Punch King

Game Boy Advance

Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 6

Sound: 5

Gameplay: 4

Overall: 4

Punch King tries hard to replicate Nintendo's classic Punch-Out franchise. In fact, that's the main problem. It tries too hard. It may look like a perfect recreation, but once things get started, you'll end on the mat more times than you ever should.

It's the usual story: You're the up-and-coming boxing superstar and your wise old trainer is going to make sure you get there. You'll face a variety of oppoenents (twelve to be specific) from around the world, each with a stage that fits their home country. They'll taunt before each fight and an announcer will introduce the combatants. 

In all honesty, the back of this games box is misleading. It looks sooo much like Nintendo's own classic that they could be sued simply because prospective buyers may think they're getting a sequel. The transparent boxer, big, massive sprites for opponents, meters on the sides... you add it up. Actually, the major crime commited here is the timing required to dodge a punch. You can be halfway across the screen on the other end of the ring and if the opponent tosses a blow your way, it connects. Ducking is useless, blocking is non-existent, and swaying side to side will only get you in more trouble. You must dodge at the precise moment the hit woud've connected. It's a human impossibility and the major issue that buries this one beneath countless copies of the latest Mary Kate and Ashley game at Toys R Us.

The boxer sprites are not only generic and lacking in character, but are severly pixelated. The mass of chunky pixels on each of the boxers is innexcusable. Their animation is also abysmal, but to be fair, Punch-Out never really had smooth motion either. Minus the ring announcer, the sound doesn't fare much better. Each of the stages presents the expected music for the stage (China is filled with bells and flutes) and it hardly uses the hardware.

Not even the promise of the survival mode can save this one. Besides, making it past the first opponent is hard enough, let alone 12 of them. This a completely missed opportunity since it has most of the elements in place. Hopefully Nintendo can re-establish their dominace in this genre soon.


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Last updated: Sunday, September 25, 2005 02:01 PM