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Punch-Out!! - hands-on

With our record a spotless 3-0, it was time to go for the belt—a very large belt, considering it was around the ample waist of King Hippo. As in the original game, you want to punch Hippo in the mouth and then pound away on his belly as he struggles to pull his shorts back up. This strategy works great until he crushes your noggin with his new double-punch. We eventually learned to recognize when the move was coming and ducked to avoid it, but not until he had taken away most of our energy with just a couple of punches. But just like every boxer before him, King Hippo was destined for the mat once we learned his pattern. Our time with the game ended when the referee counted the “King” out the first time he hit the canvas.

Nintendo has done a fantastic job with Punch-Out’s!! visuals. Each boxer has been updated, but they retain enough of their original traits that they’re all instantly recognizable. The game’s bright colors and cartoon-like animation are also impressive. Everything is smooth and very well done. The KO scenes, where you’ll see a boxer fly across the ring or bounce from corner to corner like a pinball, are certainly outrageous, but they keep the game lighthearted which is something which parents should appreciate.

Punch-Out!! is shaping up quite nicely, but there’s still more to learn about the game before its May 18 release date. How will the Balance Board controls work? Who are the other boxers? Will the two-player mode be any good? Hopefully we’ll have those answers for you soon.

Mar 31, 2009