Review by Spraypainsos

"Likely to cause real professional boxing pandemonium!"

Everyone must play this game! In fact I'd be surprised if you haven't already. Mike Tyson's Punch-Out is easily one of the most popular NES games of all time! You are little Mac, a small, quick fighter who is overshadowed by the size and strength of your adversaries. Yet with your help, he can work his way to the top and become the World Heavyweight Champion! Featuring the final opponent, Mike Tyson himself(gapped teeth included), in an incredibly hard Dream Bout. You may also find a different version of the game, Punch-Out, in which Mike Tyson was replaced by a fake boxer for reasons irrelevant to this review.

Graphics: 9/10
Very impressive! It almost looks like a SNES game! Even though this game isn't ultra detailed, the cartoony look and classic character animations are one of the best traits of the game. Knockout Kings? Bleh! I'm more drawn into this game than any other boxing game I've played, and that's the truth. The expressions of your opponents are priceless, every single time. You can't help but taunt and dance in front of the TV when you beat someone. There are also a few other things you can't help but do, which I'll get to later...

Gameplay 10/10
Could this be the best boxing game ever? Yes, but you have to keep a few things in mind. The way to win at the game is based more on reflexes and keen observation of enemy patterns(which are not easily mastered) than any modern boxing game. No button mashing here, in fact, you couldn't beat the first level without showing some sense. Whereas you could pummel the other boxers in other games with a variety of combos and not have to worry much about taking devastating hits, the majority of the time you are dodging their attacks and counter-attacking with your own. Controls are simple, but responsive. A and B are left and right body blows, which can be directed at the head if you hold up. Successfully countering in certain situations will give you a star, which is a super punch that can be used with the start button. Yes, the start button, no pausing allowed here, for only the most focused will survive. There are 3 rounds and 3 ways to win the match(TKO, KO, and decision). After each win you will fight the next boxer. Upon losing, you get a second(and final) chance to beat him.

Sound: 8/10
Way above average, and varied enough to keep you pumped up. The sound of a falling opponent was never more satisfying.

Music: 9/10
The music consists of the in-bout music, the pre-fight fanfare which varies depending on the opponent, and the song that plays when you advance to the next league. All of them are very classic, and if you've played it before, you probably know them by heart. Excellent music!

Challenge: 10/10
No kidding! I don't care how good you are at boxing games, beating this one will be a MAJOR accomplishment! And that brings us to the other thing this game compels many to do. Cursing, screaming, even throwing the controller at the NES is to be expected from anyone venturing into the final levels. Yes, it is enough to severely frustrate you, make you turn off the game, and feel violated all day long. But you always want to come back again, which is made very convenient by the game's password feature, even though the final password only takes you 5 matches prior to the final bout. Keep a fluffy pillow nearby to beat up and occasionally take a nap with, you'll need it.

Replay: 9/10
No hidden characters or unlockables here. Just incredibly fun gameplay, and you can't tell me you won't show off your skills to your friends after you beat it. It should stay at the top of the gaming pile.

Pros:
- Great party game!
- Adequate length
- Starts out easy
- Not one unmemorable thing
- Just plain fun!

Cons:
- Extreme difficulty may cause hateful feelings for some
- Impossible odds against you when you get to certain levels, until you learn your enemy

Overall: 9/10
You just can't argue with the fact that this is a very well made game, and has a strange way of getting a crowd riled up like real boxing. If you see this anywhere, BUY IT! You will not regret doing so!


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 05/10/03, Updated 05/10/03


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