Review by Bobo The Clown

"You Can Ask Robin Givens, It Stings More Than A Right Hook"

Ah, I'm sure we all remember the glory days of Iron Mike Tyson, back in the day when he was a firery young fighter who raised himself from the gutters, the unstoppable force, a human hurricane of lefts and rights. As his famous ringside promoter Don King would say, ''the most electrifying, stupifying, splendifiric, unstoppable, unmovable titanic proportion of a man the world has ever seen!''

Well, that is, until he got fat, lost his title to Buster Douglas, assualted some women, and began eating human appendages. However, when this game was released, he was pretty damn good, hence why his name is in it. Later versions were just called ''Punch-Out'', no doubt because of Nintendo, and Tyson was replaced by a replicate fighter named Mr. Dream. So, this review can go for either version of the game.

In Mike Tyson's Punch-Out, you play the role of Little Mac, a prize fighter from New York. Your goal is to fight through three circuits of boxing, the minor, major, and world, before finally facing off against Tyson. It's a standard story that doesn't really factor into the gameplay at all.

Boxing purists should look elsewhere if they want a realistic boxing game. This game is strictly for people who want to have fun, regardless of whether they like boxing or not. The game relies little on boxing techniques, and mainly on button pressing and quick reaction.

At your control are Mac's left and right hands. A will launch a left punch to the body, B a right punch to the body. Holding up while pressing A or B will throw a punch to the chin. The left and right directions dodge, and holding down blocks some punches. If you make a good punch, you'll be rewarded with an uppercut, which is essentially a power punch. The perspective is first person, from Little Mac's point of view.

The controls and gameplay are easy to learn, and tough to master. The game boils down to a simple matter of remembering patterns and counterattacking correctly. This does not negate the enoromous fun factor, however.

Each fight lasts three rounds, which are a fast three minutes apiece (i.e. three minutes in game time are about two minutes in real time). To win, you must either knockout your opponent, knock him down three times in one round, or win by decision. Decision wins are based upon points, which are earned for landing blows.

As in real boxing, most of the enemies in the game are comical. There's Glass Joe, who has never won a fight, to King Hippo, a giant beast from the islands, to Soda ''Pop'' Popinski, a Russian ''soda pop'' drinker *nudge nudge wink wink*. There's around ten or eleven fighters in the entire game, each with their distinct mannerisms and ways of fighting.

Graphically, Mike Tyson's Punch-Out isn't too bad for an early Nintendo game. It COULD be a lot worse. All the enemies are oversized, and Little Mac is indeed very little. There's a large amount of colors used. All in all, not too shabby.

The sounds are repetitive, but then again, so are the sounds in 80% of Nintendo games. Basically, if you can stand other music from Nintendo games, you can stand this, if not, just mute the television.

Overall, Mike Tyson's Punch-Out is an outstanding game, and it or it's alter-ego (the plain old Punch-Out) deserve to be on any gamer's shelf. Pick either one up immediately.

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 06/20/01, Updated 06/20/01

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