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Punch-Out! (Wii)
By: Scrooge McSuck

- I don't know how else to say this, but I loved Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!! You're probably going "Tyson isn't in this game, stupid!" and I'd respond "I know that, douche, I'm just starting from the beginning!" The appeal of weird stereotypes and arcade style boxing ended up being a great combination for a video game. The NES version was re-released sans Tyson, replacing him with Mr. Dream (the only version Nintendo will put out, as of this day). In 1994, the SNES released Super Punch-Out!! While a good game, it didn't feel the same. The "New" characters weren't too great, and the classic ones that did return were no longer as great as they used to be. Now, 15 years later, Punch-Out!! is back. But will it deliver a knockout?

Story: You're Little Mac, a young fighter from Bronx, New York. Your coach is a former Heavyweight, current fat-ass Doc Louis, and your goal is to fight your way through the rankings of the WVBA and win the Minor and Major Circuit belts, en route to the World Championship. Once winning the latter, you begin again in "Champion" mode, defending against all challengers, returning with new moves and a tougher attack. Finally, after all that is done, you have Last Stand Mode. Three losses and you're retired. Forever! The road is long... [8/10]

Graphics: Big and colorful, to say the least. Every character comes across as larger than life and cartoony, the perfect way to design a game like this. There's just no way you should go realistic. The background is very dark and the crowd isn't a focal point of the camera work, but I'm sure that is to put more emphasis on the fighters, themselves. After all, this IS a Punch-Out game. There are three different venues, but that doesn't come into play too much because of the reason explained on the crowd and background. Overall, everything looks really good, but it doesn't use the Wii to its fullest. [8/10]

Sound: First, and most importantly, the classic theme has returned. Over and over again. You have the revamped "rock" version of the entire tune, then each character has the song done to their specific character's theme. Glass Joe is french, so it has a frenchy sound. King Hippo has an Islandy type of sound, and so on. Contact from punches sound like something from the early Rocky movies, but you can't complain about that. The trash talking is nice, and the voices sound clean and easy to understand. Excellent work, overall. [10/10]

Controls: With the Wii, you have various ways to play. You can just go the classic controls, which is pretty lame. Then you have the regular Wii and Nunchuk controls, and that's pretty damn fun. I actually sprained a muscle throwing punches as if I was really punching someone. The nunchuk is used to duck and dodge, while both the controls are used as left and right handed punches. The Wii balance board can be added into the game, but I've yet to get the Wii Fit, so that will not affect my review. From other opinions, I've heard the balance board doesn't work that well, but that's not my opinion, so don't listen. [8/10]

Difficulty: Glass Joe is the first fight, and he's as easy as he was before. but once you reach the World Circuit, things start to really heat up. Soda Popinski, Bald Bull, Aaron Ryan, Super MachoMan, and Mr. Sandman all bring an ass-whooping to anyone that wants to take them on. But then.... Title Defense mode. I lost to Glass Joe. I lost to a french frog that's 1-100. The thing is, he was wearing head gear, and only body blows worked, and yours truely tried getting cocky and knock the thing off his head. Everyone brings the pain, and it's best to practice before trying to take any of the fighters on. Last Stand Mode uses the secondary version of the fighters, so it's always going to be a challenge to keep your career alive. [10/10]

Exhibition Mode: On top of the regular play-through of the game, you can fight all characters you've beaten and try to perform special mission/tasks to unlock lame things like sound-bites for every character. The tricks range from fun to annoying to hard as hell. Like for instance, the game saves progress, and one task is to LOSE to Glass Joe. I don't want my record blemished thanks to HIM! Others include quick KO's and finding out all the star punch secrets of everyone. Nothing major. [6/10]

My Mark Out Moment: In between the circuits, we see Doc Louis training Little Mac for his upcoming fights. At the end of each of these, we see Doc cycling down the street while Mac, in a pink jump-suit and hoody, is sprinting behind him, passing the Statue of Liberty. Yes, I'm a geek. Fuck you all.

The Fighters: Minor Circuit: Glass Joe, Von Kaiser, Disco Kid, King Hippo

Major Circuit: Piston Honda, Bear Hugger, Great Tiger, Don Flamenco

World Circuit: Aaron Ryan, Soda Popinski, Bald Bull, Super MachoMan, Mr. Sandman

As much as I love the fact the producers of the game went with the classic cast of characters, I'm just mildly disappointed that no new characters were introduced. I'm NOT sad to see the lack of inclussion for Mr. Dream, but where's Tyson? Just recently, Fight Night Round 4 has him included in the game, so why not Nintendo capitalize on his name?

Final Thoughts:
A great game, all around. The game plays smoothly, the difficulty range is spot on, the graphics are great to look at, the music and sound effects do their job marvelously, and the fun never stops, even by the 100th fight of your career. Strongest Recommendation. The game will run you $50 brand new, but it's worth it. The Wii Virtual Console has both Punch-Out!! (500 points) and Super Punch-Out!! (800 points) available for download, for those who want some classic gaming, as well.