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Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!!

aka: Punch-Out!!, Punch-Out!! Featuring Mr. Dream

"Let's keep it clean! Now come out boxing!"

The Good
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.

The Bad
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).

by chirinea (46950) on December 20th, 2006

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