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Punch-Out!! review

Brilliantly walks the line between casual punchy-punchy and hardcore depth

Eagle-eyed GR readers may recall us specificallydemanding this gamea year ago, well before it was officially announced, and one of the features we really wanted to see was Balance Board support. How cool would it be to actually lean, duck and punch with a Board/Wii Remote combo? Turns out that it’s a fair bit of fun, and a viable way to play through the game.

The leaning controls are a little spotty though, making this the most difficult way to play. That said, if you really get into it, and we mean really lean into the dodges and squat to duck and so on, you can work up a decent sweat simply by playing an already-awesome videogame. Big points for that, Nintendo.

Fight Night Round 3? This isn’t even on Wii, but unaware video-pugilists might see boxers on the cover of Punch-Out!! and think it’s another gritty, ultra-realistic depiction of the sport. Not so at all. They’re as separate as can be, but Punch-Out!! carries the same intensely playable DNA as its real-world cousin.

Super Punch-Out!!? Recently released on Virtual Console, and in our eyes one of the best SNES games ever made. The Wii game builds on certain aspects, removes a few others (Star Punches aren’t as strategic as SPO’s power meter), and makes a great companion title. Equal in overall score, though SPO has more boxers (16 against 13).

Punch-Out!! expertly walks the line between casual punchy-punchy and “serious gamer” depth. As with all the best fighting games, it’s not about seeing the end, it’s about how you get there.

May 18, 2009

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It’s extremely difficult to craft a game that hits the “fun for everyone” mark without it also becoming a dumbed-down mess, but Punch-Out!! expertly walks the line between casual punchy-punchy and “serious gamer” depth.

US censor ratingEveryone 10+
UK censor ratingRating Pending
Alternative namesPunch Out
Release date18 May 2009 (US), (UK)
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