Punch Out (Wii Balance Board Compatible) Wii
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Released on 22-May-2009
It's round one for Punch-Out!! on Wii!
After a flawless fight record on the NES and Super NES, Punch-Out!! revives the story of Little Mac as you follow his journey from up-and-coming boxer in the Bronx, NY to undisputed World champion. The game reunites the much-loved mean men of the World Video Boxing Association, who Little Mac must challenge and defeat one-by-one. The truly international line-up of characters includes all the wacky favourites from Von Kaiser, to King Hippo and tireless trainer Doc Louis.
The game brings the tactics and skills of boxing to Wii as you spot weaknesses in your opponent’s armoury – such as changes in their body position – and exploit them with your best upper cuts, hooks and jabs. However, this time the game packs even more power with bold new 3D graphics and the introduction of the motion sensing controls of the Wii Remote and Nunchuk to give a more instinctive boxing experience as you weave, bob and duck your way to the top!
Punch-Out!! on Wii offers great new control opportunities, utilising both the Wii Remote and Nunchuk to let you mimic the movements of the left and right hands as you let the leather fly. Meanwhile, the “classic” control system,invites you to use the Wii Remote in a sideways position to simulate theoriginal NES controller and gives the real retro fight feel that Punch-Out!! fans love.
Punch-Out!! Will certainly bring the thrills of the big ring to Wii and will give you the chance to experience fight night in the comfort of your own living room. It’s seconds out and time for round one!
This is a boxing game that will send many gamers on a trip down memory lane. It's a remake of the 1980s NES and arcade classic, and is an action-packed treat whether you remember the original or not.
As in the original NES and arcade versions of the game, you play as 17-year-old Little Mac, a wannabe boxing champ who hails from the Bronx, and former heavyweight champion Doc Louis is still on hand to coach Little Mac into becoming a top-rate boxer, as he creams the game's 13 pugilists. Throw star punches at the familiar bodies of Glass Joe, Von Kaiser, Don Flamenco and, of course, King Hippo, while learning to overcome new characters such as Disco Kid. Don't be fooled into thinking that you can just pull out your old moves to floor the original opponents though. While they've been away they've learnt some new tricks, so you'll have to learn how to overpower them all over again.
The challenge really kicks in when you're in the Title Defence Mode. You play the same roster of boxers, but your work is cut out because they have overcome their weaknesses. King Hippo, for example, wears a manhole cover over his belly, which is his weak spot, as it was in the original. Consequently you have to work even harder to beat your opponent.
While features are based on those of the original NES version, the animation has been turned up to 11.
While characters and many of the features are based on those of the original NES version, the animation has now been turned up to 11. It's a smoother, brighter, 3D revamp of the original cartoon graphics. This and some of the game's playful quirks keep the action light-hearted, playful and enjoyable for players of all skill levels.
Of course, the Wii's key feature is its intuitive controls, and there are those that say this edition of Punch-Out!! demonstrates the best use of the Nunchuk and Wii remote combo to date. One thing's for sure though; you will sweat like a lager boy. Weave the punches thrown your way using the analog stick, and swing the Nunchuk and Wii Remote to the left and the right in order to floor your opponent. Those who want to take intuitive controls up another notch should invest in a Wii Balance Board, as they are compatible with the game.
The real deal
Of course if you really want to keep it old school drop the Nunchuk and turn the remote on its side. The original controls kick in and you'll be immediately transported to a time when you wore Global Hypercolor t-shirts and drank Slush Puppies while playing computer games in your bedroom.
You'll be immediately transported to a time when you wore Global Hypercolor t-shirts and drank Slush Puppies.
It's not just gamers who are desperate to get their hands on the new version of Punch-Out!! though. Real-life boxers are excited about playing a more eccentric version of the game that they play professionally, and undefeated world champion Joe Calzaghe, and his son are endorsing the game. "The controls feel really natural, and throwing punches with the Wii remote really connected with the different fighters in the game," he says. "I was an undefeated former world boxing champion before I met my son on Punch-Out!! He's the new undefeated Punch-Out!! champion now in our family."
The people behind the game aren't stuck in the past though. It has the multiplayer and online aspects you'd expect of any new game. The multiplayer mode sees both players playing as a differently coloured version of Little Mac, while online you can keep a log of your scores in order to earn a place on the leader boards.
Punch-Out!! is a revamped trip down memory lane. It's nostalgic fun to those who remember to original, and an exciting and playful challenge to those who have never stood in Little Mac's shoes before. The gloves are on.
- Nostalgic fun
- Great use of Wii controls
- Challenging new Title Defence Mode
- Repetitive game play
- Simple for experienced gamers
- Limited to two players
Olympic fever has gripped the planet, and we're only just over halfway through a year that has already been defined by amazing sporting action. From regular favourites like Wimbledon and the UEFA European Championship, to the glitz of the Olympics and surprise wins in the Tour De France, sport has never hogged so many UK headlines. As always, where there's an audience, there are video games looking to capitalise on the popularity - and a famous face certainly helps to catch our attention (although Mario and Sonic don't really count...). Here's our look back over the history of sporting heroes in games.
You can almost go back to the dawn of gaming and find examples of famous athletes promoting games. Daley Thompson's Decathlon was one of the enduring classics of the 8-bit home computer era, a keyboard-bashing run through ten track and field events overseen by the ghostly white pixellated face of digital Daley.
It was inevitable that a footy-loving nation such as ours would attract a flood of cheesy football endorsements as well, with everyone from squeaky scouser Emlyn Hughes to telly pundits Saint and Greavsie, to top flight players like Gazza and Beckham, putting their name to digitised kickabouts. We even had the bizarre sight of a Peter Shilton goalkeeping game, cheekily renamed Handball Maradona after the infamous "hand of god" incident at the 1986 World Cup. And while there's no name on the box, there's no ignoring the key players endorsing both FIFA and Pro Evolution Soccer even today.
Ever-obsessed with sports and strategy, it didn't take long for American software companies to follow suit. John Madden had already retired as both player and coach when his name first adorned the Madden NFL American Football simulation in 1988, but it kicked off a series which endures to this day and is widely considered to be the benchmark of gridiron gaming. Madden was part of the EA Sports stable, a label that knows the value of the right endorsement. In 1999 the company's popular PGA golf series became Tiger Woods PGA Tour, and the fairway superman has been the face of golf games ever since. Indeed, the close tie between game and name may soon become a problem, as the digital Tiger performs better than his struggling real-life counterpart. Will the series revert to plain old PGA Tour when Tiger's star fades, or will EA find a new golfing hero to carry the torch?
That's the gamble when signing a player at the peak of their game. Sometimes, a games company will sign an up and coming athlete in the hopes of backing a long term winner. That worked for Nintendo, when it paid a young Mike Tyson $50,000 to use his likeness in the NES Punch Out boxing game. Within months, Tyson was on his way to being the world heavyweight champ, and the retitled Mike Tyson's Punch Out benefited from his success in the USA.
In the UK, meanwhile, Punch Out was ported to home computers with our very own Frank Bruno as the main character. Punch Out returned to Wii minus its star, while Tyson makes a surprise return to games this year in WWE '13, re-living the brief sting he spent using his name to boost the wrestling company's ratings.
Often, a sport will bubble up to the top of the popular consciousness thanks to the eye-catching feats of a particular sports-person. In the late 1990s, it was Codemasters that perked up long-running, but fairly obscure rugby and cricket sims, by shrewdly putting hot new stars like Jonah Lomu and Brian Lara above the title. Likewise, it was only when legendary racer Colin McRae put his name to the publisher's rally games that they became the owners of a blockbuster franchise, and while the DiRT series has continued to thrive without him, it was his name that got the customers through the proverbial door to begin with. Such moves weren't restricted to cult UK sports either. In 1999, Japanese firm Namco quickly rebranded the latest entry in its fledgling tennis series as Anna Kournikova Smash Court Tennis in order to attract European gamers.
It's perhaps notable that the area where celebrity endorsement paid off most spectacularly was in the rise of extreme sports, where off-beat personalities are more openly celebrated and the players are more likely to be gamers. Tony Hawk pioneered this with his skateboarding games, lending not just his credibility but also his insight and expertise to ensure maximum authenticity. Snowboarder Shaun White and BMX rider Dave Mirra quickly followed Hawk's example. Hawk's back this year, too, in an HD re-jigging of some of his classic titles for Xbox LIVE; he's gone from extreme rebel to a traditional figure, but we still love him!
Whenever sport becomes national obsession, you can bet an enterprising games developer will seize the opportunity. Gold medal-winning swimming star Michael Phelps has got a head start on his Olympic peers this year, with his Push The Limit game for Kinect already on shelves. Will we see Bradley Wiggins grace the cover of next year's Tour De France game? Will Jess Ennis and Mo Farah be running alongside us in the next Kinect Sports? Whoever is next on the podium, it's a good bet that gamers will be the winners.
Punch Out Review (21/05/2009)
This is a boxing game that will send many gamers on a trip down memory lane. It's a remake of the 1980s NES and arcade classic, and is an action-packed treat wh…
From the Olympics to the Tour de France, sport has never hogged so many UK headlines. As always, where there's an audience, there are video games looking to capitalise on the popularity - and a famous…
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