Consoles: Wii Exclusive

Genre: Sports (boxing)

Developer: Next Level Games

Publisher: Nintendo

Players: 1-2

Online: Unknown

Release Date: May 18th, 2009

Acessories Used: Wii-remote, nunchuk, classic controller, others TBD.


     Well, the fans cried out and Nintendo answered. A decently hardcore follow-up to the boxing series is on it's way in May. Has the gap between games hurt or helped the series though? Well, with the help of our quick demo time we received, we'll hopefully answer all of the questions fans and all gamers have had. We'll take a look at everything from controls to characters and even the Amazon exclusive release of two special edition collector sets.

     From the moment you start up the game, you will instantly be rewarded in nostalgia. The great old music is back, except this time with more of an orchestrated rock mix. It is SO fitting it almost sounds like the old Rocky music was ripped from the movies and smashed together with the old Punch-Out!! tunes and then for a little pep, spiced up with a little taste of an orchestra. It really does sound awesome.
     The next thing you'll find is the menu and it's ease of use with the pointer. Which should be an automatic and no-brainer these days on the Wii, but I am sad to say this isn't true. Due to this, I make sure it's known that it DOES work and well. The menu is set up nicely and gives you match modes, player set-up and more. Also, there is an unlockable section which is bare boned until, well unlockabled are reached. Let us tell you, from what the developer Next Level Game told us, there are A LOT of unlockables. So many that they actually had to take some out due to disc capacity being on the fritz. I would guess that after seeing all of the unlockables in Super Smash Bros. Brawl and knowing there was still some disc space left, that this means there really should be a huge amount of unlockables in Punch-Out!! for the Wii.
     Now we go down to the controls. These are still being refined a bit more and will be over the next week or so, until the game's final press, but they worked very well and intuitively. Gamers who played the original and Super Punch-Out!! games should feel right at home no matter how you play. New gamers should also be able to get close to Little Mac with no problems. You have three main control setups with about four options in total. You can play the old-school way with the Classic controller or the Wii-remote turned horizontally. These are the most basic set-ups and are really fun to play, but may get old fast for people looking for something new. For this, there are two other options. You can play either with the Wii-remote and nunchuck for motion controls or with those controllers AND the Wii Balance Board. Let us tell you, we havn't had this much fun playing a motion controlled boxing game since Dave and Buster's with their boxing game they have. The motion controls without the board are simple. You punch to the face by pressing up on the Nunchuck control stick and swinging either hand while swinging without anything pressed is a straight or cross. Holding either C or A while swinging will throw Little Mac's supercharged punches like in the old days. Let me tell all those who are worried and are thinking "Oh no, this sounds too much like the arm swinging in Wii Sports Boxing." Well trust us when we say, it is MUCH better. There is supposedly a patch to support the Wii-motionPlus addon, but for now...we like it. It will be MUCH improved with the added motion sensing, but it works brilliantly now. As for the Balance Board, magnificent, excellent, brilliant are the words. Ducking, which is usually done by pressing down on the control stick, is now accomplished by simply pressing you weight down on the board. Simply bend your knees and you duck. Put more weight on one side and Little Mac sidesteps to the side. It works really well and can become very tiring. Make sure you bring water!
     Off to the characters. What can we say. They are wacky and all of the returning characters look and act just like you remember, except with a little more aggression and a little more wackiness. We love it. Bald Bull still has his charge and King Hippo still has his 'X' bandaids marking the spot to punch. The news characters bring the total total playable to 13 and this includes Doc. That's right, Doc can be used in 2 player mode.
     The look of the game is obvious. Not too real, but not too cartoony. It's like a real drawing that comes a live right before your eyes. It's a real kind of fake that is the same style used in the last two, excpet now with a little more depth. The crowd reacts to a lot of the in-ring action and moves, but nothing too much to distract you. There are a lot of different sounds, colors and details thrown into the crowd, boxers and spit that we think a lot of gamers will give credit to. It's definately not the BEST the Wii can do, but let's face it, with some of the crap thrown out there today on the console, it looks REALLY good. It has it's very high points on it's own though. When the boxers are punching towards Little Mac, due to the style, the 3D effect looks amazing. It really does need to be played to believe just how well it's done.

What We Say
     Get it. You'll be hooked on this game for at least a few months, and that's only on single player mode. Playing 2 players could be as much or more fun than single and could really make this game last for months. Include the incredibly long list of unlockables, and you have yourself a Wii knock-out. You wana relive the old but with new controls and souped-up graphics? Here's your chance.

What They Say
  • Two-player mode where Mac can box against himself
  • Doc Louis will return
  • 13 characters (about 10 were in the original)
  • Motion controls OR traditional controls holding the Wii-remote horizontally
  • Quote from Nintendo of Europe:
"Punching is a simple case of taking a swing at your opponent whilst holding different combinations of buttons. Soften them up with jabs by pressing up on the Nunchuk Control Stick when you punch, or crash home a super-charged Star Punch by holding the C or A Buttons as you let your hands go."

     Besides the nestalgia factor and the game being a Nintendo Published game, this game is just too good to pass up. The unlockables, the neat little 3D graphic effects and the laughable, but stingy, characters are all so mush to fall into. The controls may disappoint some, but there are many options available and this game just caters perfectly to new, old, hardcore and casual gamers. It's fun. That's all we can say. It's a must have of any Nintendo fan, or true gaming fan. Also, for any over-the-top Punch-Out fan, Amazon is releasing two different collector sets to go along with the game. Neither of them include the game though, just the usual matching collector items. Gloves and that sort of thing.

Punch-Out!! is set for a May 18th, 2009 release date in the U.S. with an ESRB rating of Teen.

As usual, let us know any reactions below, and don't forget to check out the media.

Preview by: DarkLinkofUtopia - Copyright 2009

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