Review by Aganar

"The greatest boxing gamer ever"


Punch-out was originally an arcade game developed by Nintendo. It was later ported to the NES where it remains its best. One of the nice things was that you could use the power glove to control Little Mac, the main hero, instead of using the controller. There was even an add-on called the ''U-Force'' which was designed specifically just for Punch-out! Luckily, it was also compatible with some other games.

Graphics: 10/10
Stunning. Simple amazing. They look pretty much arcade perfect, which I didn't think was possible on the NES. The backgrounds look excellent, Mario, even as a ref, looks really good, and the sprites are amazing. The characters for one are the most detailed sprites I have seen to date on the NES. They look huge covering over have the screen and most of the ring, and while they barely have any character animations, it looks so beautiful you really don't notice, or even care for that matter. I go as far as to say it looks up on the quality of some of the earlier SNES games. Also, the Mike Tyson sprite is probably the most realistic looking sprite in an NES game.

Story: 7.5/10
It's an average story. You play as Little Mac, a young boxer, being trained by a hard-working coach. You go through the game fighting new boxers, with your coach giving you hints in each round. Every time you go to a new circuit it shows Little Mac training even harder. The object of course it to become the heavy weight champion of the world. In the US version instead of fighting Mr. Dream you fight Mike Tyson.

Gameplay: 9/10
Even for an NES game, its combat system still far outclasses modern boxing games. In this, the system is simple. You can jab to the right, left, in the stomach, in the face, dodge, and, if you make a certain number of hits you can earn a star which allows you to do a super uppercut, capable of knocking out people in one hit. The object is to knock out the other player. You can knock them out by having them not get up before 10 seconds are up, or TKO them by knocking them out 3 times before a round is up. There are 3 rounds in a match, and if you don't complete the fight before the time is up the judges declare the winner. Little Mac can also get tired from hitting to much, however, usually you can use that as an advantage and when he regains his strength repeatedly jab the enemy. The enemies all have their own special statistics and ways of being beaten, There are also enemies which re-appear when you make it to higher circuits, although it doesn't make any sense how if you manage to beat them they can surpass you and hold a higher title than you without them knocking you out first. Anyway, all in all, its an excellent system. Its not hard to catch on to, and you can develop skill for it easily.

Sound/Music: 9/10
The sound and music is great. Although there is only one main theme that plays, its an excellent theme, and each person has their own opening to it. The sounds also sound pretty realistic for an NES game.

Replay Value: 8.5/10
There's not much of a true reason to play through the entire game over again, but it since its an arcade game, it's a great game to play over and over, since its so fun. It's great just using a password to get to one guy and try to beat your previous time (or, get a TKO). Its also a good game to compete with against your friends for KO times.

Overall: 8.8/10
Punch-out is a Nintendo classic. Its system is simple, challenging, deep, and just plain fun. Its graphics are great, it has a decent story, and good music. For its time it was very unique and even now it's still better than modern boxing games. Yes, this version was a bit censored (Vodka Pop was changed to Soda Pop), but overall, its still a great game worth playing.

Pros:
Excellent graphics
Great gameplay

Cons:
A bit censored

To Buy or Not To Buy:

The most expensive I've ever seen it at a store was $12, and even I'd pay 20 for it even though I already own it, so this is a definite buy


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 02/25/02, Updated 02/25/02


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