Mike Tyson's PUNCHOUT!!
(Nintendo, 1988)

When I was young kid growing up in the 1980's Mike Tyson was the man. Back then he was a soft spoken but unstoppable force that was knocking out guys left and right plus back then he was even undefeated with a huge 30 something and 0 record (then he lost to Buster Douglas from that crappy Sega game but I'm jumping ahead of myself here). I was also a big fan of Nintendo's arcade game Punchout where you would fight 6 increasingly difficult cartoonish boxers to try and win the world championship. Now imagine hearing the news that Nintendo was making a Punchout game for the Nintendo Entertainment System starring Mike Tyson! Me and my brother nearly crapped our pants and we got it as soon as it came out and were not disappointed..... well, kinda.

In the game you actually don't play as Tyson himself but a 3ft tall midget named Little Mac. Although the idea of playing a little guy fighting giant full size boxers doesn't sound too appealing, one thing that made Punchout so much fun was the game's excellent and easy to use controls that anyone could master. I thought it was lame that you couldn't pause the game but you can at least get the chance to perform a powerful jumping super blow once you hit the Start button but only if you strike the opponent a certain way (usually by counter attacks). If you are expecting just to throw a bunch of punches and button mash away too like in lamer boxing video games you'll just become tired here. In this mode you'll turn completely pink and won't be able to throw a punch and your opponent will beat you to a pulp unless you dodge the hits to get back to normal again.

Conclusion Video Review
Sadly, I don't think Nintendo was trying to show off Little People Power here, as so much giving up on trying to make the NES game even look good like the advance original two screen arcade edition which had 3D mode 7 scaling effects and a cool first person perspective. The graphics look absolutely horrible when compared to the arcade game, or even other NES boxing games like George Foreman's KO Boxing and Power Punch II. Also the other cast of weirdo boxers here are way too stereotypical as well. The game's music and sound effects are not much better either. Although there are a few different sound tracks in the intermissions, there is only one constant sound track through out the entire game and it sucks having the same music for a wimp like Glass Joe and the tough end boss Mike Tyson. Some enemies may laugh at you too but it sounds pretty scratchy.

Mike Tyson's Punchout may have a lot of problems but the game is still fun as hell. The controls are very responsive and there are lots of boxers here to fight with each having a unique pattern and fighting style to master. Mike Tyson definitely isn't much of a role model now and Nintendo was smart to drop his a$$ in later releases (the one on the Wii for example is based on the later release of Punchout with Mr. Dream being the end boss) and sequels but at least he will always be remembered for his early boxing career and having one fine game named after him (not the Playstation2 game of course).



Mike Tyson's Punchout
overall review: 79/100

Find Punchout on eBay here!

For 1 player only
graphics: 3/10
sound: 5/10
gameplay: 7/10
replay: 7/10

-StarSoldier1 2008
(Ryan Genno)