Remembering…Punch-Out!!

Punch-Out

I’ve actually got an interesting story to share when it comes to Punch-Out. It was one of the very first videogames I ever traded for. Back when the NES was all the rage, rental chains only had a handful of games to offer prospective customers. Lucky for me, where I was living at the time had just such a place at the top of the street and my brother and I rented Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! and really enjoyed it. It was a super simple arcade game where you dodged punches and jabbed, and uppercut your way to victory. Needless to say we got our butts handed to us, and never really made it too far with the two day rental. It was a super hard game, that required insanely fast reflexes. When the opportunity arrived for the trade with a family friend, we gave Lode Runner for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, River City Ransom, and Punch-Out. That’s a pretty awesome trade wouldn’t you say?

I remember being so happy to have the chance to try my luck with Punch-Out again because I was never truly satisfied with our performance with the rental. Sadly the rental place closed shortly after we started renting games there, but boy did we experience a lot of classics from that place. From the already mentioned Punch-Out to Bubble Bobble and countless others in-between, this place was awesome. It’s funny how memories like that come rushing back when you start talking about these old gems.

Punch-Out was also my real introduction to Mike Tyson, who many young people were into at the time. This was long before his prison sentence and all that other jazz that happened to him. Back during this time period he was someone kids looked up to because of his rough upbringing to his super-stardom. He was someone many people wanted to be like. So being able to actually play a game with him in it was pretty darn cool. I never actually got to him as a kid because my reflexes were never that amazing, but that didn’t matter. I was playing a game he “endorsed” and that was enough.

I also didn’t spend nearly as much time with Punch-Out as I expected, because my brother and I immediately fell in love with River City Random. The co-op action in that game was awesome. So Punch-Out was more or less put aside, although we’d return to it every now and then. It’s funny how old arcade games like this were treated once more lengthy games joined the fray. Before the NES all games were extremely simple in design, and yet once Super Mario Bros. gave us a real scrolling world to move around in, we sort of always expected more from that day forward.

Don’t get me wrong, Punch-Out remains a classic, it’s just that it was the perfect play for a few minutes before mom called us to dinner sort of game. I mean after all who could possibly forget such awesome matches as this one.

You have no idea how long it took my brother and I to figure out how to beat this guy back in the day. The game featured so many influential characters, but King Hippo sort of overshadowed all of them and was even featured on the Saturday morning cartoon Captain N.

For all those of you old enough to remember that show, you know that Punch-Out had a lasting impact on the gaming culture of the time. I mean honestly, who could ever forget the classic theme music. It’s fantastic!

When I had the chance to give Punch-Out another spin several weeks ago, the memories came flooding back and even though I won’t be making it to “Mr. Dream” (Mike Tyson was removed from the game after the license Nintendo had with him expired), I still had a blast with the Wii U Virtual Console version, and will keep going back for more.

Do any of you have similar stories from this fun, and ridiculously difficult game? If so, I’d love to her them!

2 thoughts on “Remembering…Punch-Out!!”

  1. Well I’m having a hell of a time with this version for some reason. I’ve confirmed with others on the Miiverse that there is indeed a very slight delay between the time you press the button and the time Little Mac moves. So there’s no way I’ll beat the game with this version as my reaction times are off.

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