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Forget Call of Duty, Real Men Need the Retro Love: Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!!

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bill-swift - August 23, 2013

Because, as we all know damn well, nobody loves superfluous exclamation points like Kid Dynamite. When he's not punching at somebody's delicate facial region really quite hard indeed, or chewing on man-ear, he's typing like our dear old Ma on Facebook. As a Nintendo spokesman stated during development, "He wanted to add a couple more, y'know. Call it Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!!!!!!! But I said, ‘come on, Mike. Don't be such a dick all the time.' In the end, we decided that twice the goddamn necessary amount was more than sufficient."

But hey. We don't know how extensively involved Tyson was with the game's creation (yes we do. Not at all), and he sucked monkey nuts at it, so let's stop mocking the great bastard and hasten to business.

Why is Mario pointing his fist at a large, unconscious man's ballsack? Don't ask.

Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!! --known simply as Punch-Out!! in other regions-- was released in the U.S late in 1987. It's an arcade boxing game in which you take the role of Little Mac, an amateur with all the fighting ability of a comatose kitten with a limp. Your objective? To rise through the ranks and become the unlikely, midget champion you truly are.

Gameplay consists of bouts in the ring interspersed with the occasional amusing cutscene (featuring your Apollo Creed-esque trainer chasing you on a craptacular bicycle, naturally). In this toon-tinged, comical affair, all of your opponents are ridiculous caricatures; suffice it to say that Vodka Drunkinski was re-named Soda Popinski so as to avoid offending our certainly-not-drunk-at-all friends in Russia.

Each competitor has their own unique manner of attacking and special moves. Punch-Out!! is primarily a game of watching and reacting, timing and reflexes, of knowing your enemy. The huge and horrifying Bald Bull, for instance, can perform a charging slam that will savage your midget frame and crush your gonads into Spam. But if you can time a counter-punch correctly as this huge sweaty ballistic missile of fury and hatred barrels towards you, it will knock him out instantly. There's a similar canny little trick to everybody you'll face.

Iron Mike himself. This rarely ends well for the tiny homunculus at the bottom of the screen.

Punch-Out!! is a rather brief game, but it's one of the most fondly remembered in the console's library. It is simple to play yet surprisingly tactical, and those characters and their designs and animations are just too charming.

Take a nostalgia-tastic look at Punch-Out!! below, then see the glorious, manly spectacle that Mike Tyson made of himself while attempting to play. "Glass Joe, you punk! Up yours, dude!"

Source of images: gamefaqs.

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