Review by Godai-Kun

"An overlooked classic"

Nekketsu Kouha Kunio-Kun was Technos Japan's first fighting game ever (a year before two brothers with the name of Billy & Jimmy entered the scene). Taito picked-up the rights for the international version of Kunio-Kun and it was released as Renegade to the rest of the world. Kunio-Kun was eventually ported to Nintendo's Famicom.

Kunio-Kun is about a hi-school student name Kunio.There are 4 levels in Kunio-Kun. At the beggining of every new level, Kunio's brother, Hiroshi, gets beaten up by the enemies from that level. In the first level, you get to fight agaisnt hi-school hoodlums and their boss Riki (who becomes Kunio's best friend in the following games), while in the second level you get to fight a gang of Bosouzouku bikers that tries to run over you in their bikes. Their boss is a rich boy by the name of Shinji. In the third level, you must fight agaisnt a group of masked female enemies and a huge lady named Misuzu. And in the fourth and final level, you must go agaisnt a group of Yakuza hitmen that can kill you in one stab and finally face their boss, Sabu (who can kill you with one shot of his handgun).

The gameplay is very similar to Double Dragon II. There's no specific Punch & Kick buttons. Instead there's a Left Attack button and a Right Attack button. However, unlike Double Dragon, real strategy is required agaisnt the enemy, you can't just trick them into Elbow Smashing them all the time. You have to think several ways of beating your enemies (especially in the last two levels). There's one amusing attack which involves pitting your enemies in the ground and punching them to death (unfortunately, it barely works with bosses unless they're low on health).

Unfortunately, unlike Double Dragon, the level designs are short and uninspired. The game gets old real fast due to that and the lack of a 2-Player cooperate mode.

The graphics are very good for a 1986 game and some of the music is memorable.

Kunio-Kun is still a fun game and a bit underrated (some people think that Double Dragon came out first). If you see it or it's western counterpart (Renegade), give it a try!

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 03/01/00, Updated 03/01/00

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