LT Panel
RT Panel
Just Visiting
Sunday | June 24, 2018
Popular Review Links:
Punch Out!! (Wii)

Punch Out!! (Wii)


Punch Out!! was a classic on the Nintendo Entertainment system eons ago and many people still hold it in regard as one of the best boxing games of all time. With a fantastic combination of intense accuracy and demanding gameplay it is a tough act for developer Next Level Games to follow.

The ‘Punch Out!!’ Nintendo franchise has not been updated in about 15 years now and the last to be released was the aptly named Super Punch Out!! on the Super NES. While we have experienced the remakes of the originals on the Wii Virtual Console the news that a true successor was in the pipeline has been big news for many Nintendo boxing fanatics.

Punch Out!! does not follow along the lines of Fight Night in that it is not a boxing simulation, it is firmly aimed towards those people who want a an old school classic arcade fighting game.

You take control of Little Mac, a boxer who is rising through the ranks of the World Video Boxing Association (a fictional Nintendo created organisation). A total of 13 fighters make up the WVBA and they are all hilarious, over the top cartoon style creations from various nationalities across the globe. Characters such as the Canadian Bear Hugger (a lumberjack who loves fish) and Glass Joe (french boxer who falls over if his chin is touched) are sure to bring a smile even to the most tired out cynical gamer amongst us.

All the characters will be immediately familiar to anyone who has played the original NES version of Punch Out!! and their presence is sure to appeal to fans of the franchise. The only new boxer for the latest Wii version is The Disco Kid who fits into the tongue in cheek group perfectly. Clearly developer Next Level were aiming for a game as true to the original as possible by keeping all the original fighters intact.

The game plays fantastically and there is a great system of attacking, counter attacking and making sure you watch the enemy to work out their style of play then ensuring your strategy is spot on to achieve victory. All the fighters in the game have their own style of boxing and attack patterns which means that you need to learn how to deal with them effectively before moving on. As you progress, the fighters get tougher with special attacks galore and by the time you reach the World Circuit you will be well versed in the game mechanics.

The combat in Punch Out!! is extremely satisfying because the game is as far removed from a button masher as any combat game could be, some of the characters use complex attack patterns, much like real life boxers, so without adapting to the moves and adjusting strategies on the fly they will nail you to the canvas.

The controls work in various ways, with or without the nunchuk. If you use the nunchuk it will enable motion controls and punching is activated by real life motions with the right or left hands. Dodging attacks as well as ducking and blocking are all mapped to the analog stick as well as changing between low and high attacks. Star Punches are earned by striking the opponents at specific times and these are activated by pressing a single button. The option to use the Wit Fit balance board is a great idea because you can duck and dodge by leaning in the relevant direction – the developers really do deserve some credit for such a sophisticated set of options at hand.

Playing with the nunchuk is a lot of fun but I guess that many Punch Out!! purists will opt for the basic system from the NES days. Without the nunchuk the Wii remote works like an NES controller and the 1 and 2 buttons deliver the various punches. The D pad is used for ducking and dodges and the A button is utilized to enable any Star Punches you have available. Which of these control systems is best for you will be strictly down to personal taste and while the Wii remote and Nunchuk options give more real life action, they become rather difficult later in the game when simple button presses offer much faster response times.

While the latest Nintendo system is never going to win any awards for the level of graphical detail possible, the developers have done a stellar job with Punch Out!! and when you look at the original graphics on the NES you can see how far things have progressed, even with the relatively simple modern day hardware inside the Wii. The characters are all fully 3D with superlative animations which makes the fighting experience very smooth and flowing. Between the circuits there are some impressive cutscenes which herald back to NES days when Little Mac was training for the original game, sadly the other characters don’t get the same attention to detail and you only get to see simple panels with a minimal backstory.

Of the 13 fighters, you will face each of them twice during the game and the second time around they have new strategies and are more deadly. Additionally there is an Exhibition Mode that pits players with specific goals for each opponent to unlock extra content. This is a fun little diversion from the main story based missions and they range from relatively easy to very difficult.

While the game is generally still focused on the single player content due to demand Punch Out!! now delivers a versus option which is sure to appeal to the majority of the new audience who were not around when the original was released many years ago. In Head to Head mode each player controls Little Mac in a split screen view and players attack and dodge using the standardized Little Mac moves. When a meter fills after successful moves Little Mac turns into Giga Mac, who is a super powered boxer – at this point the screen changes to a single view and the other player fights in the traditional Punch Out!! manner.

Stunningly however there are no online options and this is even more surprising when you realise that Mario Strikers Charged was made by the same development team. A world based leaderboard system is also not supported so you will never be able to compare your best times and achievements against other boxers across the globe.

All in all Punch Out!! on the Wii is a marvellous recreation of an all time Nintendo classic and will appeal to both veteran gamers and new comers to the franchise. The Wii version is stuffed with brilliant animations and ideas and is a remarkably fun and playable boxing game. The only people who will be disappointed are those who want a boxing simulator, but hopefully after reading this review you can all make a more educated decision as to whether this game is worth your money. Me? hell, I love it!


Complex fighting patterns and techniques ensure there is a deep sense of gameplay. Not for button mashers
Up to date 3d graphics revitalize the franchise, although compared to Fight Night they do look rather basic.
Good speech and revamped theme songs from past outings.
Unfortunately the total lack of online support limits the long term playability

A modern day Wii classic which will bring a new audience to Punch Out !!

About Author

Stuart Davidson

It appears you have AdBlocking activated

Unfortunately AdBlockers interfere with the shopping cart process

To continue with the payment process can we ask you to

deactivate your AdBlocking plugin

or to whitelist this site. Then refresh the page

We thank you for your understanding

Hardwareheaven respect you right to employ plugins such as AdBlocker.
We would however ask you to consider whitelisting this site
We do not allow intrusive advertising and all our sponsors supply items
relevant to the content on the site.

Hardwareheaven Webmaster