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Monday, August 19, 2013

Punch-Out!! for Wii! LET'S TAKE A SHOT AT IT.

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - "A comeback is like a yo-yo. You gonna go down, but you comin' right back up. And then you may end up walkin' the dawg."

This is KoopaTV's first review of an actual game, if we don't count reviews written by our lovely guest posters. Hey, if you want to be a guest poster and submit something, check out the guest posting guidelines. Now with that out of the way, it's time to review the 2009 instant-classic, Punch-Out!! for Wii, developed by Canadian developer Next Level Games and published by Nintendo. It's a sequel to Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!! (or Punch-Out!! Featuring Mr. Dream if you've only played the NES version from Animal Crossing or the Virtual Console) and Super Punch-Out!! on the SNES (available via Wii's Virtual Console. Not really worth it).

Gameplay:
  • Controls — If you only play with the Wiimote on its side then they're perfect and simple. Just like the NES version. I hear any other style (Wiimote + Nunchuk or Wii Balance Board) is just too slow.
  • Difficulty — I never actually beat Punch-Out!! or Super Punch-Out!! but I have almost 100%'d this game. That is probably because the Wii sequel doesn't make you start the whole circuit over again if you get a game over. Oh, but make no mistake, the game is still difficult. You're going to lose. A lot. But it's not fake difficulty, it's the type of difficulty where you know why you lost and you want to try again.
  • Core Mechanics — Brilliantly simple, even more so than a Super Smash Bros. game. You can punch left and right, jab left and right, dodge left and right, block, and STAR PUNCH. Meanwhile your opponents get to do a lot more, including releasing bogus. And you gotta adapt to it. And it's excellent. And there are chocolate bars too. Don't mistake this for a fighting game — it's pretty much a rhythmic action puzzle game.

Graphics:
  • Looks — It's cel-shaded. A+. That's all you need to know. There is no graphics style better than cel-shading. For more information, check out The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD, which KoopaTV has exclusive videos of. This particular game is heavily dependent on character model animations, and they're flawless in-fighting. The game looks really good in motion (yet I won't provide a video of a fight...). The character intro slides are also exquisite.
There's a reason why I made most of the Punch-Out!! Wii cast reoccurring characters in the unfinished Events of Star World 2.

Music:
  • Sound effects — They're good, I guess? No problems here. I particularly like the Star Punch one (when you get a star, which is the same effect when you succeed in an Exhibition challenge).
  • Voice acting — Little Mac is a silent protagonist, and King Hippo doesn't talk. Everyone else? Brilliant. Best voice acting in a Nintendo game since Star Fox Assault. I think it's probably topped later by Kid Icarus: Uprising, but that doesn't take away the brilliant voice acting. And the foreigner voice acting is great too.
  • Music — Sakurai should take notes. This is how you remix the same main theme over a dozen times in your game without backlash. I actually liked a lot of Super Smash Bros. Brawl's theme remixes, but Punch-Out!! does it very well. Every character has their theme remixed! And there are also generic circuit remixes too. By generic I mean "not character-specific". By no means do I mean "bad".

Story:
  • Writing —  The script can sometimes actually be laugh-out-loud funny. Or very clever. And by "sometimes", I mean every line is quality. And voice-acted. This article's sub-title quote doesn't actually appear in-game, though.
  • Characters — With the exception of probably Doc Louis, everyone is pretty much a caricature of some stereotype or another. And that's definitely not a bad thing. Everyone is memorable! Everyone from Punch-Out!! NES shows up, and some non-NES guys too that get much more personality than they would've if they were stuck in Super Punch-Out!!. There are no Generic McDudes present, which you can't say about most Western games these days.
  • Story —Little Mac is out to get the champion's belt. And then he gets it. Then what? He has to DEFEND IT. And then he wants to retire... So it's the rise and fall of Little Mac as you watch him and his dedicated trainer, Doc Louis, go through Mac's career. And you really get the connection between the two.
"Tell yo' FACE to leave my fists alone!"
Value:
  • Length — Story mode, Title Defense, Last Stand, Training, Exhibition, and some bonus stuff. Definitely the longest Punch-Out!! game so far. (Probably ever.) While Nintendo Power did claim that this game rivaled Brawl in content, that's just full of shit.
  • Replay — I dunno, no reason to replay the game really. The game's Exhibition Challenges are enough that you get all of the game's content through those. Not that it means that the game is lacking in content by any means. (Still not Brawl level.) You could try to go for time records since the game keeps track of that. There are also three save files. It's not like the game is never NOT fun. I went back and played it for this review and still enjoyed myself.
  • Post-Play — This cast is definitely good enough to do fan work off of. And quite frankly I'm satisfied with my purchase of the game. Now if only Next Level Games pulled a Capcom and put a female boxer like they did with Splash Woman and Mega Man 9. Supposedly they were going to put Peach in the game... don't let those feminists bully you around, Nintendo! 
In conclusion, I haven't actually said anything bad about this game. And usually I'm pretty critical. Guess that means you should get it. Punch-Out!! is one of those under-appreciated Nintendo franchises that kind of stands alone when you think of the whole Nintendo ensemble. Like StarTropics or something. Fitting that the same team that made Punch-Out!! made StarTropics, then.


Ludwig felt bad that KoopaTV didn't mention the Punch-Out!! series yet, so we have this special dedicated week. Coming up: An article where Little Mac is only part of a list!


Here is the article where Mac is only part of a list.
This game is (was?) on sale for only $11 on Nintendo's online store.

5 comments :

  1. Personally, I found the nunchuck and wii remote combo to be much better and immersive than the classic controls. The game just feels better.

    Wii Balance Board is good until later in the game. I gotta take another stab at it another time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Did you complete the whole game with Nunchuck + Wiimote?

      And thanks for the comment.

      Delete
    2. Well, I complete 100% the game with WiiMote + Nunchuck.
      (Sorry for my English, Im speak spanish)

      Delete
    3. Congrats! How did it feel?

      (It's okay.)

      Delete
  2. YouChew changed what the image is. It's supposed to be Mr. Sandman, not Mario.

    ...But I think it's kind of funny with Mario.

    ReplyDelete

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