UNITED STATES—If there is one thing people know about me, I’ve never been a fan of sports video games. Why? They just aren’t that exciting to me if I have to be honest. However, there is one classic that I come to time and time again from the NES gaming system. Any guesses? I’m talking about “Punch Out.” The game is a classic, it is fun and it is a challenge as well. We follow the journey of Little Mac, a boxer who while tiny can deliver a powerful punch when prepared.
The game is broken down into three tournaments: the Minor Circuit, the Major Circuit and the World Circuit before the big bad battle with boxing icon Mike Tyson. Yes, America the final boss is that Mike Tyson and he does not mess around people. Your opponents in the Minor Circuit are not that difficult if you can throw a punch and dodge a punch, Glass Joe is the easiest of the bunch, Von Kaiser doesn’t put that much of a fight up either, but it is important to know each character has unique tactics when it comes to attack and what you can do to take them out with a punch or two. Kaiser does an odd shake with his head and if you keep punching him in the stomach, you can earn a star which increases your punch potential.
Your first challenge comes with Piston Honda who delivers a wicked uppercut if you don’t dodge it, not to mention, when it blinks those eyebrows it’s a hint he is about to deliver a punch so if you dodge you are in good hands. The Major Circuit is absolutely the big challenge because you have four boxers with unique attacks that if you make one wrong move you’re out. Dom Flemenco does this hilarious uppercut punch that while it looks silly if you don’t dodge it you’ll regret it. King Hippo is an overweight boxer, who you can’t inflict damage on him until he opens his mouth and you just attack until he is knocked out and doesn’t get back up.
The challenge comes with Great Tiger, who uses a magic trick to deliver a devastating blow to Little Mac if you’re not prepared to dodge it. This is the first boxer that I would truly argue presents a challenge in the game. However, once you’ve dodge the punches he delivers, you just have to punch him in the face and he’s instantly knocked out. Bald Bull has a charge attack that appears frightening, but deliver a punch to his stomach and he’ll go right down people.
The World Circuit is your toughest battles with 2 of the 3 opponents being the most difficult in the game: Mr. Sandman and Super Macho Man. Soda Popinski is not that tough if you dodge his punches, Mr. Sandman delivers a three-peat uppercut punch that will instantly take you out, but its Super Macho Man who has the deadliest attack of them all in the game where he does this literal spin punch that if you don’t dodge its over people. I cannot tell you how many times I had to battle this guy before I finally learned the rhythm and technique to be successful against him.
If you’re able to dodge the strikes, which can be anywhere between 7-9 spins, you won’t have any trouble taking him out before you face Mike Tyson. Tyson has the power to knock you out with a single punch people, so it is all about patience when it comes to battling this boxing titan. Slow and steady wins the race and you learn the importance of what some boxers do in the ring playing “Punch Out.” The biggest lesson I learned as a gamer though is the fact that you are taught the importance of strategy and technique and that’s a great tool to have America.
Written By Davy Jones