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Punch-Out Knocks Your Block Off April 13, 2009

Posted by Matthew in Retro, Review, Wii.
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You see, the “block” in the post title refers to the blocks on the Wii’s memory system. Amazing. I don’t know how much blocks Punch-Out takes up, but it costs 500 points from the Wii’s Virtual Console – that’s around £3.50 in real money. While on the surface it looks like your typical boxing game, it’s anything but. Punch-Out

It’s more about learning the opponents routine, then reacting and dodging their attacks. The controls are simple, one button for your left arm and another for the right, the d-pad controls whether you throw a hook or body bunch, and also controls your dodge and block. Most opponents show a visual clue before they attack e.g. Pistion Honda raises his eyebrows before throwing a special punch. Your character, Little Mac, can block these attacks but at the expense of losing health and stamina. Dodging the attacks and swiftly countering with a punch of your own is the way to play. If you hit an opponent at the right time, you will gain the ability to use a star uppercut – Little Mac’s special move that deals out substantially more damage and can knock out opponents in a single hit if their stamina is low enough.

Your goal is to rise up the ranks and ultimately win the heavyweight championship. Each stage consists of up to three rounds with you either winning by accumulating a certain amount of points, or by causing a TKO. If you lose the match you are kicked back to the previous rank and three losses mean it’s game over. Naturally, your opponent in the title fight is much harder than the standard opponents. They don’t offer as much hints as to when they are going to attack, and they do a hell of a lot more damage when they connect. Each time you win the respective divisStole my bike!ion’s title, you are given a password to save your progress and start where you left off.

Despite how basic it is, this game oozes charm and character – and that’s what I love about it. The big, bold, 8-bit character sprites have survived the test of time and look great blown up on my 32″ LCD TV. The gameplay has that important “one-more-go” factor. Landing punches on your opponent and ultimately knocking them out with a star uppercut is just so satisfying, and the accompanying sound effect, along with the animation, adds to the games comedy factor. Also, the cameo of Mario as the referee is a nice little touch.

This is the first Punch-Out game I have played, and on the basis of this I will definitely be buying Super Punch-Out as well. I’m also a lot more hyped for the upcoming Wii version which looks better every time I see it, and it seems to have the same endearing qualities that make me enjoy the NES version so much. Punch-Out

To finish this off, for only 500 points you are getting a genuine NES classic, and one of the best NES games I’ve played. Despite how basic it initially seems, learning the opponents move patterns and quickly reacting requires a lot of skill. It ads a degree of depth to the game that will keep you coming back for more.

8/10

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Comments»

1. Adam - April 14, 2009

When I still had access to the VC I would always hover over this one. Is the music from the YTMND meme in the game?

2. Matthew - April 16, 2009

The victory theme in this is brilliant.

3. Games Of The Year So Far « He Got Games - August 15, 2009

[…] bought the NES game on the Virtual Console a while back, and this is more or less a remake. It doesn’t play like […]

4. A C. Enriquez - February 19, 2010

i just downloaded punch out,was wondering if anyone knows how to do little macs special uppercut on the wii remote?

5. Matthew - February 20, 2010

I think it’s the + button, I’m sure it has the button layout in the options if you press the home button.


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