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Body Blow! Body Blow! Punch Out!! Review

August 10, 2009 By: Category: Boxing, Video Games

Now in this corner…weighing in at less then ten pounds…the lightweight champion of the motion video gaming worldddddd….Nintendo Wii! The classic Punch-Out! has returned from the NES & SNES days for a well deserved revamp of the classic game from the NES.

While the game does feature characters from the SNES game, the main portion of this game is based off of the NES Smash Hit, the SNES game was very successful but failed to measure up to the success of the NES/Arcade hit.

Also, Super Punch-Out didn’t have the temporary endorsement of Iron Mike Tyson. When Mike was arrested and sentence to prison for rape, Nintendo got into damage control mode and removed all the likeness of Mike from there NES success story, however, everyone who owned the game had the Iron Mike endorsed version.

However, they pulled all remaining copies from store shelves and released a re-coded version Punch-Out! Featuring Mr. Dream. The game remained intact but the final bout was Mr. Dream, a white version of Iron Mike. His attacks and movements all stayed the same.

Fast forward 22 years later, the first game is still one of the most cherished boxing games ever created. Mario even made an appearance as the Referee, the game had it all. There was a ill conceived sequel that never saw the light of day. In the second game, you played as Mike Tyson and traveled through the universe to fight boxers from all over the galaxy.

The game, Mike Tyson’s Intergalactic Power Punch, was eventually leaked onto the internet and it has met nothing but horrendous reviews. Super Punch-Out was the official sequel to the first game, the sequel introduced tons of new characters as well as a new perspective on playing the game.

The camera remained intact but the games emphasis was based on speed, not so much on power. Combo’s were also very important in Super, you can earn Star Punches, but in this game they ran out only when you were hit when the meter was full. The Star Punches were replaced with the S Meter, which allowed you to perform Super Punches and Power Combo’s. If your good enough you can keep that meter full the entire duration of the fight.

The longer it stays full, the faster your fighter can move to duck and cover. All of the fighters were new except for 3, Bald Bull, Mr. Sandman, and Super Macho Man. The new opponents all had there owned personalities and the graphics were a huge improvement in the SNES version in comparison to the Arcade version, also the controls are very responsive and quick. It was still not the NES classic, even though its a great game.

Comic Book Like Box Art: http://i27.tinypic.com/ank18z.jpg
Here’s The Returning Champ: http://i25.tinypic.com/2zprtdi.jpg

From the SNES all the way through the Gamecube, no return of Little Mac. The SNES sequel wasn’t even Mac, you can name your fighter. So Mac retired from his championship win back at the end of Punch-Out, Mac has called it a career. But then something happened, Nintendo regained the Number 1 contender with there Wii console and needed a proven champion to show off the functionality of there motion controls.

The in box, Wii Sports, featured a Boxing game…only time would tell if Mac was actually playing. Then at Nintendo Conference 2008, Mac officially came out of retirement and showed himself to the Wii audience both young and old, both new and experienced that the classic game still rocks to this day. The game features all of the fighters from the Punch Out game on the NES and a select few from Super Punch Out from the SNES.

A new fighter has been introduced, Disco Kid, who brings a new attitude to the game full of charismatic characters to begin with. However, this is the first major issue I have, 13 fighters…one new. Thats not a good way to introduce a new game to a new crowd, the boys over at Nintendo were really banking on the original games success to translate into success for the Wii.

Nintendo brought these classic boxers over with all there moves remastered in 3D as well as there classic weaknesses and combo’s. You also get to used your Star Punches again but this time, when you have multiple stars, the power into the punch is multiplied by the amount of stars you have. You have no control over this, its default.

Body Blow: http://i27.tinypic.com/2n6x0dl.jpg
What We Need Is Greasy Fast Speed: http://i32.tinypic.com/29984j.jpg
Duck Mac: http://i29.tinypic.com/nl60is.jpg

Gaining star punches is rather difficult since some of the movements of the boxers has changed either due to coding or since the graphics have changed so dramatically its hard to tell. They often flicker yellow or make some kind of joke that shows its a chance to gain a star. I just wish Nintendo had a vote on who the game should appear in the game. I can bet there would have been a bigger roster then there was finally placed into the game.

There are lots of ways to play this now Motion Controller based classic, you can play the game in 5 ways. You can use the Wii Remote alone or with the Attachment, you can use a Gamecube controller, you can even mix up those controls with the Wii Balance Board. You can use the Remote just as you used the NES controller back in the 80′s, or you can use the remote with the attachment to actually control your fists and block and counter punch.

You can use the Gamecube controls for the same functionality as the Wii Remote but with added comfort given the size of the Gamecube controls, the Wii Classic Controller also works for this game as well but without the added handles.

The Wii Balance Board also allows a more in-depth feeling of realism since you can duck, lean, and move around to control your character instead of just punching and using buttons. You need to have fast reflexes however since there are so many different patterns these fighters used as well as for your quick counterattacks.

You really have no real customizing here only outside of the vast control options that are preset, the game is very straightforward without any user generated options. You can have multiple profiles for different players as well as assigning a MiI to that profile, your profiles will have there own records as well as there own title belts. Once you work your way through the ranking fights, you get a title shot, its all too familiar.

You win your title and you move on to the next weight class, very simple. However, when your fully complete the game, your given a new mode only in this mode everything is a title fight, your in Title Defense Mode, in which all the fighters of the game are given a second chance at taking back what is there’s and are given a chance to win the title if there a lower rank fighter. The second go though the fighters all have be driven insane losing to you so its up to you, the Champ, to be able to stand up to these even more serious fighters.

The fighters are either given new looks with new moves or new looks with Super Powerful attacks. For example, Glass Joe wears a helmut now so you have to figure out how to knock him down without being able to hit his face. King Hippo has a sewer cover placed onto his bandage, how do you pierce that? Title Defense mode is a huge plus, since it gives you the perspective of a Defending Champion since no matter what rank the fighter is, you lose it all when you lose.

Also the increased difficulty is a plus since it shows that these fighters are more determined when given a title shot. I love the animations of the characters as well as the graphics of this new game, it screams 80′s goodness, very well done. Why does Punch-Out! get a huge positive response for its cell shaded graphics but Wind Waker gets booed? Figure that out.

Dodge Mac: http://i26.tinypic.com/vgopj4.jpg
The Bull Runs Again: http://i27.tinypic.com/25sc1z6.jpg

Once you plow your way through title defense, your given one more mode: Mac’s Last Stand. A mode that gives you three fights…each of the fighters are randomly chosen and your only allowed 3 chances total to win ALL the fights. So if you lose twice in the first fight, you on;y have one shot to beat the other 2 opponents. There is no real reason for the fighters that are picked are picked, but one thing is for sure, the third and final fighter of the Mac’s Last Stand Mode will be bringing Barrels Of Pain, there is your hint on as to who the 14th fighter is, notice I said 14th ;)

The final fighter in this game is a completely different character all together, while he’s new to this game, he’s a HUGE star in Nintendo history…and it’s not Mario. Club Nintendo, a club in which Nintendo owners can register products for prizes, who have reached Platinum or Elite status were given the option to redeem a code that will unlock a 15th fighter. Doc Louis would become a fighter Mac must face. This is the first instance of Downloadable Content I have seen Nintendo done but since it’s for a Member’s Only Club its as if there not even doing it since the prize above the Doc Louis fight is a replica Mario hat.

The audio in this game is very well done as well, the music is all orchestra based and the classic music is given a Major facelift from its predecessor from 20 years ago. I also love how the characters make the many different sounds they make as well as the humor they bring. its a much more comedic game this time around from the last two games.

The game brings over mostly everything from the NES game but here is an element from the SNES game, Regeneration. In between knockdowns of your opponents, you can mash the 1 and 2 buttons to regenerate your health and this is helpful since you will need all the help you can get to down these opponents since the people you face regain all there health, what a joke.

Doc Louis Is For Members Only: http://i31.tinypic.com/29cx7kk.jpg

Not only do they regain all there health, but there punching power increases as well as there anger. So your bound to hit the mat repeatedly. But what makes it worse is the 3 knockdown rule. If you or your opponent gets knocked down 3 times in a single round, its over you win or lose by TKO. But if your knocked down a total of three times in between two rounds, your chances of being knocked out are higher then your opponent.

I knocked down Mr. Sandman 6 times and lost simply because I was knocked down 4 times, his power regained all the way and his punching power never decreased. You can regain health in between rounds only once by pressing select, the old Punch Out candy bar cheat. If regains most or all of your health but its a one time only deal. The fights are all three rounds only and if the fight pro longs that distance, it goes to decision. A win is a win but the way you lose mostly is by being knocked out. There is a New Mode, Multiplayer, where you can fight against your friends as well as fight or play as Giga Mac, a giant steroided version of Little Mac.

Sadly, NO online multiplayer. Why I’m not so sure, Nintendo not doing an online mode, what a mystery. its an overall fun game to play, but it gets very repetitive very quick and its just a shame there is not a ton of fighters. Also, its done by Next Level Games, the company responsible for Mario Strikers, Mario & LuigI RPG, as well as many other hugely successful Nintendo games so I guess they didn’t want to create better characters then Nintendo could. So what are you waiting for? Move your sluggish Italian tank behind to your retailer and get yourself Punch Out! its not a waste of life.

Giga Mac: http://i29.tinypic.com/15i6nt0.jpg
SPOILER ALERT: The 14th Fighter: http://i25.tinypic.com/24ymqky.jpg

Punch Out! is now available for the Nintendo Wii for an MSRP of $49.99. Rated E 10+ For Everyone 10 And Up.

Hits:
-Great Audio Tracks & Voices
-Great Control Options, Gives You Lots Of Ways To Play
-Screams Retro Greatness
-Good Sense Of Humor
-All Your Favorite Fighters Are Back
-Your Not Forced Into Using The Motion Controls
-Greasy Fast Speed, Which Is What You Need
-Beat Up Your Friends With Multiplayer, Much Better The Wii Sports Boxing
-Much Better Then The Rocky Pinball Game
-Not A Waste Of Life, If It Was You Wouldn’t Wanna Know….You Don’t Wanna Know….You Wanna Know?

Misses:
-Online Multiplayer Got KO’ed, No Online Play
-Downloadable Content Is A Members Only Affair
-Too Repetitive To Quickly
-Not Alot Of Fighters To Face
-Only One New Opponent
-Balance Board Is Not As Responsive As Controls
-Buttons Shoulda Broke YOUR Thumb
-Opponents Regain ALL Health After Knock Downs
-Opponents Do NOT Lose Punching Power
-The “14th’ Fighter Makes No Sense To Be On The Roster
-Yea, I Wanna Know!
———————————
Official Score: Punch-Out! Rating – 3 Stars Out Of 5
———————————
Click Here to purchase Punch-Out!!

Click Here to rent Punch-Out!!

The Official Site –  http://punchout.nintendo.com

Join Club Nintendo Today Mac: https://club.nintendo.com

Motivation To Win The WVBA Title: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mVdbuNpsryI

Awesome Commerical For The Game: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WGlQNGtiC_o

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- John Yomtov



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