Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!!
Description official descriptions
Mike Tyson's Punch-Out is one of the most popular and biggest selling video games of all time. Step into the ring as Little Mac, a 17-year-old fighter from the Bronx, ranked number three in the minor circuit. Your goal is to work your way up through the rankings so that you can challenge Mike Tyson, Kid Dynamite, in a dream fight.
But the road to the championship is long and hard. You'll have to work your way up through the minor, major, and world circuits by winning 14 bouts against some very tough opponents.
The rules of the World Video Boxing Association govern your bouts. Each match is three three-minute rounds long. Any boxer knocked down for a 10 count is Knocked Out (KO). If a boxer goes down three times, he'll find himself a Technical Knock Out (TKO). If both boxers make it to the end of the third round, the ref determines the winner.
Once you're in the ring you'll have to beat your opponent with smart fighting. Use left and right punches, as well as uppercuts to knock your opponent to the mat. Dodge your opponent's blows with some fancy footwork. Dazzle them with your brilliance and you'll be the World Video Boxing Association Champion. On the other hand, you might find yourself down for the count.
Credits (NES version)
Average score: 85% (based on 32 ratings)
Average score: 4.0 out of 5 (based on 98 ratings with 6 reviews)
It is so hard to write about a game I'm so fond of. I guess usually it is easier to speak about things we like, but I don't know, it is as if the game has so much good things that I don't know how to start... or maybe I'm just blind by the love I have for it, heh.
Well, about the graphics. This game is just beautiful! Remember the lack of color that most NES titles used to have? Remember when you compared the same game on NES and on other similar platforms and thought: well, the NES version is a bit colorless, a bit "tasteless"? Well, this game came out just for the NES, but you need no comparison to see how beautiful it is. Maybe because there's not much else to show besides a ring, two fighters, a referee and a crowd. Nonetheless, the game looks so colorful, the characters are so well designed, that I'm not exaggerating when I say this game is among the most beautiful games that came out for the NES. Even Mike Tyson looks really like Mike Tyson (and they didn't use a digitized image)!
The characters are also unforgettable. I mean, if you played it enough to go a bit far in the game, you'll surely remember them: Glass Joe (the French guy who teaches you how to fight), Von Kaiser (the German guy with a mustache and really tight pants), Piston Honda (the scary Japanese guy), King Hippo (with his ever falling pants), Don Flamenco (the dancing narcissistic guy), Great Tiger (the Indian magician), Bald Bull (and his bull charge), Soda Popinski (the drunk Russian), Mr. Sandman (that guy really gives you nightmares) and Super Macho Man (the freak with dancing breast muscles). Ok, maybe you didn't go that far, 'cause this isn't an easy game (we'll talk about that latter), but you surely will remember the characters you fought. Every one of them has his single punches and special moves, every one has his tips and flaws. They sometimes share features, but they're truly unique. Not to mention your coach, Doc Louis (the perfect retired boxer), the referee (none other than Mario) and Little Mac, your own character.
The gameplay is also perfect. I really like when developers try to take everything that they can from a controller. You use all the directions in the d-pad in a very intuitive way, dodging, blocking, punching your opponents face' and abdomen. Also, you have to alternate right and left punches (A and B buttons) so you can "lock" your opponent on a series of punches. You will even forget that nor your character neither you opponent move around the ring. Learning your opponents moves is really fun, and if you get them right, you'll be mastering the game in no time.
The sound is pretty good also. There's only one tune for the battle, but it's a really nice tune. As said in other review, the training cutscene tune, played when you become champion of a league, is unforgettable.
And I'd like to point out the fact that Mike Tyson in this game is really a cool thing! Back then, Mike wasn't yet what he's now, he was just the greatest boxer in the world. Having him on a game was a really cool thing, at least for me, at my 11. It is just ironic that the title screen said "let's keep it clean" and you remember the whole bitten ear stuff.
Humm, that's a tough one. Actually, maybe this game is a bit too hard close to the end. Mr. Sandman is a really tough guy, and I can count on my fingers how many times I've beat him. The same goes to Super Macho Man, who I recall being a bit easier, but not that I've beat him many times also. Of course, I never beat Mike Tyson, and just getting there was sort of finishing the game...
The Bottom Line
This is a classic. This game taught me to like boxing games (I loved to play a lot of them afterwards). How to describe it? Simply the best boxing game on the NES, even if it isn't close to the real thing (actually, maybe none sports game can be).
NES · by chirinea (47058) · 2006
Now, mind you, I was six. This was years before I discovered the internet, and the internal workings of a video game, and how to rate control schemes, and, most importantly, replayability. Before I even knew what the notion of playing games over meant, I completely personified it by wearing the copper out on my M.T.P.O. cartridge. I played this title like Mike locked himself in a room with my mom and demanded for me to finish the game before he opened it. I was focused, I was passionate, and I would not quit. Unfortunately for my mother, she's still Kid Dynamite's proverbial captive, but I'm going to beat it, I promise. It's just that pleasurably difficult. It's simple, you start by kicking the snot outta glass joe, and you end by watching Super Macho Man wipe the floor with you. If you're some of the chosen few who can win the Major World Circuit title, and face Tyson, then you belong to a select fraternity of gentlemen. Have you ever seen two jeeps pass each other on the road? Ever see them wave at each other? That's the jeep fraternity. Every jeep owner waves at every other jeep owner, I don't know why, but it happens. Now watch for people who aren't in jeeps waving at each other. I guarantee you that's people who've beaten Mike Tyson's Punch Out. They just know; there's a mutual acknowlegement of how they carry themselves. It's like climbing Everest. Tyson took you down in one punch, even if you blocked it. It didn't matter. If you beat him; you were god. No, seriously, a tiny angel greeted you, and informed you that the land was overrun by monsters, and it was your job to slay them. But alas, Actraiser is another review for another time.
Great Tiger. Forget how easy he is, once you learn how to beat him. Forget how much harder Bald Bull, Sandman, Super Macho Man, and Tyson are. When you first fought Great Tiger, when you first got spanked by Great Tiger, when the guy disappeared and started kicking your ass in blurs, y'all stood up and said, "Badass."
Oh, yeah, and bringing back Piston Honda, Don Flamenco, and Bald Bull in the last circuit was pretty cop-outish, I thought. Still great fights, but logically, if you beat them, how do they show up later fighting a champion they've already lost to?
The Bottom Line
If you own an NES, there are a few, key must-own games that define the system. This is inarguably on that list.
NES · by Jeff Clawson (6) · 2003
Any sense of realism is quickly abandoned the second you beat Glass Joe and you are set up against the most stereotypical German ever, followed by a guy from Japan who can only speak in words like "Honda" "Kamikaze" and a few car brands. I don't like realism, so it's funny to see a game throw it overboard like this and sailing away on the S.S. Sillyness (why isn't sillyness a word?!?). The stereotypes just keep flying at you and the game reaches it's top when you have to fight against an Arabian magician.
The controls are really fluent and fast with only the special ability been bound to the start button (why in the world would you choose start for this?), aside from that one stupid choice you will easily learn how to dodge and attack while fighting Glass Joe (no tutorial needed). It feels pretty awesome to successfully dodge somebody and then give them the uppercut and the best thing is that you don't need any weird combo moves to pull such a thing off.
The graphics absolutely blow my mind every time I see them, seriously just play Super Mario Bros. for a few minutes and then switch to this game, it looks like you just jumped eight bits forward. Characters look awesome, there is a crowd in the back and it has a cut-scene where Little Mac jogs through New York City and you can see the statue of liberty on the background. That is just amazing, I can't even begin to imagine how they managed to fit this on a NES-cartridge.
Opponents never stay the down, they always climb back to their feet and the only way I ever beat them was through TKO (taking them down three times in just one round). It doesn't bother me too much since I still made it to the magician guy and almost beyond, but it just feels off that somebody still stands up within ten seconds after he got punched down eight times in just a few minutes. It gets a little problematic when fighting the characters who require a special tactic because you can't really take them down fast enough most of the time.
The Bottom Line
Punch-Out!! is a funny game with a lot of character to it, realism is keelhauled several seconds in, the graphics are breathtaking and the gameplay works perfect, so I don't know who wouldn't enjoy this game. The only people I can't recommend this game to are the ones who are looking for something casual and easy to play because this game tends to be very hard and requires multiple sessions in order to get past certain parts. If you can handle a little challenge, then this game is definitely worth checking out.
NES · by Asinine (957) · 2011
In between each tournament, Little Mac jogs through New York while his trainer Doc Louis leads him on a bike. This harmless scene became one of the biggest internet sensations, at the same level of Zero Wing's All Your Base, when a SomethingAwful.com user added the caption "Nigga stole my bike!" in one of their weekly photoshop contests. The picture soon spread and became a hype, in spite of the racist undercurrent. One of the end results, a YTMND showing the animation, along with a voiced song, can be found in the related links section.
NES version differences
When the 3-year licensing deal with Mike Tysonwas up, Nintendo decided not to renew it as Tyson was no longer world champion. The character was redesigned and named "Mr. Dream" and the game was re-released as simply Punch-Out!!. Not all passwords from the old version were compatible with the new one.
The "Little Mac" storyline was a product of technical issues that developers were confronted with in bringing the game to the NES. The arcade games featured a see-through character to allow the player adequate view of their opponent. This method would not work on the NES, therefore the idea of a tiny main character (Little Mac) was adopted in successful effort to provide a clear and full view of the opposing boxer.
Originally, the arcade version of Punch Out! featured a Russian character named "Vodka Drunkenski." In the NES version his name was changed to "Soda Popinski." Although it seems clear that the primary motivation for this change was Nintendo's censorship guidelines (one of which forbids liquor references), it's also possible that the name was changed at least partially motivated by a desire to tone down the character's image as a stereotypical Russian drunk.
- February 2006 (Issue #200) - named #44 out of 200 of the "Greatest Games of Their Time"* Game Informer Magazine
- August 2001 (Issue 100) - voted #14 in the Top 100 Games of All Time poll
Related Sites +
Nigga stole my bike!
A YTMND showing an animation of the famous "Nigga stole my bike!" phenomenon based on a scene from this game, along with a voiced song.
Video review of NES accessories (WARNING: Laguage)
The Angry Video Game Nerd, James Rolfe, reviews some NES accessories and some associated games, including the U-Force and <i>Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!!</i> on NES.
- MobyGames ID: 10305
- Wikipedia (en)
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Contributors to this Entry
Game added by RKL.
Game added September 10th, 2003. Last modified September 24th, 2023.