Review by Pokejedservo

"Even to this day its still the finest Boxing Games ever made."

Mike Tyson's Punch-Out is a early NES classic thats still a great game and is the best Boxing game ever made even in this day. This was also one of the first ''Celebrity Vehicle'' video games in which a prominent celebrity is a main character in. The premise is that your a white midgit New Yorker by the name of Little Mac as you fight through a lot of opponents and as you rank higher in the circuits you can be able to fight the rather ''Iron'' Title character himself. Yes before his recent near-bankruptcy, before he did the whole ''ear-biting'' incident, the Boxing world's fave boxer with a absurdly sqeaky voice was in standing in the way against a white NY midgit for the world boxing championship. And yet oddly enough this was the highlight of his career. (It almost makes you wonder if Mike Tyson is begging Nintendo for a followup on this game even as we speak.)

The music & graphics of this game are rather ''NES standard'' they won't fool you whether this is a NES game or not. BUT they utilize the NES' capabilities rather well. The music in this game is not one of the best of NES history but it does have plenty of memorable little tunes. The graphics are nice & silly which makes its lightly comical intentions even more realized. And as for classics go, is this up to the likes of Super Mario Bros, The Legend of Zelda and Mega Man 3? Not... quite BUT it is awfully darn close. The gameplay is generally simple but its very solidly built of jabs, straight punches, gut punches and uppercuts and such. It never truly feels too limited nor does it feel too simplistic. Control is rarely if ever a problem here as the punches come in swiftly & steadily and its certainly not hard to do all your attacks. The gameplay itself can make you really wonder why this is one of Nintendo's last attempts at making a Boxing game. I bet they can still at least be some good competition in this genre even in today's VG industry.

There are PLENTY of different & unique characters you'll be fighting over the course of the game. Many of these will seem like semi-broad stereotypes of various commonly known ethnic cultures. (France, German, Japan, Spain, India, etc.) Yet not all opponents don't really seem like stereotypes. (Glass Joe does not seem French at all in just about any way, one can almost wonder WHY did Nintendo make him French in the first place.) But still potential petty ethnic stereotyping aside none of the designs are awful and they fit this games' purpose well. Many of these characters have a unique boxing style and a very good amount of them have special attacks unique to eachover and lets just say don't rely on the same basic strategy on beating them. (Of course thats probably pretty obvious by now.) While its great that they are not awfully repetitive however there is one disadvantage to this. They can be AWFULLY hard with quick fast special punching attacks which might seem a bit too ''cheap'' to players. And even though its not ALWAYS like that it can be a pain to go through even if your using all the necessary Game Genie codes, however its never truly impossible its just still quite challenging to play. (So needless to say it ain't for the impatient and easily frustrated.)

The way on how you save your progress here is by the age-old method of passwords. And while it does fit in with the game pretty well I sometimes wonder if it was REALLY the best idea. WHY would I ponder such a thing you may ask well I got 3 words for you, High Difficulty Factor. As I well mentioned earlier on how challenging it is, a ''Saved File'' system could even the difficulty a bit more as it could make the game easier to go through but not too much easier. Its utilization of Passwords is not utterly terrible but I don't think Saved files would really hurt this classic title either. (Even though I generally prefer Saved Files over Passwords in general even if I didn't feel like that I'd still feel like making that complaint for this game.)

One of the smaller problems in this game is your trainer Doc, this Reginald ''Carl Winslow'' VelJohnson resembling man is not always all that helpful. Sure he sometimes gives some decent advice but overall the guy gives some nonsensical words of wisdom like ''Join the Nintendo Fun Club today Mac!''. (Okay Nintendo was that blantant self-advertisement REALLY that necessary?) Oh sure its understandable why he is not a ever-so proverbial fountain of knowledge but lets just that well to put it mildly he could've been more helpful.

Overall this as many reviewers said PLENTY of times in the past is one of the best games for the NES and is just simply a very good game. Its not a terribly hard to find game whether it be off or online shopping and is generally at a very good price. Needless to say if you haven't already you should pick this lovely little golden oldie real soon as this is another one of the many reasons why the NES is still a very good system.

+ Its still the finest game in the genre
+ Great music, SFX and Graphics
+ Generally solid gameplay and control
+ Great Variety of opponents
+ The first and one of the finest ''celebrity vehicle'' games
- The opponents can be absurdly hard (even with a Game Genie)
- A saved file system might've worked better than Passwords
- Your trainer ''Doc'' is not a lot of help

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 02/27/04

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