i don’t know why i set myself up for self-inflicted pain; i never knew i was such a glutton for punishment. i’ve been playing mike tyson’s punch-out!!, another one of those games that had always intrigued me growing up but which i’d never gotten a chance to play. i started off swimmingly and immediately appreciated the game’s great artwork and the fantastic cast of characters (a colorful international cast that wouldn’t be rivalled until street fighter II came out years later). despite being one of the earlier NES games, the gameplay is surprisingly solid even with its limited controls (restricted to only two types of punches, two types of dodges, and a super move), and surprisingly fun, especially considering the game is essentially just a continuous series of boss battles.
everything was going fairly well until i hit the middle of the last circuit (the third of three), and from then on my experience was a confused haze of far more pain than pleasure. i suspect anyone who’s played the game no doubt knows exactly what i mean. talk about memorization and having to backtrack! luckily there are codes for the last two fights. despite feeling entirely bruised by the experience and more than a bit bitter at some of the ridiculous one-hit KO’s, after replaying some of the earlier stages overall i have to give the game a thumbs up. prob. not on my list of “the best games of all time”, but it’s a surprisingly classic game even 20+ years later. and of course when i feel the need for more pain in the future, there’s always the SNES sequel …
some punchy links:
– reviews at vc-reviews.com and IGN
– best FAQ, at gamefaqs, written only a couple of months ago
– redtom’s punch-out!! page: great fansite with loads of stuff, inc. scans of the instruction manual, some ridiculous achievements (like TKO’ing mr. sandman in the first round) with details on how to do them, and even some guitar TABs
– awesome commercial from the 80’s featuring the man himself
– entry at wikipedia
– series info at classicgaming.gamespy.com, along with info on the arm wrestling arcade game made by the same group at nintendo (wikipedia entry on the arm wrestling game here)
– youtube has a lot of great videos, including one of what is apparently the famous soda popinski glitch
Beating Mike Tyson pretty much makes every other boss battle afterwards seem easy. Except for maybe the boss from Metroid: Prime. That thing was cruel and unusual.
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Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! is one of my top 5 NES games. I’ve pretty much mastered it, and I can play it over and over. As far a Super Punch-Out!!, that game is great until the last four fights. I can never make it past the first of the last four. My friend, Jeremy can beat the game. If we’re playing, he’ll usually let me take over the next to last fight, and I get my ass kicked! Great game, that has definitely aged well.
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