Why am I the only one here who has reviewed this!?
Review written by
October 12th, 2009
To be honest I only had small thoughts about reviewing Punch Out Wii, because I expected there to have been a review of the game on this site by now. However now that it's been several months and no one else seems to be taking any action, it's time for me to begin my long overdue review of Punch Out Wii. I remembered being both sad and glad that Punch Out was under-hyped. On one hand it almost assured it wouldn't receive the credit it COMPLETELY deserves, but on the other this ensured no annoying reviewers would nitpick it to death like they do with every other moderately hyped game that they attack in a desperate attempt to be different from everyone else.
Let's discuss the controls. Like many Wii games Punch Out features multiple control schemes you can use. This game in particular gives you three: the Wiimote, the Nunchuk, and the Fitness board style. If you, like me, are a veteran Punch Out fan you probably picked the Wiimote alone for your first option. There isn't anything fancy to this control scheme as it plays like a NES controller would in the original Punch Out game, but it's still very smooth and easy to learn. As far as the Nunchuk control scheme goes, it actually works well. I was afraid this control set up would be the equivalent of Wii Boxing's, but it actually worked very fluently combining both buttons and motion controls like No More Heroes did with it's combat system, so the game felt relatively smooth and wasn't over reliant on either buttons or motion controls. The fitness board was a different story. I only used it on a few occasions, however simply put, it took my worries of Punch Out being over reliant on one form of control and gave it a spread gun. As long as you avoid the fitness board scheme, you shouldn't have any trouble with the controls and I suggest giving the nunchuk style a shot if you become a touch bored.
The single player mode of the game is arguably my favorite of the entire Punch Out series. You basically fight each opponent, one by one, trying to become the champ. Occasionally you watch short, amusing montages that show your character Little Mac jogging behind Dr. Louis' bicycle in a pink jump suit, and most of all trying to memorize your opponent's fight patterns and ways to avoid their attacks. It's this that makes Punch Out like a fun cross between a fighting game and puzzle game that requires you to stay on your toes.
If you've played the old school Punch Out titles before you'll probably breeze through the first career mode circuits, but when it gets to title defense mode - that's when the challenges become interesting. In this mode you need to defend your belt and re-fight the opponents you've fought before, but they'll be boasting faster and more complex fighting patterns, while some will even wear protective armor that stops you from punching them at a certain point. For example your first fight in title defense is, like in the career mode, against Glass Joe, only now wearing a helmet. This keeps you from being able to make any attacks to his head unless it's a star punch. Joe also has faster moves, doesn't let you mindlessly punch him as much, and has two annoying hook punches that look similar, but move at much different rates of speed. I'm not kidding when I say this but this actually made Glass Joe, the boxer ridiculed by all fans of video games as a wimp, moderately difficult. Yea I still beat him my first try but that's not to say he didn't knock me to the ground. It's also when I see the title defense mode that I get mad at fans who constantly ranted on about the games small roster. The characters moves change so much in title defense mode compared to their career defense mode characters they practically are different characters as far as movesets go.
The multiplayer experience isn't all that bad either, but it also feels sort of.. meh. I was able to get my younger brother, who often won't play any game but World of Warcraft, to play me in it, which is an impressive feat only SSBB has done before. In multiplayer you play as two different Little Macs on a split screen, trying to punch each other out. The punches you make are a lot more laggy than the ones in single player, but the game itself is very balanced and if you can punch your opponents enough times, the character you operate will increase in size and strength becoming Giga Mac! Still the multiplayer probably won't be the highlight of your experience in the game. I myself am more than willing to accept this though, after all games nowadays need the single player experience Punch Out Wii offers, just don't use its multiplayer as the main gaming event if you have a party with multiple friends.
The graphics are pretty basic cel-shaded style visuals, however the textures are all very colorful and appealing to the eye, and the massively oversized opponents you fight are comically designed to stereotype the country that character is from, just as in all the other Punch Out games. I really liked the work the game designers did with the camera angles of the game as well. Despite the game being two dimensional, every time I knocked an opponent to the ground and saw the camera move to another side of the ring, to show the bruised face of my opponent, with Little Mac's shadow looming next to him waiting for him to get up, I couldn't help but feel a nice sense of 3D visual awe. The graphics themselves are nothing special but the cut-scenes and camera angles more than get the job done.
What can I say about the sound except it's AWESOME! The main battle tune is a well remixed version of the original Punch Out theme GUITAR STYLE! Every time you win a fight you'll hear another timeless song from the original game, but remixed to specify the theme/country of the opponent you just fought and the music in the game overall just gives a wondrous Punch Out vibe.
In terms of the game's lifespan, I can safely say fans will rejoice at the optional challenges you're given. Once you've defeated an opponent, you can fight them again, but this time with a different goal to achieve other than just knocking them out. Sometimes the objective won't even be to win in a certain way, but say star punch the opponent with three stars, or find all their one punch knock out weak points. Each opponent, including their career and title defense mode counterparts, have three different challenges to complete giving this a nice extra for perfectionists to look forward to. No longer will Punch Out fans be forced to expand the length they play the games with just speed runs and no hit runs (though if you get bored of the challenges you can always try that as well). This may not be a game you spend the most time on but it'll keep you busy and the work will always be sweet.
Overall, despite Punch Out Wii's lack of Mike Tyson or the word Super in its title, it is a very complete package of a game. I won't compare it to Punch Out's previous titles since that could easily lead to a fist fight over which is better, but I will say it lives up to the Punch Out name. I can't see much point in saying this next bit, since if you are a veteran fan you've probably already bought it by now, but regardless if you have played and liked a previous Punch Out installment you'll like this game, there's no doubt about it. If you haven't played Punch Out and are afraid you may not like it you should slam your head into a nearby wall for even thinking such a thought (I'm only joking.. a little), or I suppose you could check out the original Mike Tyson's Punch Out on the Virtual Console for $5.00, then realize what a moron you are for thinking you may not like it, and THEN buy Punch Out Wii.
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