Retreorevisited: Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out (NES)

Retrorevisited is a stream series where I revisit a game or a game series I haven’t played in over 10 or 20+ years. I’ll go through to try see what I remember until a game over or I run out of continues. In some cases muscle memory may slowly return, in others probably not. This is a chance for me to revisit games of my youth that I still have or had at one point, playing them with and without nostalgia goggles, and do with mini-reviews of them too. If I decide to play any fully later and do a full review, parts of the mini-review would be incorporated into it. Depending on the playstyle or system, games reviewed will either be mini-reviews or one about all games in this session.  

Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out was released in the US in 1987, with a re-release in 1990 with Mike Tyson replaced with Mr. Dream. This is a boxing title where you play the role of Little Mac rising up the boxing ladder to fight Mike Tyson. All of your enemies are larger than life and have their own gimmicks and tricks you need to learn to beat them with punches, dodging, ducking, and uppercuts. You beat your opponents by KO, TKO, or referee decision. 

I had played this on occasion, but I didn’t own this until I got Punch-Out. I loved this as a kid from the characters to the challenge and learning my opponents moves. I never finished this or got past Great Tiger as a kid. But I still enjoyed this for it’s fast paced action, the way you had to think in each fight and the amazing graphics.

GRAPHICS AND SOUND: The game was released in 1987 and the graphics held up then and now! All of Little Mac’s opponents are large and in charge and they all range in size, body type, and color. All of your opponents have little quirks in their looks and appearances when you punch them or even they attack too which gives them all personality, even Mike Tyson. The mid-round scenes still look great as do the scenes when you get the password with mac and Doc riding through the city. Graphics for the ring are simple but do the job, and you even got Mario as the referee!

 Music is good for what it is during rounds and other scenes. It’s enough to get you pumped up to put down your opponents. Sound effects for punches still sound decent though they kinda sound like someone squeezing a squeaky chew toy at times.

PLAY CONTROL: Most of your controls are simple: B and A for left and right punches, down to duck, left and right to dodge, and hitting start for uppercuts. The controls are quite responsive, though this is one of those games you can notice the few milliseconds(?) of lag time if you play on an emulator, which can completely throw off your rhythm or put you in a bad spot fast.

CHALLENEGE: The challenge is one of the main draws of this wonderful game. Each opponent has their own move set for punching, defending, and a special move. The object is to learn when to punch, dodge and sometimes hit them before, during or after a special attack for free hits or an instant knock down. You’re likely gonna take some losses till you learn everyone’s patterns, especially with fighters like King Hippo, Great Tiger, bald Bull, and when you get up to Mr. Sandman, Super Macho Man and Tyson himself. Think of every opponent as a puzzle (as I’ve compared superbosses in some rpg hacks) where you need to figure when to fight and dodge. Once you know their patterns, you can breeze through most of your opponents, and don’t forget you can get some health back once between a round by hitting select for Doc’s special shoulder rub!



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