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Compile a list of Nintendo's traditional and best series of games for their generations of consoles and you're going to get the obvious titles like Super Mario, Mario Kart, Super Smash Bros., Metroid, Star Fox, Pokemon, The Legend of Zelda and Kirby. Punch Out is one of those series that may not be that well known compared to the others, but it's nevertheless one of Nintendo's biggest and popular series of games.

In a nutshell, Punch Out is Nintendo's boxing franchise. You punch your way up through the ranks of pro circuits, ploughing through opponent after opponent all in aim to become the champion. Punch Out is a great cartoon of a slugfest with radical toon-like boxers and unforgettable stereotypes with a simple, highly addictive and enormously fun control system. It was a huge hit in the arcades and utterly brilliant on both the NES and SNES.

Perhaps the reason why Punch Out may not be as memorable as Nintendo's other series of games is that it faded into obscurity somewhat. After all, there were NO Punch Out games for the N64 or the GameCube. But in any event, absence does indeed make the heart grow fonder with the Wii incarnation of Punch Out, which is simply another absolute winner that Nintendo have given us for this wonderful console.

True to the spirit of the series, Punch Out pits you, Little Mac (the only boxer you can play as), against all manner of stereotype comic characters, each one getting harder and harder as you progress through Career Mode. Each fight consists of three rounds, each lasting three minutes. Knock your opponent out three times in a round, or score a TKO, and you win. If after all three rounds there's no clear winner, it goes down to a ref's decision based on who performed the strongest.

How does it work? Well, there are three control methods for players to choose from. It's either Wii Remote and Nunchuk, or just the Wii Remote on it's own. Both of these options can be supported by the Wii Balance Board, if you choose to use it. And these control options are what help to give the gameplay it's incomparable depth.

Starting with the Wii Remote on it's own, you hold it like you would a joypad, using the D-pad to block, weave from side-to-side and duck, and using the 1 and 2 buttons to jab/uppercut left and right. It's done in the simplicity of the old NES controls which is simply brilliant. Instead of radically tinkering with the winning formula of Punch Out, Nintendo have opted to keep the simplicity of the controls for the Wii version. It's really easy to get into and quick to master, all the while being completely addictive. For die-hard gamers who want to master all the challenges, crush all opponents in record time or simply want to relive the NES/SNES glory days, using the Wii Remote on it's own is ideal and perhaps the easiest control option to use.

However, using the Wii Remote and the Nunchuk is UNDOUBTEDLY the most fun of the control options on offer. In typical Wii Motion control fashion, using the Remote and the Nunchuk means when you punch in your room, Little Mac is throwing punches the instant you do. Swinging the Remote forward throws the right, swinging the Nunchuk forward throws the left. Using the Nunchuk's analogue stick will help Little Mac perform extra moves; Up for block/uppercuts, left/right for weaving and down for ducking.

The Remote/Nunchuk option is what will really makes this game a hit at parties. Even if you're playing on your own, you'll get so much fun and exercise out of this. It's true to what Nintendo have brilliantly done with the Wii, and that's come up with brand new ways to make gaming more innovative and combine it with exercise, ergo, making it more fun.

Combining this with the Balance Board will also make things more deep. You use the board to weave and duck, really adding to the exercise experience and making you feel as though you're in a real boxing match. As I said earlier, using the board IS optional, and although it makes things more difficult, it can make things even more fun when mastered.

The game itself has just as much depth, what with the Career, Exhibition and Head-to-Head Modes. The sheer variety of colourful opponents exemplifies what makes the fun-factor so worthwhile. Fans of the series will be pleased that old favourites like Glass Joe, King Hippo and Piston Hondo are back. And each fight will really test your strategy. Throwing reckless punches will just tire you out and leave you easy-pickings for a KO/TKO. All fighters perform differently, and will make you think fast on your feet, as you try to determine their next moves/study their patterns. Because all fights are unique, you'll really get a challenge out of Career Mode. Going through the Contender path is reasonably straight forward, but once you've beaten that and are on Title Defence, you'll face the same opponents again, having learnt from their losses and picked up some new tricks, making them even more dangerous second-time round. This all speaks so highly of the game's AI.

Exhibition is also wonderful in that it allows you to safely practice against opponents so you have a sporting chance in Career. There're also special challenges to accomplish against the boxers which provides even more replay value. And for two players, Head-to-Head provides another thrill, what with the option to transform Little Mac into Giga Mac to beat your friend/fellow family member into the ground.

Graphically, Punch Out is a beautiful cartoon brought to life. Sound-wise, the reinvention of vintage NES music, the voice-acting and the various music tracks make for fantastic listening. All-in-all, it's a total package. Punch Out is something that all kids and adults will be sucked into. One of the most essential titles to get for the Wii.
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on 29 May 2009
Pros:

+Really fun art style
+Simple to play, yet difficult to master
+Addictive music
+Addictive gameplay
+Different ways to play

Cons:

-Competing in multiplayer can only be done as Little Mac
-There's no online multiplayer, but I really don't think that's a big deal

Those who owned the original NES probably got a chance to play the original Punch-Out. At the time the game was incredibly awesome and incredibly difficult. There was also a Super Punch-Out for the SNES, but after that there was never another game. With the Wii's motion sensor controls, however, it's amazing we didn't get a Punch Out game for the system sooner. Wii Sports has already established that a boxing game is perfect for the Wii. Punch-Out for the Wii makes it possible.

If you were one of those people who played Punch-Out for the original NES, then you'll be right at home when playing it on the Wii. It's instantly familiar. A lot of the competitors are the same, and they look very much the same. So is Little Mac. And the gameplay is just about the same as well. If you were a veteran of the old games you'll find that playing Punch-Out for the Wii is like returning to visit an old friend after a few years. There's a lot that will start coming back to you.

As Little Mac, you'll step into the ring and take on a grand total of 13 fighters. Just like the original Punch-Out, there's a bit of pattern recognition going on. Making the right moves at the right time, and watching your opponent are the keys to winning. While it's not quite Wii Boxing in terms of making punches and whatnot, it is quite a challenging game. Especially your first time through. And it's still pretty addictive. All you really need to do is watch your foe and make sure you make your punches accordingly. You've also got Stars that you obtain by punching your opponents at the right time (when they flash). This allows you to use Star Punches which really pack a wallop.

It's got simple gameplay that you'll find incredibly addictive for a while. You might, however, find the main campaign to be a little short. And indeed, it is. But the game does have a few things that help it along. For example, after going through all the fighters once, you'll have to do it again to defend your title, but the fights won't be the same. They'll be more challenging, having more moves and moving faster and requiring you to take on different tactics than before.

Aside from that there is also the exhibition mode where you go up against the fighters but pertaining to specific conditions. Again, simple gameplay, but it can be very challenging to figure out just how to complete some of the conditions.

There are a few ways one can control Punch-Out for the Wii. The first, and most obvious, is to use the Nunchuck and Wii Remote so that you can swing them to make punches if you wish. You can also use the balance board for ducking and dodging. Lastly, you can use just the Wii Remote by itself and play like the original NES title. Of all the control schemes using the Wii-Remote like a classic NES controller is the best, and that's pretty sad. The game is fun with the other control modes, but it's hard to doubt that it's just a lot easier to pick up and play with the classic controller approach. On the other hand, it's nice that we're not playing a Wii game where the Wii Controls feel tacked on.

Another addition to Punch-Out is that people can now play multi-player. This is a really nice addition. Two people can now go at it. They'll both play as Little Mac, though, and this is probably the biggest complaint concerning multi-player. It would be so much better if players could choose between any of the opponents to play as and go head to head. It would make Punch-Out the perfect party game. There's also no online multi-player but I doubt most gamers will lose sleep over that.

For a Wii Game Punch-Out looks pretty good. It's artistic style has often been fairly popular. Punch-Out is, and pretty much always will be a cartoony like game. And it's definitely true of the Wii version, which makes Punch-Out come alive the way it should. It still sounds very good as well. There are some nostalgic tunes thrown in there, but mostly it just suits Punch-Out.

For old fans of the Punch-Out series, this is like a thank you gift. They're more apt to enjoy than someone who has never played it before. If you're new to the series, this isn't really all that bad to play at all, and you might find yourself becoming addicted.
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on 28 May 2009
a old game updated for the Wii, we all know how much of a recipe for disaster this can be, however thats way off the mark in this case.
What an absolute blast, and in my opinion different and better than Wii Sports Boxing.
From the very offset , graphics (for the Wii!) and sound are impressive and work well together. Menu navigation is quick and 'punchy' between screens, with few if any delays.(usually only after a fight ends)
Ok some can be blocky (480p with cable) but thats to be expected and in no way detracts from the game. In game graphics while fighting are top notch and very slick.Each new release shows just how much better developers are at getting the best from the Wii.

Controls work well (nunchuck and wiimote together) as I preferred to be more involved in the game, havent yet tried pad only. Your arms still hurt lol.
Just throwing your arms around isnt going to win you any fights in this game. Tactical assessment of your opponent them whallop them in the weak spots.

A thoroughly enjoyable game that surprised me. Great for all ages.
One to definitely add to your collection
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on 10 July 2010
I loved this game when I first got it, and really enjoyed the wii controls. The graphics are excellent and enticing. But after the first couple of fights you need to stop randomly flailing limbs and start learning each fighter's routine and weak spot. To win the harder fights you need to play with just the wii remote to have better control and accuracy, but for me that takes the fun out of the game! Fun for a few hours, but little replay value and currently gathering dust on my shelf.
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on 12 November 2013
Who would have thought it? A boxing game on the Wii that actually has substance. Of course if you've ever played Punch Out on the NES or SNES (I hadn't) you knew that this was going to be a cut above the rest, a haymaker to all the Punch Out Wii wanna-be's. But this is more than just boxing, this is twice as addictive and engaging as Fight Night on the PS3 because it really challenges you at every turn, you will be sweating by the time you work out that TKO at long last. Punch Out requires patience and skill but taking down that opponent that literally seemed impossible an hour before is a titanic feeling, so completely rewarding and absolutely endearing.

Punch Out is amazing, it deserves more attention than it got but it will rest in peace along side a wealth of overlooked Wii classics. Amongst all the ludicrous dross that pollutes the Wii there are a glut of real diamonds, and this is one. Sadly it does get explicitly difficult, impossible in fact (certainly for me), but while it lasts you'll be having a blast.
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on 24 February 2013
O.K. so for a girl this wasn't something I went looking for. I searched for it because I enjoyed the boxing games on wii fit and when I looked into it, this sounded like it would be something similar, It is great fun and I love it. As well as being a game which you can take out all your anger on it's also good for toning and exercising. The characters are the right amount of annoying for you to really want to whack them and it is very additive. I just keep going until I'm onto the next guy! Some of the fighters are harder to knock out so I have to say I have had get 'advice' to help me on a few. Well worth buying!
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on 11 July 2009
If you're a fan of Mike Tyson's punch-out for the nes then it's a good buy. It has most of the old characters in it and the combat is pretty much identical, although it is a little easier but that in my opinion is a good thing since I could never complete Mike Tyson's Punch-out. The combat however doesn't suit multiplayer very well making it all very awkward. So if you're feeling nostalgic then this game'll have you rubbing pulled muscles in your arms for days.
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on 2 February 2010
Great fun to play... I am a huge fan of all the Fight Night's and Knockout King's but this is not your average boxing game! Although you need to learn certain combos to beat your opponent this is a lot more about having fun! The graphics are easy on the eye and very humorous as are the cut scenes. The game also makes you work up a sweat. An essential for all Wii owners!
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on 14 December 2010
No real replayability mode. Will stress you to hell trying to win last few fights. Its good game, just a bit too easy to work out pattens. Would have been better to have a few opponents with loads of different moves and variations, otherwise every fight seems to be the same.
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on 11 June 2014
Its so fun to play and is an amazing remix of the classic punch out 1990.the characters and the game have been remastered and in HD give the game even more fun then the original.a must have for any serious gamer.
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