“Can You Become the Nintendo Video Assosciation Boxing Champion?”
+ Little Mac Returns
+ The new power up feature
+ Excellent graphics
- Not much different from the original
- Only one round
With the SNES stomping a foothold in the 16-BIT industry, Nintendo kept pumping out quality titles. The next game to be given the “Super” makeover was the classic Punch-Out!!. Contrary to popular belief Super PO is actually a remake of Nintendo’s arcade version of the game. Although Little Mac returns, the changes to the style from the NES to SNES reflect its arcade counterpart not the console version. The limittions of the NES is what forced Nintendo to abandon an arcade port, but the power of the SNES made it possible.
At first look the overall art style is much different. Each fighter is well detailed and the scope of the game is much more brighter and colorful. This is thanks to the color pallette of the SNES, allowing developers to make some great eye candy. The next major change is to Little Mac, he is now transparent. The arcade version had a wire-framed boxer which was impossible for the NES. Making Mac transparent was even bettter. Also the camera was moved forward to give more of an arcade like feel. Putting the player closer to the action.
The gameplay of Super Punch-Out!! didn’t veer far from the earlier versions either. Mac can dodge left and right, duck, as well as blocking high or low. The only additions were to Mac’s offense. Left and Right punches and body blows are still here but now Mac can power up his attacks. After successive hits Mac’s gloves will glow. Mac can now do more damage per punch and puch faster allowing him to get a few extra shots in. The other addition to the game is the super bar. Mac no longer needs stars to do a power attack. The super bar returns from the arcade version. Similar to the glowing gloves, landing punches without being blocked fills up the meter. When the meter is full Mac can deliver a super uppercut or body blow. If the player keeps hitting the super button Mac will unleash a flury of punches. Mac can keep the power punches going until he gets hit by the opponent.
Speaking of opponents, this is where Super Punch-Out!! really shows its roots. There are sixteen fighters with many of them being from the arcade or NES version. Opponents like Dragon Chan, Bald Bull, Piston Hurricane, and Bear Hugger return from the arcade. While Super Macho Man and Mr. Sandman are back for a rematch. Also characters like Bob Charlie are just a variation of earlier arcade fighters. Bob Charlie is just a clone of Kid Quick. This is also a trend within the game, many of the boxers in later circuits are variations of earlier opponents. Bear Hugger and Mad Clown for example. There are three cicuits, minor, major and world. Each having four opponents in each circuit. The final four fighters are in the special circuit, which is only accessible if Mac can win every fight without a rematch.
Super Punch-Out!! is a return to the series arcade roots and makes the console transition well. The only real downside is Super PO is a little too arcade like with no cut scenes or real story present. Check out the video below to see every boxer and try to spot the character variations in the later circuits.
Utilizing the new power of the SNES, Super Punch-Out!! delivered an uppercut to the player. Visually the game is stunning and a cartoon like feel made Super PO an instant classic. Only falling short by not improving much on the original game is what keeps Super PO from being a gem on the SNES. Otherwise, Super Punch-Out!! is a retro game that will be played till the end of time. No real gamer should have missed out on this one. If you did, consider yourself shamed and get it on the Virtual Console.