Sticking to its Punch Out roots

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punch-out

You know the really lame looking Ready 2 Rumble game hitting the Wii on some date I don’t care about? Yeah, forget that one in favor of the OG of crazy boxing games, Punch Out!! As you might have noticed in the recent release list, it’s heading to Wii in the first half of this year, so start putting away some money in your piggy bank.

Nintendo hasn’t let out much information on the game, but speculation is always a fun thing to do so let’s look at what Punch Out!! should be. Thankfully, Nintendo opted against getting too “new” with it, sporting the classic behind-the-back view of Little Mac facing off against oversized, extremely stereotyped, boxers – it’s fucking great.

It’s also good to see that along with that fixed viewpoint, Nintendo appears to be keeping it simple. I fully support that idea because it’s what defines the series. There’s no need for an excessive amount of buttons or moves, just give me a couple of different attacks and a power move, and we’re all good. The best control scheme is quite simply the Wiimote held in classic NES fashion, limiting buttons to a d-pad, the 1 and 2 buttons, and B.

No doubt developer Next Level Games will be encouraged by Nintendo to add in gesture movements, but let’s cross our fingers that it’s either extremely limited or entirely optional. Keeping moves simple, easy and super responsive is the key to making this a great game worthy of its name.

Like this, but for Wii.

Like this, but for Wii.

Visually, Next Level is doing pretty damn good. A cel shaded look fits perfectly, and while Little Mac looks a little bit weird (I prefer his Brawl model), he still looks pretty damn cool and fighters like King Hippo look excellent. Some attention to detail with the HUD, ring, and crowd would be nice, however. Some color really needs to be added, too, because environments look a little bland at the moment, especially when compared to the fighters.

On the game itself, I’d love to see a large roster of old and new characters to fight against. Once again the game should be about going toe to toe with “bosses” sporting unique, and often vicious, patterns and techniques. Remember, this isn’t a boxing simulator, this is Punch Out!! This is about having fun and knocking oddballs on their ass. It doesn’t need a huge character creation system or tons of different modes.

Keep it simple, and keep it true to its roots – games like Punch Out!! are best off that way.

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3 Responses to “Sticking to its Punch Out roots”

  1. Michael Says:

    I do think it’s odd that the game is so dark. Maybe that’s just the initial screens.

  2. Justin Sanchez Says:

    Hopefully so. Sure, it makes the characters truly stand out, but it’s at too great a cost. Look how colorful the NES screen is…that’s how this new Punch Out should be.

  3. derrickkendall Says:

    The cell-shaded look fits it well. We can hope that they keep it true to it’s roots. Punch Out was and still is amazing. There is a part of me that hopes they will keep the difficulty level as it was. I know that is going to require a huge leap of faith. Remember how difficult it was to even get to let alone beat Tyson? I am pretty sure I never did but I know my brother did and trust me I felt just the same amount of glee as had it been me.

    Do kids have the patients now days for games like that? I know I don’t…but I want to try.

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