Review by Pokejedservo

"Its not quite "Mike Tyson's Punch-Out: but its closer than a good amount of the games in its genre are."

Lets face it folks aside from the legendary NES classic that is “Mike Tyson's Punch-Out” Boxing games generally don't do that well with gamers. Whether they be old ones like Ring King or contemporary ones like Mike Tyson's TKO Boxing they generally don't do well. (Though to be fair I do know of occasional exceptions such as Super Punch-Out and the Fight Night series but hey.) However Jaleco steps up to that ever-so proverbial plate and tries it out themselves on the genre. Jaleco was always quite the proverbial small potatoes and this didn't change that a bit. But is it any good? Actually yeah it is…

Though the good thing about it is its rather uncommon approach to the genre, well gameplay wise that is. Most games of the genre use the rather straightforward POV on how your opponent is in front of you while you at least see your character's boxing gloves and arms if not anything else. But this does things at a more sideways glance as your on the left while your opponent is on the right and both of you are of course perfectly visible. I know its not absolutely unique but it is an interesting use of that style nevertheless. Gameplay itself is awfully simplistic but very solid nevertheless as all 3 punch buttons have you able to do somewhat different punches. Its gameplay is genuinely substantial enough to please fans and hard-core boxing game fans alike. (It even gives you a slight “2-D Fighter” feel but not by that much.) Its control also has very little flaw, you might experience some slight slowness occasionally but overall its fluid enough for anyone to manage.

Its not hard to tell that Best Bout Boxing is a 2-D game from 1994, but while it may not be the most beautiful 2-D game from that year its highly above par nevertheless. They utilized an above average somewhat anime-like look that suits it well. The characters you can play as are a bit of a mixed bag. None of them are downright terrible its just that the problem is that their not really that memorable either. This game has a really average crew of playable characters from several various countries. Speaking of being overly average-at-best the audio overall is like that as well. The music for this game is nothing special at all and the Sound is just simply decent. But its challenge factor in a good way is fairly above average and is nicely balanced. So there is a good chance you don't have to worry about needing anger management once you go through a round or two.

Overall it's a surprisingly solid effort from the somewhat underrated folks at Jaleco. Will it make you wish it had an actual console port at all? About as much as Konami's famous take on the Simpsons and the like? Probably not… In general? Most likely so… So of course this means that its quite the rarity to find (which is really no surprise since Jaleco's games haven't been all that easily accessible to the open public lately.) But still while it does not take the crown that “Mike Tyson's Punch-out” so richly deserved over the years but I'll say this much, it was quite the contender.

+ Really well done gameplay
+ Absolutely solid control
+ Very good graphics
+ Nicely balanced challenge factor
+ Easy to get into and fun for anyone regardless of how much you play Boxing games
- As good as the gameplay is, it lacks the polish that certain titles such as Mike Tyson's Punch-out had.
- Sub par Audio
- Average-at-best character roster
- Incredibly rare
- Never had a console port

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 09/09/05

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