Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to play Punch-Out!! In the arcades growing up. But what I was able to play was a game so great that it changed my outlook on video games forever. Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!!, for the Nintendo Entertainment System, is in my opinion the best boxing game ever made. It is superior to all boxing games that are currently out today. No boxing game, even on today’s next generation consoles, like the PS3 and Xbox 360, can come even remotely close to matching punch outs magnitude on the NES. I think the main aspect of this game that made it so great was its pure entertainment value. I can’t catch one gameplay imperfection in this game either, and that’s another reason it was so great. If I were to score this game on a 1 to 10 scale it would get a ten with no complaints. For me, this game had an unprecedented style of difficulty that I personally had never experienced before, except maybe on Double Dragon. Punch-Out!! was by no means an easy game, and wasn’t made for four year olds either. And that’s how old I was when I first played it. I can remember sitting in my kitchen in a chair playing this game before my feet could even reach the floor. I can also remember gazing upon the awesome graphics that this game had to offer. Everything from the people in the crowd to the facial expressions each boxer made when punched looked great. The characters had a cartoon character appearance, which made it all the more visually appealing.The sound effects in this game were also superlative and amusing in my opinion. I’ll never forget the sound effects it made when the letters were typing in between rounds. Oh, and the music was catchy too.
Of all the characters appearances in the game, I always thought Super
Macho Man looked the coolest. But he only looked cool when they showed him before the fight. Once the fight started his hair color changed and he looked a little bit different. It was always neat to see the big kids get to Mr. Sandman and Super Macho Man because it was the only time I would ever get to see them. Another feature I enjoyed, was how they gave a description of the opponents before the fight. These descriptions would include information like, where the boxer was from, their weight, and their record.
In addition to that, I can remember almost pulling my hair out in frustration when my opponents laughed in my face after kicking my a$$. It used to piss me off so much when they taunted me after
winning the fight. In response to being taunted by my opponents, I would usually end up heaving the NES controller at the TV in a fit of rage. This would always result in a suspension from the NES, administered by my mom.
The ones I especially hated taunting me were, Bald Bull, Soda Popinski and King Hippo. I always got a kick out of the way the enemies fell when you knocked them down. The comical ways in which some of the opponents stumbled down to the mat were awesome. Some of the faces they made going down were hilarious. I used to like finishing off Von Kaiser with a punch to the stomach because of the way he bounced down to the canvas. And what the hell was Piston Honda doing when he hit the canvas? It looked like he had rigamortis or something. Either that or he was trying to play an air guitar.
I also always wanted to know what Soda Popinski was doing when he was on the mat. As a child, I often used to think he was taking a drink from the bottle that he held in his corner.
Of all the characters I would have to say the funniest facial expression in the game would be the face Soda Popinski made when he got punched in the stomach.
Bald Bull would have to be my biggest video game rival. He was the only video game character that I had a genuine hatred for. The reason being is because of the hell he put me through. He used to derail me with his special move, the bull charge. As a four year old it was rather frustrating and difficult trying to counter his bull charge. Instead of confronting him on his bull charge I would just often try to avoid it. I would keep dodging it and just hope to TKO him later in the fight. In the end I was finally able to beat him, but I went through a lot of trouble doing so. These are all reasons why I consider him my biggest video game rival ever. I wasn’t capable of beating him in the second match up.
This was mostly because I couldn’t get to him. I had to have my sister beat King Hippo and Soda Popinski first in order for me to proceed onto him. And if my sister wasn’t home to beat them, that was it for me, I was screwed. This would prove to be a waste of time for both of us anyway, because Bald Bull in the second fight is considerably harder than he is in the first fight and I never stood a chance against him. I couldn’t even endure one round with him in the rematch.
Another character in the game I felt strongly about was Soda Popinski. For some reason he really intimidated me. This was the only time I was ever intimidated by a video game character. I don’t know what it was about him, I was never able to put my finger on it.
You all remember the theme that played when Little Mac was training right? I was watching a Dallas Stars game earlier this year, when a fight broke out between two of the players. While the fight was going on I could vaguely hear music coming from the speakers in the arena. This isn’t uncommon for them to play music during a scrap, but this particular song sounded familiar. It sounded too familiar. I was recording the game, so later on I went back to identify what the song was. I was dumbfounded to hear that it was the training theme used in Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! I thought that was so cool that they used that theme during the hockey fight.
I wasn’t able to defeat Mike Tyson until I was in my teens. Even then I would usually just play the game until I got to Super Macho Man, then I would just quit. One day I said to myself I was going to beat him. So instead of putting the controller down after Macho Man, I started an epic battle that would carry on for three days. I spent most of the time learning how to dodge his KO punch in the first round. But I eventually got good enough to anticipate all of his moves and I finally beat him. The day I beat Mike Tyson was an accomplishment that marked a milestone in my life, almost on the same level as me learning how to walk and talk. I am also aware that there is a way to beat him in the first round, but I’m not even going to try to do that. Just beating him at all is good enough for me.
If you also beat Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! And are still thirsty for more, then you’re in luck. They came out with a sequel on the Super Nintendo. It was called Super Punch-Out!! Funny thing is, I actually didn’t know there was a sequel until around 2003. I got it as soon as I found out about it. It turned out to be as great as I had expected, and was well worth the time and money that was put into it. It wasn’t better than the first one but was still a great game. It played pretty much the same as the first. There were only a few minor tweaks in the game play that made it different. Instead of getting stars, you would have to fill up a momentum meter. Once it was full you could use your power punch as much as you wanted. The only way you could lose it was by getting punched by your opponent. It also included some familiar faces. This game like its predecessor, also was challenging, but not nearly as difficult.
In the end I would have to say Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! For the NES is number three on my list of the greatest video games ever made. To me it was so great because of its appealing nature and challenging style of gameplay. Overall it was just a fun game to play. Not to mention I still play it today. Talk about replay value. Something that’s becoming obsolete in most of today’s gaming, in my opinion. Maybe it has something to do with playing these games at such a young age that makes me still want to play them today. But then again how many adults do you still see playing Pac-Man or Pong?