Having wowed us all with both their home version of the rather excellent arcade brawler Renegade and the micro-only follow up Target Renegade, Imagine in 1989 thought it would be a good time to dust off the series for one final outing, dubbed “The Final Chapter”.
Our hero has seen his missus whisked away from him (again!) by bad guys (again!) only this time it isn’t the other side of the city into some lair. No no no no, this time the dastardly evil dooer has whisked her away through time (who comes up with this rubbish?). Now, it’s up to our vest-wearing, shades-sporting, muscle-bound, kung fu-kicking tough nut hero to traverse through various time periods to find his maiden and give the various henchemen dispatched a bloody good kicking.
Someone must have been have been drunk (or high out of their face, or both) when writing up this thing! Who would have thought that Renegade and Time Travel would end up together. Well, it has. And it’s crap. Mind shockingly crap. Don’t get me wrong (said The Pretenders), it looks great…..but the story doesn’t work. It doesn’t fit with the whole “girl gets kidnapped, hero faces city-load of hoodlums to find her” thing the previous two games are known and loved for. If the name was changed and so was the storyline to that of a high school student inadvertantly thrown through time by his professor teacher and has to find pieces of a time machine to get him home, it might have worked. But it doesn’t. It doesn’t gel at all. Like chilli and chocolate crisps. Worse still is the lack of 2 player option, so no slapping captain caveman with your spec-chum for you!
I must admit that on paper, travelling through time doofing things up with the old chop-socky skills is a great idea. It’s just a shame it plays with all the grace of a falling piano. The controls just pure suck! You punch, kick, jump like someone in those old films from 1900 trying to fly…and failing. You’re always wrestling with the controls to string a form of combo together but you end up looking like a drunk idiot on the dance floor, all the while getting a good bashing from the bad guys thrown at you. I lost all my lives trying to get past the first river section (3 screens in, i might add!) because the jumping is soooooo bloody awful!
And instead of fighting punks, punks on bikes, punks with chains, punks with wooden boards, punks (alright, alright, you’ve made your point! – ED), you fight…..sigh……dinosaurs, cavemen, mummies…..and other enemies as well. I don’t know what though as, because I’ve said before, I’ve never ever got off the first level and off the first three screens. And instead of a fixed number of enemies, they just keep coming…and coming…and coming….ad nauseum. Or until your eyes dry up and fall out of your skull. Mind you by then you’ve probably had enough and either a) gone to the pub, b) gone to bed, or c) used the cassette it came on for target practise. Get them guns loaded up, pilgrim!
A good looking game thats marred by terrible, infuriating controls and terrible, infuriating gameplay and never ending enemies. The only other plus point besides the graphics (which are monochrome unfortunately) is Johnathan Dunn’s cracking music. Apart from that, it’s an utter turd! A game to let your mother-in-law play if you hate her or to use as a form of chinese water torture!
8 turds out of ten!