Punch-Out!! Impressions

Posted May 22nd, 2009 at 11:37 pm


How many times have we seen this story? The story of a former champ who thinks he has one last title shot in him. A former champ who just doesn’t know when to quit. Rocky, Roberto Duran, Oscar De La Hoya, they’ve all been victims to this sad story. Now after 15 years Nintendo is bringing the former Video Game Champ, Little Mac, out of retirement and back into the ring. And you know what? Little Mac still has some fight left in him.

When I had first read Punch-Out!! was going to be released on the Wii, I knew that it was a “must buy”, if only for the nostalgia the game would bring. I wanted to relive those memories from Mike Tyson’s Punch-out on the NES. And when I popped the game in, to my delight, it did. If you are too young to remember, Punch-Out!! follows Little Mac’s career toward the WVBA championship. And of course Doc Louis is there to help you with advice on how to beat other fighters. This version for the Wii features many of the fighters from the original NES game. Even though the fighter’s boxing styles have been tweaked a bit, they still require the same strategies to defeat them. You still punch King Hippo in the mouth, and then punch him in the stomach to knock him out.

There are three different ways to control Little Mac: holding the Wii remote sideways like a controller, using the remote and nunchuk for motion controls, and you can throw the Wii Balance Board in the mix to duck and dodge punches. Holding the remote sideways seems to work best. If you’ve played before, you know that in order to defeat opponents you have to have good timing. It’s almost too hard to accomplish this with the motion controls, and forget about using the Wii Balance Board. You have to give yourself more time to dodge punches than you normally would using the remote. This can throw your timing completely off.

The graphics in the game are vibrant and cartoonish. I think Nintendo did a great job at capturing the original fighters, and expanding on them. After having played the original NES game for years (I still do), I think the graphics and sound is what stands out most. Nintendo took many of the same fighters, songs, and sounds from the original game and gave them a 2009 face lift.

Punch-Out!! also offers a two-player mode, although it is limited. Each player takes Little Mac, and the screen is split in two so each person views the game from behind their fighter. Once a player lands enough punches, he turns into a bigger Little Mac, and the contest becomes lopsided. It’s nice to play once or twice, but gets very boring.

Overall, Punch-Out!! is a fun arcade style boxing game. Nintendo does a great job of capturing the original NES classic, and sticks to the roots of the game. Any fan of Mike Tyson’s Punch-out will appreciate this game. I felt like I was 8 years old again in my bedroom playing Nintendo.

Thanks to Fred for doing the write-up! He can be found everyday running the forums. – PP