Not quite a knock-out, but still a fun and enjoyable game.
As a young man I spent hours in my living room committing move patterns and sequences to memory and no matter how hard my young gamer self tried I could never get past Super Macho Man. Now here I am twenty two years later, I’m a little bit older, a little bit wiser, my fingers have become lean arthritic gaming machines and I’m still sitting on a couch memorizing punch combinations and patterns and I still can’t beat Super Macho Man. So this review will only go up to that tanned contender and won’t cover all of the features the new Punch Out has to offer.
To start off, it’s on the Wii so if you’re like me and dream of glory in the ring while you dance around the room quoting Rocky IV (arguably the most quotable of the Rocky series) in a spectacle that makes your girlfriend shake her head at you and leave the room then you’re using the motion control mode to play, rather than the “classic mode.” My main concern here was that it wouldn’t be responsive enough to perform the precisely timed dodges needed for the harder fights but using the motion control configuration I’ve made it up to Super Macho Man with only a single loss on my record. Incorporating the Wii Fit Balance Board into this equation certainly adds a good amount of enjoyment to the game but I can’t see anyone making it very far in the career mode using this. I’d reserve the use of the Balance Board to fighting head to head against your friends since it creates a much more comedic experience. However, using the controller in it’s classic style does give a more precise sense of control and allow for a much cleaner fight. It was unfortunate to note though that you can not use the Wii Classic Controller, but instead have to use the small, standard controller held sideways which nobody enjoys doing.
The lineup of fighters is short but enjoyable with many of your favorite fighters returning. However, where 99% of your opponents are returning favorites, it makes the one and only new opponent feel that much more out of place and awkward in the game, especially since he appears so early on. The game does help compensate for its small lineup of opponents by giving you a fair amount of replay value. There are challenges to beat for each opponent that much like my quest to 100% every level in Peggle will provide hours of aggravating and pointless gaming but for the more hardcore fans will be something to grind away at for a long time.
The animation style works really well given the context of the game. The graphics are smooth and crisp and each fighter has a unique feel to them. Unfortunately, each fighter only has a few sounds that they make during a fight, and believe me when I tell you that they will make them every single time they land or miss a punch, which gets old fast.
My problem with Punch Out seems to mirror a problem I’m having with most games lately. While it’s a fun and enjoyable game, there’s something about it that I can’t put my finger on that makes it not seem “full” enough to merit spending a full $60. If you were to find a used copy for $30 however, I’d consider it a must buy.
By Ryan S - Systemlink Blog