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Super Punch-Out!! (SNES)

85
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
3.8
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  D Michael (221)
Written on  :  Dec 28, 2006
Platform  :  SNES
Rating  :  4.33 Stars4.33 Stars4.33 Stars4.33 Stars4.33 Stars

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Summary

Much better than its predecessor

The Good

Super Punch-Out takes us back into the ring to fight a variety of opponents on the SNES. Originally, "Punch Out" was an arcade game by Nintendo that paved the way for "Super Punch Out" (arcade), and then finally on to Mike Tyson's Punch Out for NES and Super Punch Out for SNES.

This is not a technical boxing game, rather an arcade beat 'em up. Unlike it's ancestors, Super Punch Out has excellent and precise controls, a wider variety of opponents, and a time attack mode as an alternate type of gameplay.

While Mike Tyson's Punch Out for NES was celebrated as one of the best boxing games of all time, this sleeper goes way beyond that game in terms of control, practicality, everything. For instance, there is a difference between the left and right handed punch. In Mike Tyson's Punch Out (MTPO from now on) you could play through the entire game using just the left or right punch. There was basically no difference between the two. In Super Punch Out however, this isn't the case. If your opponent dodges to his left, you may only be able to hit him with your right hand. Rather than a mostly stationary opponent, in Super Punch Out your opponents move around the ring quite a bit and depending on which side of the screen they are on, you would need to use the correct hand to punch effectively.

I also prefer the way super punches are handled. In MTPO one needed to gain stars to throw an uppercut. Stars were at times hard to get as only hitting your opponent at very specific times would award you one. In Super Punch Out you have a power meter, and every time you land a blow it begins to fill up. Once you have maximum power, you can throw super punches, and as many as you want so long as your power meter is full. If you super punch to the body you'll throw a hook, to the head an uppercut, and if you double tap the super button you'll throw a series of rapid punches. Each type of super punch has its own strength and weakness, along with appropriate times for each to be used for maximum effectiveness.

Another good thing about this game is the fact that it plays more like a boxing game, rather than a timing game. In MTPO, you basically did counter attacks to your opponent, whereas in this game you do not need to wait for a specific time to land a hit. As a matter of fact, there are times when you and your opponent can hit each other at the same time. So instead of waiting for the computer player to do his special moves and then counter attack as the sole focus of the game, this one plays more like a beat 'em up where close up brawls take place. You might smack each other back and forth, hit each other at the same time, or even stun your opponent allowing for you to get in some good shots while he stumbles around the ring. This type of thing never happened in MTPO.

The variety of characters is awesome. Some will be familiar to Punch Out fans, some are making their debut. You also don't have to bother fighting the same opponents again as you progress through the various boxing circuits (an annoyance in MTPO). Some characters are obviously boxers, while others will use kung fu, magic, and just straight up dirty fighting by spitting in your face causing you to lose focus as the SNES goes into mode 7 and disallows you from punching until you recover. All good stuff.

There are no rounds in Super Punch Out. You have one round to beat your opponent. This is good though, as in MTPO you had up to 3 rounds but this resulted in spending just as much time outside of the ring as in. When you play Super Punch Out, you are in the ring 99% of the time. No long intermission screens or other garbage that slows down the progress of the game. It's all action and it's all good.

Ducking and dodging punches are different. Some types of punches you can only dodge, others you must duck. Aside from that you can block low and high. If you play to the end of this game, you must master all moves.

In MTPO, there was an entire storyline created about this small boxer named "Little Mac". Really though, the designers implemented the "Little Mac" story simply because it was difficult to make a boxing game in third person where you could see both you and your opponent, and therefore had to make your opponents two or three times your size so you could see all of the action. In Super Punch Out, "Little Mac" is gone and instead they made the top half of your boxer transparent as in the arcade versions but with better results.

Finally, the game starts off with very easy opponents and very slowly raises the difficulty until you are faced with some hardcore boxers. Players of all skill levels, from the complete novice to the master will be satisfied with the wide variety of challenges. Did I mention you can also configure the controller buttons to your liking? More console games need this feature.

The Bad

Hmm, there is nothing not to like about this game. It's all action, all fun. If I really had to nit-pick, I guess I'd have to say that I hate battery backed games because the batteries go out and you cannot save your game. Emulation with saved states is an option for the tech-savvy.

There isn't much of a story here. You box, that's it.

The Bottom Line

This is by far the best Punch Out game ever. It feels, plays, looks, sounds, and does everything better than any arcade style boxing game around. I highly recommend this one.