So what can I say about Punch Out? Have you played the original NES version of Punch Out or the SNES version of Super Punch Out then, you've played the new Punch Out. Nintendo has really been on a "Everyone loves old stuff." kick here lately and, for the most part, it's been kind of annoying. I think with this new version of Punch Out though, they've done a pretty good job.
The new Wii version of Punch Out plays a lot like the old games. You have your pretty basic list of opponents, including everyone from the original Punch Out plus, a few from Super Punch Out. They all have their own gimmicks and patterns that you have to learn to be able to dodge and counter attack. The game's length is less of an issue then I expected, thanks in part to the use of Title Defense mode. Title Defense mode is when you play through the career a second time but, everyone is 5 times stronger then they were before. This games difficulty is really where it's length lies. It's surprisingly hard compared to the other recent Nintendo releases that all seem to scream, "You won't even have to try."
The controls to the game are varied and interesting. You can have your wii-mote turned sideways to emulate a classic NES controller or, you can play with a nunchuck for motion controls. I prefer playing with the wii-mote turned sideways but, I'm a bit lazy. If you really want to feel the excitement of boxing I'd suggest playing with the nunchuck. It's fun and, it controls surprisingly well. The motion board on the other hand, had a lot to be desired. I had a great deal of difficulty getting it to work. Either, I would lean and my character wouldn't or, I'd lean one way and he'd go the other. You might have different experiences with it and, to it's credit, it seemed like it could be a real joy if I could just get it to work.
The multiplayer mode of the game is a bit of an oddity. You play against a friend in a vertical split screen to see who can be the first to get three knock downs. The more you dodge and counter-attack the closer you get to becoming Giga Mac, a hulkish version of Mac which delivers death blows as easily as Sandman or King Hippo. I can't say I really enjoyed the multiplayer. Maybe I didn't play it enough but, it seems a lot like the multiplayer boxing from Wii Sports. One match every year or so should be a god's plenty.
Overall, it seems that Nintendo has finally got this whole retro thing to work. Punch Out is a faithful recreation of the classic feel of the original game but, it has enough new tweaks and innovations to keep it fresh for this day and age. Some of the new features in the game are kind of hit and miss but, hey, at least they're trying. If you're a fan of the original then, this game is definitely for you. I'm going to give it a 3 out of 5. It would be higher if the multiplayer were better and, I can't help but think they could have squeezed a couple more features in.