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Game of the Week - Punch-Out!!

The latest edition of Punch-Out!! could well bring an affectionate smile to the faces of many gamer-parents. The first Punch-Out!! video game – originally known as Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! – was released twenty-two years ago in 1987. It was updated for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) in 1994 as Super Punch-Out!! and it retains an almost iconic status as one of the first action-boxing games where the little guy gets a chance to take down the big guys!

Despite the aggressive-sounding title, Punch-Out!! contains only kid-friendly cartoon violence that wouldn’t be out-of-place on a Tom & Jerry re-run. Punch-Out!! features a boxer named Little Mac, a 17 year-old undersized kid from the Bronx, who works his way up the professional boxing circuits by facing a series of much bigger bad guys trying to pummel him with powerful punches.

Most of the fighters Little Mac takes on have been inherited from the previous Punch-Out!! titles and include colorful characters like King Hippo, Bear Hugger, Soda Popinski and Bald Bull. Game play focuses on dodging attacks and counter-punching, using fast reflexes and a sharp memory of your opponents’ special moves to knock them down and out.

As a single-player, you start in Career mode, which has Little Mac climbing the ranks of the World Video Boxing Association. Once you have worked your way through Career mode, then comes Title Defense mode, where your previously beaten opponents come back for revenge, armed with better protection and some new moves. Each contest is intense and satisfying, and the crazy moves and laugh-out-loud visuals will keep you locked into the action.  

For the first time, Punch-Out!! also includes a two-player mode, where two Little Macs can square off against each other, both having the ability to transform into Giga Mac, an oversized monster. One friend then gets to experience what it’s like to be the hulking challenger, while Little Mac still tries to take him down.

Like most Wii games, there are a number of controller options. Players can choose the Wii remote on its own, the remote combined with the nunchuk, and either the remote or the nunchuk combined with the balance board. Most observers seem to agree that the remote-only experience is the best, offering faster action and better reflexes.

The cartoon violence earns Punch-Out!! an E10+ ESRB rating (everyone 10 and older) but you will hear only laughs and shouts of joy as kids and adults alike find ways to beat the big bad bullies!

Publisher: Nintendo
Platforms: Wii
RRP: $49.99
ESRB Rating: “E10+” for Everyone age 10 or older

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