Punchout Wii - Review
Review from http://bngames.basicallynothing.com
Punchout in a nutshell is the NES and SNES game remade almost to a fault. The controls are similar, the basic concept is exact which consists of timing blocking and punching, usually in that order.
Story: Your Little Mac the underdog, you have an annoying trainer, and you have green boxing gloves. Your goal is to punch dudes in the face, particularly almost racist charactures and stereotypes. Your mission is to become the World Champion!
Presentation: I feel that this game, like Super Smash Bro’s Brawl, suffers greatly from the console’s hardware shortcomings, I.e. power. Im not a graphics whore like most, but when you look at this game on anything bigger than a 20″ TV, the visuals really suffer from blur. The Animation in the characters and Little Mac are decent, and the bright color scheme (GREEN FUCKING GLOVES) was a great choice, but when you play it it looks like the ring is underwater. I imagine if the Wii Had at least half the technical prowess of the other next gen consoles, the cell shading style would have stood out. The power up effects are nice, specifically when you successfully land a Star Punch.
The characters themselves are all well animated and perform in ways you’d expect based on their personality. The personality is blatantly obvious and a bit racy in some of the characters portraits. Im not Politically Correct by any means, but as the Wii is considered the family platform id of expected a roster that was a bit more conservative. Then again Looney Toons has a ton of implications as well, and that’s a cartoon. It does not so much bother be, it just seems very upfront and a bit shocking at times. I can recall a few times where me and Jon had to sit back for a second and just go “Wow…did that just happen? Did he just do that?”.
In the end it is a design decision that was noticeable to merit an entire paragraph.
The Music will get on your nerves after your second or third match, the revamped Punchout theme is in full swing every chance it can get cram itself through to ring in your ears. Not that the remix is bad, its just used too much, some original music would have been nice. Personally id of liked it to have the 8bit tracks instead, but that would be my personal preference. An Unlockable for this would have been a great addition.
Gameplay: It’s Punchout. Have you played Punchout? Its exactly the same, except the models are 3D. For those of you unfamiliar with Punchout’s formula, Punchout is not all about punching as the name implies. A good portion of the game is about animation and timing memorization. Each Character has his own move set, which is one animation that consistently keeps the same frame’s of animation and the same pull to strike timing. One of the biggest problems you may run into is disciplining yourself to not becoming flustered and begin button mashing when your being punched as you will be knocked out quickly. Its almost plays out like “SimonSays”, with a 3 retry limit. In addition to the difficulty of dodging and blocking in sequence, some of the characters special moves require precise attacking to deflect the attacks. When deflecting one of these types of attacks you will gain a Star. A large amount of time will be spent memorizing when to attack and to dodge for each specific fighter as they all differ greatly.
Stars allow you to perform a super punch, which is essentially your special attack. You can earn up to three stars by deflecting the specials, and at times punching when your being taunted at. The special is activated by pressing A, this is best used when having just dodged a “normal” punch. Your lost all stars if you are hit at any time before having activated the super punch, which for new players can be extremely frustrating. Pulling off a 3 star punch is very satisfying however.
Special: If your Japanese, and if your part of Club Nintendo, you can fight your trainer in a special edition. Personally, nothing really about that would add points to the final end result.
Conclusion: Punchout is a fun game by its own merits. Its Retro appeal hits the spot for those who fondly remember it, and its accessibility will draw in a new generation. It is a very simple game in concept, and is best played in short sessions. The visuals are enough of a drawback that it does make the overall appeal suffer. Still recommendable considering the state of the Wii’s barren desolate and decaying release schedule, aka “Their aint shit”.Punchout Wii is a *** out of 5