Game: "Punch-Out!!"
System: Wii
Genre: Sports
Published by: Nintendo

Reviewer: -RoG-
Posted: 5/26/2009

Review: Admittedly, I should wait until I actually beat the game before I review it, but there are two things making me decide to review it now: 1) I'm not sure when or if I'll ever be able to beat the new Punch-Out!! and 2) I was definitely better at the original NES version than I am with this new one. Then again, I had way more time to invest in perfecting my gaming skills when I was a kid than I do now. It's really all just about memorizing patterns and striking at opportune moments, so realistically, I could be just as good at this game as I was with the original if I invested the same amount of time and effort into it. But for now, my review of the game based on how far I've made it will just have to do. And honestly, I've enjoyed the game too much already not to review it, because I think you should all check it out immediately.

First off, I have to applaud Nintendo for allowing people to play the game however they choose. Yes, I know the Wii is great with its unique "waggle" wiimote controller, but those of us who grew up on the NES had a special bond with the original Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!!, so it's really nice that they've given us classic gaming fans the option to play it in the original brick controller style.

Also, I'm honestly surprised that they kept the same tone to the game that the original had. I figured in these modern, far more politically correct times, Nintendo would shy away from using all of the racial stereotypes that made the original Punch-Out!! game so hilarious. That's not the case at all. Fact is, those stereotypes are here and even more in your face than ever before from what I've seen so far. They also love pushing the whole "Doc loves chocolate" thing beyond any reasonable limits. And when you knock out a character like Piston Honda and see pieces of sushi go flying off of him, you can't help but wonder how they got the censors to approve it. Amazing.

But let's face it, the one thing that truly made the original Punch-Out such a memorable game was all of the fantastic characters in it. Every character was so great that it didn't even matter if you were a sports game fan or not... Mike Tyson's Punch-Out was a universal game. If you couldn't enjoy it, there was something wrong with you. Thankfully, Nintendo has kept those amazing characters intact and we get to see them in a whole new light. I should mention that there are some great artistic renderings of each character before the fights too.

The fights themselves can definitely be challenging depending on who you fight. With King Hippo, for example, it was just like picking up where I left off the first time (though in a later rematch he has a manhole cover duct-taped to his belly to protect it from being punched). With Great Tiger, however, he's way harder to defeat on the Wii than on the original NES game. This is a good thing though. I'd honestly be disappointed if all they did was churn out the same game but with some suped up graphics. You can tell they put a lot o' love into this project.

There are plenty of other subtle nods to the original Punch-Out game - such as the updated theme song, Doc giving you a little power boost between rounds if you hit a certain button, being given advice to "Join the Nintendo Fun Club!", or the animated loading screen with a pixelated 8-bit Little Mac running in his pink jogging suit. It's nice to see Nintendo never lost sight about what made the original Punch-Out so great.

But it's not just a graphic redesign of the game, there's definitely plenty more to it. For one thing, you can fight a friend in head-to-head matches which is definitely a blast. You can also become a freakishly huge, Hulk-like boxer and do some serious damage to your pals whenever that happens. There's more strategy involved in the fights now too. Not only can you dodge from left to right, but you can also duck, and all of these things come into play depending on who you are fighting.

From what I've seen so far, this is everything fans of the original Punch-Out could have hoped for in a new version of the game. I look forward to seeing Super Macho Man shaking his mighty man boobs at me once again and Soda Popinski laughing in my face after he knocks me out one more time. They may win those fights, but I'll be the one smiling the entire time. Who knows, I might even get out of my seat and do the Don Flamenco dance. Don't even second guess it... if you own a Nintendo Wii, get this game now.

Overall rating: WholeWholeWholeWholeHalf
(Scored on a 0.5 - 5 pickles rating: 0.5 being the worst and 5 being the best)

Reader Comments

The best...around
May 26th, 2009, 06:22 PM
Mike Tyson's Punch Out is easily in my top 10 games of all time. I was a little worried when the reviews started coming in and said that this game was just a mirror of the NES version but thankfully that's not the case. Nintendo totally caters to the fans that grew up on the game and also appeals to a new audience. Some of the techniques are the same but many way different (like Great Tiger). Learning the new patterns is just as fun and rewarding as before. The animation, characters and voice acting are top notch and perfectly match the vision I had in my head of how they should be based on the old drawings in Nintendo Power.

The only downside I can see to the game is replay value. I beat the game on the 2nd day (with something insane like 57 defeats thanks to Great Tiger and Super Macho Man) and other than going through the rematches and a few head to head battles, I'm not sure it's worth $49.95. That being said, it's the perfect nostalgia title. Retro done right!
the axe and the smasher
May 26th, 2009, 06:45 PM
I really want to get this game.
The Mighty One
May 26th, 2009, 07:34 PM
Punch-Out Wii is so worth the cash (though if you want to get it for a little cheaper it's 40$ on Amazon).

When SFIV came out I was so disappointed in Capcom for essentially remaking Super Street Fighter II Turbo with a couple things taken from other, better games and a lot of unnecessary flash. I was starting to worry that PO would turn out the same since it was also promising a return to basics and a mostly old cast.

Capcom (who are totally reading this post), Next-Level just owned you.

(Pretend everything I'm about to type starts with "in opposition to SFIV") The old cast couldn't have been updated better. They are not just straight copies of their previous versions but an honest evolution of what came before. They all have new moves, music, stories, and personality quirks that actually make you glad they used the old cast since they are updated so fantastically.

Disco Kid does make me sad. Not because he isn't great (he is clearly awesome in both forms), but because if their character design department could create a character as great as him I wish they had made a few more. Hopefully the success of this game and popularity of Disco Kid will spur Next-Level to create a sequel with a crap ton of new boxers as awesome as he is.

Some guys like Aran Ryan are given new life (he's practically a new character) while older guys are made actual fighters (Glass Joe and Von Kaiser, while fun, were so easy they might as well have not been in PO NES) through their Title Defense forms. Hell, TD deserves it's own paragraph.

TD is amazing. All the old fighters come back with new tricks and moves (even Glass Joe managed to take my belt) and some even get back old ones. It's even fun to see the way the fighters train to take their shot at Mac for the belt.

Good choice on bringing back Mac. While Super Punch Out!! is a great game it never had the heart that PO NES had since the Blonde Boxer was nothing more than the player character. Little Mac's story may have essentially have been a retelling of Rocky (young upstart is trained by old champion) but damn it if it didn't work to make you care about this "little fighter that could" character(the training scene and music is probably the most to thank for making him endearing).

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention Doc Louis. Doc Louis has been updated as well as everybody else. While I do think they layed on the love of chocolate a bit too much it is a good, fun angle for him. I especially like that Doc Louis actually gives you advice on the fighter you're facing. While I like him in PO NES it always bothered me that the only guys he gave specific advice for were Bald Bull and Super Macho Man. The references to his NES Dialogue are also a nice touch.

Not much else to say. The graphics are absolutely gorgeous (I'm not saying it wouldn't look better on the other systems. I am saying that the wonderful art style makes it look so great I don't care that it isn't HD), the multiple control styles are welcome (try the Wii controls. They work and are actually pretty fun to play with (though I prefer the NES style for "serious" play), the voice acting is great (ballsy decision to make the foreign boxers speak in their native tongue and even ballsier to put in no subtitles (I like it), and the replay is pretty high (unless your a badass like danielsan4610 apparently is).

Get this now (or not. Whatever floats your boat)!

P.S. I know some may want to mention that the Virtual Console description of SPO says that the SPO boxer is Little Mac. However, the creators of this game said in a Nintendo Power interview that he is not.

P.P.S. I do love SPO but I have to say that the characters aren't very memorable. The fact that some of them don't look like boxers (or at least capable of putting up a good fight) really bothers me and held that game back from being remembered as well as PO NES. That said I would approve the comeback of Narcis Prince.
The Mighty One
May 26th, 2009, 07:37 PM
^ This guy doesn't write for this site so why did he write his own long ass review?
May 26th, 2009, 08:19 PM
I got this game the first day it came out and I can't agree more about it being a must-have title. I honestly wonder why the half a pickle was taken off? What for? Being too awesome??

There are a few things that bother me though and since nobody is really saying anything negative I'll go ahead and bite the bullet for everyone else.

In no particular order:

1. The last character is Sandman. Historically speaking, sandman was indeed the boss character for the arcade version of punchout, but on the console versions we've always been treated to a special "bonus" character after him. This isn't a big deal except for point #2.

2. The last character is NOT Sandman. "Wha??" You say? Well the thing is, while Sandman's character and appearance is in tact, his moves are not. From what I can tell his new moves are a combination of Mike Tysons (or mister dream if you will) and the bruiser brothers from Super Punchout. Historically speaking I can see the change as Sandman is just a clever pallette swap of bald bull originally. (Seriously go back and check) The thing is, if you are gonna give him Mr. Dream's moves why not just have Dream as a character instead?

3. You can't navigate the menus without the wiimote. This isn't a big deal except when using the classic control scheme in which you have to turn your wiimote around constantly.

4. The "cut-scenes" are a tad on the cheap side. When fighting a boxer you get 4 still images of the character. They are beautifully drawn, but come on still images!!!?! The recent Wario platformer for the wii has spoiled me... I want fully animated cut-scenes. The "password" sequence from the original game has been re-vamped in fully-animated 3d cut-scenes with the famous "doc on a bike, mac in a pink sweat suit" element still in tact and it looks great. Until you get to the next circuit and you realize that you'll essentially be seeing this same damn video over and over.

Ending on a positive note, I'm suprised nobody mentioned the music!

They did a great job with it, keeping in tact both the old musical format of the original game and the newer character specific themes. You have the same three themes from the old game (main theme, retire theme, training theme) but they have been remixed for each individual opponent, taking their "ethnic flair" into account. Each boxer also has his own theme, usually the same theme given to them in their original games. Don Flamingo's is suprisingly still catchy after all these years!

So now that we have the very few negative things listed for you, go buy it NOW!!
May 26th, 2009, 08:21 PM
Oh just a bit of trivia for you.

I'm not a master of languges by any means, but from what I can tell the classic punchout characters making a return say the EXACT SAME PHRASES as they did in punchout, just in their own language. Since the super-punchout characters didn't have any voices, they obviously have new dialoge.
The best...around
May 26th, 2009, 09:04 PM
I LOVE how they use boxer specific instruments for the same song when you get KO'ed. Like the sitar if you were facing Great Tiger. The music in the game rocks.
May 26th, 2009, 11:23 PM
I have never played any version of Punch Out before and one of my friends always told me about how awesome the SNES game was (you can start flogging me now). When I noticed about this new version coming out I thought that a lot of people would ravage the videogame stores in an attempt to secure a copy with which to spend plenty of hours of play.

Given the fact that there is plenty of people talking about great games on the Wii, I am starting to consider if selling my XBox 360 would be a good idea.
Shinobi Hero
May 26th, 2009, 11:58 PM
I've always had a bit of a softspot for the Punch-Out!! games. I'm of the few who prefer the SNES Super Punch-Out!! over the NES version in ways, but I do recall enjoying both immensely regardless of my preference. I have no doubt that I'll have a lot of fun with the Wii Punch-Out!! as much as I did the others.
Forum Chaos Lord
May 27th, 2009, 09:45 AM
Macho Man still has the Pec-Flex.
He also now has an ASS FLEX.

Between this game and Bionic Commando, it's been a good month for us oldschoolers.
Forum Chaos Lord
May 27th, 2009, 09:47 AM
I had a friend that speaks Russian translate one of Soda Popinski's between-round conversations. The translation is, literally:

"I'm Soda Popinski! I'm going to run you over with my car!"

A priceless reference to his original name. Stunning. Absolutely stunning.
What Video Games?
May 27th, 2009, 10:25 AM
I'd personally love to play this, as I loved both punch-out games, but since my friend is caving and selling his Wii....that may not be so much of the case.
Ba dum dum dum dum
May 27th, 2009, 10:30 AM
When we first cracked open the game, my friend quipped 'We're going to do this as casualcore as you can get', and thus lead to the frustration of trying to get through the game with motion controls and the balance board. Which is fun, but not really the way the game was meant to be played.

Punch out is not a sports game, it's a puzzle game that favors pattern recognition, precise timing, and experimentation (I whole heartedly reccomend that everyone not check faqs for the game, you're supposed to just... try things. And then impress your friends with the tricks you've learned.)

It may be a game you'll beat relatively quickly, but it's one that you'll be glad to own, just like the Original Punch Out. It's a good game to have when friends are over, and it's a good game to kill a few minutes on when you've got some time and want to perfect your Bald Bull timing.

Oh, and Title Defense is the real game, consider the first run through the circuits as practice/time to enjoy the balance board. You'll need to be in classic controls to match the timing you're going to need.
May 27th, 2009, 07:40 PM
Rog, you really need to beat Great Tiger.

Then make some chocolate spaghetti.
The face of trapped wind.
May 28th, 2009, 04:29 AM
I wont lie. It warms my bitter heart to know you dont have to use the damned motion jive and you can just 2 button it. It saves me on the flailing and the occasional kick in honor of Dragon Chan, the worst Punch-Out character ever. So many wasted breaths yelling at my tv "Kicks are illegal, dude! Illegal! Dude!!".
Forum Virgin
May 28th, 2009, 12:04 PM
Punch Out is boring.
May 28th, 2009, 06:11 PM
If you think punchout is boring then you might want to get checked for brain damage. I've honestly never heard anyone saying anything greatly negative about any punchout title EVER! Seriously, it's THAT well loved!!!
Forum Chaos Lord
May 28th, 2009, 10:53 PM
Punch Out is boring.
Leave this site, you worthless degenerate.
Jun 2nd, 2009, 10:43 AM
At least he earned the title "Forum Virgin" though.

I just played this finally yesterday, and while I don't own my own Wii, I now want one for just this game.
Forum Virgin
Jun 8th, 2009, 05:39 PM
"There's more strategy involved in the fights now too. Not only can you dodge from left to right, but you can also duck, and all of these things come into play depending on who you are fighting."

...wow, what cave did you crawl out of to forget that every single punch out except for the first arcade punch out had a ducking feature? You probably should have said that many fights absolutely require you to dodge in certain ways instead.

I'm still of the firm belief that they screwed up the timing of everything from the first two games people are actually familiar with. I'd know, because I jumped into this with the same basic strategies and that didn't work anymore. They also made a bunch of those instant knockdowns harder to get when they made that transition to 3D. I'm not sure I approve of that. I mean, look at it this way. If the game can give punch out veterans a hard time, think of the trouble it's going to give the current wii target audience.
Pickled Patriarch
Jun 8th, 2009, 05:59 PM
Originally Posted by Nick View Post
Rog, you really need to beat Great Tiger.

Then make some chocolate spaghetti.
I think I'll pass on the chocolate spaghetti Nick. The last time I tried that stuff, it tasted awful and Soda Popinski laughed while I was bleeding on the floor as a result of a Domo-Kun smashing.

Originally Posted by Cheez View Post
...wow, what cave did you crawl out of to forget that every single punch out except for the first arcade punch out had a ducking feature? You probably should have said that many fights absolutely require you to dodge in certain ways instead.
Yeah but that "press down twice" duck in Mike Tyson's Punch-Out on the NES was absolutely useless. I beat the whole game without ever even using it. Seriously why would anybody press down twice when they could press left or right and dodge an attack just as easily? In the new Punch-Out Wii game, however, ducking definitely comes in handy depending on who you're fighting, which I already mentioned in the review.
Forum Chaos Lord
Jun 10th, 2009, 01:28 AM
Actually, Sandman's been completely revamped. His moves are nothing like Dream or the Bruiser Brothers; instead he has his own unique style. His Dreamland Express is back with a vengeance, and he excels at psyching you out during the fight. Sandman's position is a nod to his arcade form, and he retains that while at the same time, going in a new direction.

A lot of Sandman's repetoir remains unchanged. He still needs to be punched in the face and then the abdomen, Dreamland Express is still 3 uppercuts, and he uses the same overall patterns. The big difference is that his punching style has changed completely with brutally hard-hitting overhand moves.
The Mighty One
Jun 11th, 2009, 03:02 AM
The only things I don't like about Sandman is that his overhead left-punch is slightly too fast and that his Dreamland Express has no punishment for dodging it prematurely (no less hits, no don't gain a star, no immediate hit, nothing (at least his TD Dreamland Express. I haven't played his Contender form in a while). It kinda ruins what is supposed to be his big move.
Saturday Night Slammaster
Jul 8th, 2009, 11:21 AM
Sandman in title defense is supposed to be based off Tyson in MTPO.

I can tell due to the winking, hair style, gear color, insanely fast uppercuts(That don't knock you down in one hit, but really leave you ragged if they do.) and, of course, incredibly hard difficulty.