GAME NAME: Super Punch-Out!!
DEVELOPER(S): Nintendo IRD
PLATFORM(S): SNES/Wii Virtual Console
RELEASE DATE(S): March 30th, 2009 (Virtual Console)
Nintendo has been known for creating timeless classic franchises over the years such as Super Mario Bros., Legend of Zelda, Metroid, Donkey Kong, and many others. One of Nintendo’s other well-known classics is Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out, but its sequel Super Punch-Out does not get the same admiration. Although Super Punch-Out is a great game, it has lived in the shadow of its predecessor. Whether or not Super Punch-Out is the equivalent to Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out, the game should be considered as one Nintendo’s classics.
Released in 1994 for the Super Nintendo, Super Punch-Out plays similar to its predecessor, as the player controls Little Mac, a pint-sized boxer crazy enough to fight competitors that will do anything to win. The gameplay is pretty simple, pressing the A and B buttons has Little Mac throwing body punches and pressing up on the D-pad while pressing the A and B buttons will throw jabs at his opponent’s face. Little Mac can dodge attacks by pressing left, right, and down on the D-pad and pressing up will protect his fragile face. Unlike its predecessor, Little Mac gains his devastating power and rapid punches by charging his power meter located at the bottom of the screen. Players can fill this power meter by landing punches on Little Mac’s opponents and avoiding their attacks. Another different aspect about this game compare to the first, is that the bouts are no longer split into three rounds. The player only has three minutes to either KO or TKO their opponents or they will be declared the loser of the match.
Little Mac has to go through four circuits in order to become the W.V.B.A. Champion. His opponents are not the same familiar faces he fought in the previous game. Sure fan favorites such as Bald Bull, Mr. Sandman, and Super Macho Man are back but they are the only returning fighters from Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out. Super Punch-Out consists of many obscure but entertaining fighters such as Dragon Chan, Bear Hugger, and Masked Muscle. Although King Hippo and Glass Joe are not in the game for players to pummel, Gabby Jay and Mad Clown are suitable replacements for a player to knock out. All of the opponents Little Mac faces have specific skills and attacks that make them unique from one another. For example, Dragon Chan will use his deadly kicks to knock Little Mac out or Masked Muscle will cheat to win by spitting in Little Mac’s eyes. As dirty as these fighters are, Little Mac will have no help in his corner this time around as his trusty trainer, Doc Louis, is not in the game.
Super Punch-Out is not as difficult as its predecessor. Most gamers will beat this game in a couple of hours. What makes this game worthy to purchase is how much fun it is to play. Most games nowadays are so complex that it loses its appeal of simplicity that use to make them fun. Super Punch-Out may not have endless content that will last for weeks, but it does have terrific gameplay that will have gamers coming back for more. What makes the gameplay so much fun is finding the weaknesses of each opponent Little Mac faces and knocking them out as quickly as possible. Who wouldn’t want to knock out Narcis Prince in less than a minute? That is why this game has a high replay value because the gameplay never gets old.
The graphics are above average for Super Nintendo standards. The game has the same look as the original Punch-out arcade game except the graphics have improved significantly. Each character in the game are enormous figures as they practically fill a good portion of the screen which helps depict Little Mac as the ultimate underdog. The design of each character is very unique and colorful as their personalities shine through the screen. Super Punch-Out’s sound is pretty good but the soundtrack does not have the memorable tunes that Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out is well known for. The music is still pretty good and the sound effects are awesome as every punch that Little Mac connects are captured with a thunderous thud sound.
Although the game is not perfect, Super Punch-Out should be recognized as a Nintendo classic. Why the game doesn’t get the same recognition as Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out could be because the original game had a very popular boxer who at that time was a huge celebrity. Whether Super Punch-Out is an inferior game when comparing to its predecessor or a game that doesn’t get the proper respect it deserves, it is all a matter of opinion. What gamers should recognize is that Super Punch-Out is a fun and easy game to pick up and will be enjoyed every time it is played. So for any gamer out there who hasn’t played this game yet, do yourself a favor and buy this game on the virtual console. Super Punch-Out is truly a great game and should be played by anybody who likes nostalgic classics.