Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!!

Punchin' ya!

Title screen, password entry.

Read the full review here.

Five Stars.

“Yet what truly rounds this video game out as one of the legendary greats is the perfect balance of challenge.”
– from the full review, which you can read here.

What can I say about Punch-Out that has not been said before? Nothing, probably. When coming upon a title as prominent and well-liked as this one, I can only humbly offer my opinion. Reviewing a game like this brings to mind the opinion of those who say that reviewing old video games is pointless, because it has all been done before, and nobody is interested. I disagree, and somewhat strongly, but if I were to be completely honest, I can see where they are coming from in saying that.

I have publicly stated that I believe Punch-Out is overrated; yet, still, I give it a perfect, highest-possible rating on my scale of five stars out of five. Why? Kind of the same reason why I think Michael Jordan is overrated, but would still put him on my list of top three NBA players of all time, maybe even at #1: Because, although the subject is undeniably great to an amazing extent, I still believe people revere it too highly, to a ridiculous extent.

In the case of Punch-Out, this is a powerhouse title of grand proportion, but I always have to raise a curious eyebrow when people immediately cite it as their choice as the best cartridge on the NES. If they said it was their favorite, then sure, I get that; but, in saying the best, I am forced to question their true familiarity with the console, and if they are truly considering the entire library, of which there are several on-another-level choices.

Yeah, ya pansy Frenchman!

Take THAT, Glass Joe!

But I cannot really blame them for such a selection. I think of Punch-Out this way: Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! is a prime example of what the NES was capable of. It truly pushed the figurative envelope. The levels of challenge, graphics, sound, gameplay, control, and other aspects were honed to their finest. Punch-Out is unique: There, honestly, is not other 8-bit game quite like it, even more distinctively so than some other games you could claim that about. Punch-Out is a perfect case study; you can put it in a little box, stare at it from all angles and, however examined, through whatever lens or perspective, it is superb. Punch-Out, you could say, is a perfect video game. It is everything you could ask for in a gray cartridge. It is a true legend. Unlike some NES games (hello Dragon Warrior), it has even managed to age well, still providing a fun challenge for any gamer.

Note: This blog post, and the full review, are considered to cover both Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! and Punch-Out!! cartridges.

Read The Full Review For: If you have ever loved this game but struggled to put your fondness into words, consider borrowing some of mine as I delve into why, precisely, Punch-Out is such a phenomenon. Could it be the extra graphics chip inside, allowing for such big and wonderful fighters? Could it simply be an underdog storyline worth rooting for? Could it be the tightly honed play control, perfect difficulty level, memorable music, or wondrous use of the Start button? Decide for yourself.

Gameplay Tips For Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out: Love it, live it, learn it.

Ah, Drunkenski.

Images from vgmuseum.com.

One Response to “ Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! ”

  1. Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out is definitely in my top 5 for NES games. The unique characters, humor, and different fighting/dodging styles make this one a classic. After getting a Nintendo for Christmas, I was also lucky enough to receive two other games–Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out and Top Gun. Punch-Out received considerably more gameplay, and as for Top Gun, at least the intro music was cool. Excellent work reviewing a game that brings back a lot of great memories.

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