This is how a remake is done right.
Wii’s Punch-Out!! is a remake of the classic 1987 NES game Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!!, but with a few new fighters, a few new game modes, updated graphics and real voice acting. The result is a retro style success, but this also ensures all the same frustrations that were present 20 years ago.
STORY IS THE SAME
Story of Punch-Out!! is the same as in Rocky or any other classic boxing franchise. You play as Little Mac who has a trainer called Doc Louis and together they are trying to make Mac a boxing champion. Journey takes them through three different circuits and after the final World Circuit it’s time to meet the champ himself. Unfortunately this time it’s not Mike Tyson.
PATTERN BASED PUZZLE GAME, NOT A FIGHTING GAME
Punch-Out!! is not EA’s Fight Night Round 4. This is all about learning patterns and be able to respond to them by using very simple controls. Everything happens in a pseudo-3D plane where your opponent is almost twice Little Mac’s size. What makes this game great is the cast of caharacters you face: they are all stereotypes and have a ton of personality.
ALL THREE STYLES OF CONTROL WORK
There are three different control methods to choose from and they all work. Classic style is to have wiimote sideways and use it like a regular NES controller and more Wii style is to use both wiimote and the nunchuck where each represents right and left arm respectively. Most physical choice is to use Wii Balance Board to do evasive moves and use wiimote and nunchuck to do punches. Balance Board is surprisingly good feature and it brings a whole new level of gameplay, but it also makes you sweat really fast. For long sessions I have to recommend the classical style of wiimote sideways, because it’s the most accurate method.
Graphics are cartoonish and they just add that great personality to all the characters. Colors are used vividly and it’s just fun to look at. Animations are seamless and it all just looks right. Sound effects are simple, but the music is fully updated and voice acting makes that special final touch to all the characters. Especially Doc Louis is full of interesting and funny comments all the time.
SIMPLE MODES AND NO ONLINE PLAY
There are only a few game modes. Career sets you against one opponent at a time and you rank up from there. There are 13 fighters in all and a few of them are real surprises to say the least. Fighting patterns are the same as always, so Punch-Out!! veterans will have an easier time to deal with them. After Career Mode comes Title Defence Mode and here you have to defend your title against opponents who have now learned new tricks. After this there’s another mode called Last Stand Mode, which is basically a survival mode. Exhibition mode let’s you take any opponent you wish assuming you’ve already beaten him in Career mode. There’s also a 1 vs. 1 offline mode, but no online play what so ever. This is a shame, but on the other hand Punch-Out!! is so arcade style game that I’m not sure how well online play would have fitted in this kind of a game.
CHECK OUT WII’S PUNCH-OUT!!
Aside from the lack of online play I have only two rants: there’s only one difficulty setting which can make things very frustrating at times and the second thing is that there is no Mario as a referee. If you have any interest towards this long running series I recommend you to check Wii’s Punch-Out!! Just remember that memorizing those patterns can get frustrating.