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Iyouboushi On July - 19 - 2009

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Mike Tyson’s Punch Out, later renamed to just Punch Out, and Super Punch out were some of the most memorable games on the NES and SNES respectively. They had quirky characters and were quite challenging, with each fighter having their own strategy to take them down. But how does the newly released Punch Out for the Wii hold up? Let’s take a look.

The Story
You are Little Mac an up-and-coming boxer who has started down a road to claim fame by winning three boxing circuits. Along the way you’ll face many different opponents who all want the same thing.

Seriously, it’s boxing. You punch people and get punched.

Graphics
Cell-shaded and awesome. The characters are all well-defined. As you can see, there’s also scenes that depict your opponents before the match and they, too, are done great. We’ve come a long way since the old 8-bit days. The characters can obtain bruises/cuts/missing teeth as you knock them down (as they could in the NES version too, only this time it’s more defined).

Gameplay & The Game
Naturally being on the Wii you would expect to be able to throw punches while holding the Wiimote with the nunchuck and this is exactly what you can do. The controls are not all that difficult to get used to but I have a feeling they would be enhanced if you have a Wii Fit board to allow you to duck and dodge by stepping instead of pushing the analog on the nunchuck. For those who don’t want to fool with punching with the Wiimote (WHY NOT?) you can set it to a more classical control feel and sit stationary.

The game itself is pretty much what you’d expect for Punch Out. Each character has their own move sets and tricks to beating them, just like the previous two versions. An enhancement this time around is the addition to each character having their own dialog/voices. As far as I can tell, they speak their native languages–Piston Hondo speaks authentic Japanese, for example, and Don Flamenco speaks Spanish. Even if you can’t understand what they’re saying, it’s still pretty cool to hear.

The difficulty on this game is about the same as the others. The first few fighters you come across will be easy as pie. Then it ramps up after you complete the first circuit. Of course if you cheat and go look up each fighter’s strategies it becomes a bit easier, but even knowing what you have to do it still may take you a few tries to beat each fighter.

Unlike the NES version (and possibly SNES version? I don’t remember) you don’t have to start from the beginning of the game if you lose a match. Thank goodness. This makes it a bit easier and less annoying overall.

Some characters have extremely over-powered moves. Bear Hugger, for example, does a bear hug that can eat away almost all of your stamina/life in one punch. Same with King Hippo. Sometimes it’s easy to dodge, other times you’ll be swearing at the screen.

How many characters are there to fight? Here’s a list: Glass Joe, Von Kaiser, Disco Kid, King Hippo, Piston Hondo, Bear Hugger, Great Tiger, Don Flamenco, Aran Ryan, Soda Popinski, Bald Bull, Super Macho Man, and Mr. Sandman. Among the missing is Mike Tyson (though we all saw that coming) and Mr. Dream. There’s also a secret hidden character (Donkey Kong)

So 13 main characters and one hidden. A lot of returning characters that everyone loves and a few new ones (at least to me).  And if you think that’s not enough, when you manage to beat the first 13 they come back again with new moves and new weaknesses that make them much, much harder.  (Even Glass Joe goes from a pushover to a real challenge.)

There’s also the ability to play head-to-head against a friend via a second Wiimote and nunchuck. Seeing as how I only have one nunchuck I cannot play this or comment on it. Maybe in the future.

The Music
It’s got some revamped music from the old versions. The characters’ original themes can be briefly heard when they show the short intros before their respective fights.

It all sounds pretty good to me, but half the time you won’t be focused on the music and rather be focusing on not being pummeled.

The Good
+ Nostalgic Factor — This game is definitely bringing back memories
+ Lots of returning favorites
+ New voices (everyone talks!)
+ Controls are easy to get used to
+ Each fighter has his own strategy to learn/overcome

The Bad
– Not very many characters overall making the game short
– Sometimes the computer is very unforgiving, making you wish you could skip a particular fighter
– Some people will see this game as too easy once they learn all the strategies

Final Thoughts
If you like Punch Out, as I did when I was a kid, you’ll probably really like the Wii version. Its a great version of a classic game. I’m having a lot of fun with it.

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Categories: Game Reviews, Reviews

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