So what’s the general consensus on the Punch-Out!! franchise? Is there some hardcore community of players? Is there some kind of agreed-upon or heavily-debated ranking of the games from best to worst?
I ask because I only got into them in recent years, just recently finally trying out a copy of Super Punch-Out!! on Virtual Console. When it originally came out I remember my brother begging me to rent it, but I never got around to it.
The first time I played the NES Punch-Out!! on Virtual Console I was astonished at how well it held up, perhaps because there are very few other games like it. The character sprites remain gigantic and expressive to this day, and the gameplay still feels sufficiently deep. It’s the definitely of a very efficiently-made game.
To me, the SNES Super Punch-Out!! (as opposed to the arcade game) honestly feels like a next generation sequel that sacrificed some of that depth for visual flair. It’s too common a problem with today’s successors to PS2-era games but I didn’t expect to see it in an SNES game. I haven’t gotten past the beginning of the middle league, but I looked up some information on the game to confirm my suspicious.
Mainly, the NES game’s round system is gone. Instead of having knock-outs based on a combination of knock-downs, counts, and round statistics, it’s just whoever can knock his opponent down three times. That’s it. Every match is one round, and if that round runs out, Mac automatically loses. I mean, it’s still the same great simple-but-deep pattern-based combat of the game that made the franchise famous, but features are obviously missing.
Furthermore, Doc Louis seems to be gone. In the NES game I enjoyed how ringside conversations between him and Mac actually provided hints as to how to beat each opponent. Mechanically he provided the function of an actual coach more or less. In Super Punch-Out!! you just get text on the side of the screen. Mario ain’t even there to call the matches.
That said, Super Punch-Out!! did still amaze me with how detailed an SNES game’s graphics could be. It’s basically the same scheme as the NES game but with larger and more detailed sprites. The game’s opening even kind of reminds me of that of Super Street Fighter II.
Maybe the Wii Punch-Out!! is reminiscent more of the NES game simply for nostalgia, but perhaps they made the better choice in emulating that game’s mechanics.
Usually with games like this though, there’s some kind of deeper nuance to the system that takes hours and hours of continuous play to notice. I’ll probably get some Punch-Out!! experts telling me about the subtleties of what makes the SNES game better than the NES one, or why the Wii one doesn’t live up to the past games or whatever. That’s why I asked the questions I did in the top paragraph.
- I just beat the barrel minigame in Street Fighter for the first time.
- Looks like Castle Vidcons has started up again. http://shar.es/j2GZK