase speed and health. The graphics are also less cartoony than most of the other games, similar to the original Renegade.

Unlike in River City Ransom, where you fought gangs, here, you fight from bikers to sports men, and even fight middle aged-people and businessmen. Of course, you still fight the usual punks from school. Though you can use weapons, it is not the same as using them in River City Ransom, but there are some new ones, like pillows, briefcases, and even megaphones. As far as music, the main theme of the Osaka area is a remixed version of the first stage of the arcade Renegade. The rest is pretty good as well, and the punches sound just as good.

Though the game is short, there is enough action in it and a lot of places to go. The only thing that can be held against this game is the random battles. Though you can fight just around anyone, there will be times where you will be forced to fight, and can't escape unless you have a ki ability that will allow you to. At least you are helped by some NPCs at times, but this also tends to work against you due to the 2-Player Hit option that can't be disabled. The game, like most of the series, suffers from slowdown when the screen is busy with lots of things. Still, it is a decent beat 'em up, and one of the better games in this series.

Shodai Nekketsu Kouha Kunio-kun

Shodai Nekketsu Kouha Kunio-kun

Shin Nekketsu Kouha Kunio-kun - Kunio Tachi No Banka - Super Famicom (1994)


Shin Nekketsu Kouha Kunio-kun

Shin Nekketsu Kouha Kunio-kun

Shin Nekketsu Kouha Kunio-kun

Kunio and his pal, Riki, are framed for a hit and run. Rumors on a Kunio look-alike go around soon, and Kunio wants to clear his name, so he breaks out from jail. This starts another sequel to Renegade, if not THE direct sequel, which literally translates to Super Hot-Blooded Rowdy Kunio - Kunio's Elegy.

The game is a beat 'em up which plays similar to Double Dragon and River City, but it actually plays like Combatribes. Though some things from there can't be done, what you can do makes up for it. Other than punching and kicking, you can attack from behind and block, and while blocking, you perform special moves with each of the attack buttons, which range from spinning kicks to backfist attacks to machine gun punches. Like in most of the Technos series of games, you can sit on top of your opponent and bash him.her up until he/she is out, and if you don't want to do that, you can at least stomp them. While jumping, you can hang onto ledges by pressing a button and kick in them. The game can be played alone or with a friend, and during the game, Misako (from the dodgeball and soccer NES games), and Kyouko, Kunio's and Riki's girlfriend, respectively, get to join you with their different set of moves.

Other than beating the crap out of your opponents on the streets, amusement parks, and docks, you get to ride on your bike! You get chased around by bikers - two players can play here, with the first player controlling the bike and the second one riding on the back. You have to kick your opponents off and out of the way if you don't want to end up on the street. It is a refreshing change from the regular side-scrolling ass kicking. The controls are simple here just like with the actual fighting.

The music in the game is awesome, some of the best in the series. All characters from the original Renegade return in this game. Hiroshi (Kunio's friend who gets beaten before each stage in the first Renegade), Shinji, Misuzu, and Sabu (second, third, and last stage boss of Renegade, respectively) are in the game with similar roles from the original, but far better developed. There are also some other original bosses, like Takayama, the cop who arrests you and makes it a priority to nip you back in the bud. The game uses a password system, and there area passwords for almost every scene in the game, even for the ending. Kunio Tachi No Banka is, definitely, the best Kunio-kun beat 'em up in the Super Famicom, if not THE best beat 'em up in the console and in the series.

Shin Nekketsu Kouha Kunio-kun

Shin Nekketsu Kouha Kunio-kun

Shin Nekketsu Kouha Kunio-kun

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