Punch-Out is the game that finally convinced me to buy a Wii. And I did so fully expecting that I probably won’t be buying too many more Wii games. (That already makes me a typical Wii owner, as the system has a a pretty dismal attach rate.) But seeing as I’m not really a Zelda fan, or a Metroid fan, or even a 3D Mario fan, Punch-Out is about as close to a killer app for the Wii as I’m likely to ever come across. And yeah, it is killer.
I’m one of those thirtysomethings who grew up playing all the retro consoles when they were new, and because of that games like Punch-Out have a pretty strong nostalgia effect on me. I skipped Super Punch-Out, not because it wasn’t a good game or anything, but because I was more into computer gaming when it came ’round. But the original Punch-Out, and of course Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out, claimed countless hours of my youth (not to mention a ton of quarters.)
Now, as strong as the nostalgia effect can be, it’s not really enough on its own to get me to bring home a new console. The idea of playing one of my favourite games of yore in a completely new way is what sealed the deal. There’s just something extremely compelling and downright engaging about playing a fun and familiar boxing game by actually throwing jabs instead of tapping buttons. So there it is, the Wii’s secret sauce finally won me over. This new Punch-Out has also reminded me of how old and out of shape I am. Not even the most rousing game of Halo has ever left me as sore or sweaty as a few rounds against Glass Joe and friends. Yeah, that’s pathetic, but like Little Mac I’m back in training after a long hiatus and there’s nowhere to go but up.
As for a d+pad comeback? Hey, anything’s possible! I’m going to take it one round at a time.
joe at dpad dot ca
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