Written by  :  wade hampton (9)
Written on  :  Oct 26, 2005
Platform  :  NES
Rating  :  5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars

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Nintendo's Knock out punch!

The Good

Mike Tyson was one the best Boxers of all time through 1986-1990. He was a dominant power house in the boxing ring and the greatest, until Buster Douglas knocked him out in Tokyo in 1990. Though he still boxes now, he's a mere shadow of his former self. Ear bitings, facial tattoos and racial abuse outbursts, oh and major bankruptcy... that's all he is known for now. But his most substantial contribution from his former legacy may not be his boxing in an actual ring, but a digitized one, and that is Mike Tyson's Punch out, without a doubt one of the greatest games of all time. If not the most fun, truly a game that gets better with age.

The first thing I liked was the main character Little Mac, a scrawny little man stepping in the ring with the professionals of pain and punishment. He has a long road to face the champ, but with the help of his trainer and a little blood and sweat, he might actually make it. Mac's attacks are standard fare at first, left and right jabs of sorts. As you damage your opponent, your power meter raises. When it's full (if you time it right) you can land one hell of a devastating Knock Out Punch, which, if your opponent is knocked down three times, delivers victory.

Another cool thing are your opponents, such as The Sandman, Soda Pop Pinski, Don Flamingo and my favorite: Bob Bull. Each character has its own special abilities and tactics in fighting styles. Don Flamingo, for instance, is an uppercut guy. He'll try to land a couple on you to weaken your health, then step back. He does a little cha cha, then lands a devastating uppercut. Bob Bull, on the other hand, will land some obvious jabs to weaken you, then step back, charge and uppercut you to unconsciousness.

All Opponents have two distinct attacks: a light and heavy one (both of which can knock you out). The light one, if connected, can consist of a combination flurry. The heavy is the bad one, which if connected, well...you're in dream world. There are however ways to avoid these attack and use them to counter attack your opponent and knock them out.

The cutscenes between matches are classic moments in video game history, especially when you're running with your trainer passing by the statue of liberty. Mario is another highlight in the game as the referee. The music and sound were also nicely handled, especially Mario's talking in the ring.

When you finally reach Mike, it's both an accomplishment and an ordeal. It'll take practice, skill and luck to defeat him, but if you succeed you'll pass one of the toughest bosses in video game history. You won't do it in one shot, however, that's why you need to practice, which is why the best thing of the game is the ability to use password codes to return to your original fight. And that'll come in handy when you face Mike. Very Handy indeed.

The Bad

The password codes are extremely long and are difficult to to input, due to the up and down letter selector. You can also save a game manually and reload it, but sometimes loading can take a half a minute and there is no guarantees the saved game will still be there the next time you play.

The Bottom Line

A boxing game starring Mike Tyson and the main character, Little Mac, trying to move up through the ranks of boxing to face the Mike Tyson himself to become the champ.