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Renegade Review Rewind

The Street Fighter

Sometime in May 1986, Japanese arcades saw the release of a brawler called Nekketsu Koha Kunio-kun (roughly meaning Hot-Blooded Tough Guy Kunio in English). It stars Kunio- a miscreant high schooler fighting for a classmate being picked on by rival gangs. The game is notable for being the first brawler to feature an urban setting and introduced many trademarks common to the genre- a tough guy protagonist, themes of street justice, generic thugs, female villains, and so on. The game underwent significant revisions for its Western release and subsequent NES port, including a name change to Renegade and the story wholly disconnected from its source material.

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Thunder Force II Review Rewind

Thunder rumbles on the Genesis.

If there was one thing that Techno Soft did very well in the 16-bit days, it was shoot ‘em ups.  It all started when they created Thunder Force in 1984. It was released on the NEC PC-8801 and several other Japanese home computers at the time, but never saw the light of day in the US.  The game featured an overhead free-roaming viewpoint and the goal was to destroy the enemy’s shield generators, using your main shot for air targets and the bomb shot for ground targets in each stage. While it’s tough to gauge the game’s popularity from back then, it apparently did well enough to warrant a sequel. Thunder Force II was released four years later for the Sega Genesis in 1989, making it the very first shoot ‘em up on the system.

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