Game Review

Doc Louis' Punch-Out!! Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Philip J Reed

What's your favourite WiiWare download, Mac? Mine's chocolate.

Before the release of the Wii version of Punch-Out!! earlier this year, rumors began circulating that a few "surprise" fighters would make appearances in the game. One of those rumors was that Mac would have to face his trainer, the rotund and irresistibly optimistic Doc Louis.

With the release of this US Club Nintendo reward to those who earned Platinum-status in the club's first year, it seems possible that the Doc Louis rumor was based on an earlier build of the game, before the idea for a separate mini-released caused the old man's excisement. The fact that good old Doc has three difficulty levels that are each accessed separately might even suggest that he was meant to be fought between circuits, an interactive portion of the training montage. And it really would have fit perfectly.

Instead, though, for whatever reason, our long-time-coming bout with Doc Louis appeared separately in this WiiWare release. And, based on the excellence of the retail release, this download is a great deal of fun.

There are three modes in which Doc can be fought: Warm-Up, Training, and Sparring. Each time you step up to the next mode, Doc will be granted a few additional moves to use against you. He will also become more resilient, and more prone to munching his health-restoring chocolate bar.

The game controls identically to the full retail release, which of course is a good thing, as it means your reflexes are read tightly and accurately. The music and visuals are on par with the main game, as well, meaning that Doc Louis' Punch-Out!! serves as an excellent (and not exhaustive) demo for the full Wii release. If only it were available to more people...

As per Punch-Out!! tradition, Doc will telegraph each of his moves in some way ahead of time, often announcing to Mac exactly what to do in order to avoid being pummeled. ("Keep em up!" or "Duck this one!" for example.) On paper, this seems as though the fight with Doc should be markedly easier than with those opponents who just wink at you or something, but the margin for reaction is pretty thin, and it makes you feel pretty stupid when you dodged to the left after being explicitly told to duck. Mac's knock-out never felt so well-deserved.

It's also worth mentioning that memorizing Doc's advice does make it easier to avoid certain punches in the future...but he doesn't always shout out the best advice, and there's more than one way to take this guy down. Experiment — it's often worth it!

The Sparring mode is the most difficult, and it's also the only mode that must be unlocked. Bewilderingly, you must unlock it every time you boot up the game. Unlocking it is not difficult, but it does seem like a very needless complication. Also, though your best times are visible as you complete each mode, this data is not retained the next time you play. This is a big shame, as whittling down times is the best replay value this title has.

But that's about the only negative thing that can be said about Doc Louis' Punch-Out!! It's a whole new boxer to take on, a brand new puzzle to be solved. The level of detail is great (we particularly dig Doc's golden-era leather gloves, and his expression after he says, "That's choc-tas-tic!" is priceless), and the animation is smooth and fluid. (Speaking of which, try knocking the chocolate bar out of his hand. It triggers the funniest moment in all of Punch-Out history.)

Also, this release is full of brilliant new Doc Louis quotes! That's worth a download in itself. (Club Nintendo, if you're listening, we want a book of inspirational quotes by Doc Louis next year, please. Thanks in advance!)


Doc Louis is no pushover, and neither is his game. It's fun, it's silly, and it's oh-so-satisfying to learn first-fist at the hands (and knuckles) of the man himself. While Doc Louis' Punch-Out!! might only offer an hour or two of content and has some curious omissions like a lack of high score system, it still performs an important service: it reminds people of how much fun the Wii version of Punch-Out!! was, and we're willing to bet that anyone who plays this will be immediately compelled to dig out that disc and fight through the entire thing again...this time with a little more respect for the chocolate-munching man in the red sweatshirt.

From the web

Game Trailer

Subscribe to Nintendo Life on YouTube

User Comments (57)



Corbs said:

I read the review while wearing my Mario Hat. Luckily my nieces got this game so I can at least play it whenever I feel the need.



Sneaker13 said:

I'm loving Punch-Out for the NES at the moment. So I need some catching up to do. Is there a change to still get this? Or will it be available for as a normal download on WiiWare.



JonWahlgren said:

@Sneaker13: So far there are no plans for this to be made available to the general public anywhere else. If it did, I'd feel kinda silly for picking it since it was, you know, a Platinum exclusive and all.



edhe said:

What is this "platinum club status"? Is it hard to achieve?

I'm not really savvy with the workings of the nintendo clubs.



Drake said:

@edhe: Sadly neither platinum Club Nintendo status nor this game are available in Europe for now.



edhe said:

@Drake: But if this game (or a similar offer) was to come to Europe, I wonder how it would work.

Would we (Nintendo Club Europe) have to amass about 10000 stars by the day they release it, and if you missed the boat, so to speak, would you lose the chance to acquire it, or would such an offer be available indefinitely?



bro2dragons said:

so i guess this is why he tells you to join the Nintendo Fun-- i mean, Club Nintendo today....



StarDust4Ever said:

I'm glad I ordered the Mario hat. I have no interest in this title whatsoever. I'm going to a Halloween party tonight as MArio



Egg_miester said:

i feel that 7 is a bit high more a 6 to me fight last 2 or 3 minutes and its fun but just not really great



Noire said:

Club Nintendo, if you're listening, we want a book of inspirational quotes by Doc Louis next year, please. Thanks in advance!

Seconded. Anyways, I had a lot of fun with this game, being able to finally take on Doc. Quite a nice reward, I say.



JonWahlgren said:

@bro2dragons: In the NES Punch-Out!!, Doc mentioned the Nintendo Fun Club. In the Wii release, that line was updated to be Club Nintendo and was more a wink and a nod to fans of the old game than a hint that this was coming I think.



Odnetnin said:

"Mac's knock-out never felt so well-deserved."
Well said, man! I had more fun getting beaten up by Doc than Mr. Sandman (contender), even though the latter is harder.
"Speaking of which, try knocking the chocolate bar out of his hand. It triggers the funniest moment in all of Punch-Out history."
Easily. That's when this game became worth it (to me, at any rate).
"...it reminds people of how much fun the Wii version of Punch-Out!! was, and we're willing to bet that anyone who plays this will be immediately compelled to dig out that disc and fight through the entire thing again...this time with a little more respect for the chocolate-munching man in the red sweatshirt."
I know I did!
Great review, especially considering the amount of content this game has. And a fair score, at that!



Chunky_Droid said:

I hope they give other people an opportunity at this! I'd try my damn best to get platinum status for next year if it meant I could get this!



Kid_A said:

Spot on review. Great little gift for all us Club Nintendo/Punch-Out fans, very challenging and hillarious but...once you beat it there's nothing to do.



wiiwareaddict said:

EBAY found some people "selling" this there??? They send you the code after you buy it??? (40 - 45 US Dollars)??



Odnetnin said:

@Kid_A Which is why I think a 7 is the perfect score for this game. I can see myself coming back to it from time to time, though.



Sneaker13 said:

@Panda, it that is a USA action only. Pretty stupid to be honest. I wouldn't mind paying for it. But it's weird not releasing it in other parts of the world.



suburban_sensei said:

If I belonged to Club Nintendo last year, I would of went for the Mario hat...seems less temporary than Punch-Out!!

-I have a question, I am way passed Platinum for this year (and the next gift), does that mean I can spend all my coins and keep the Platinum status, or must it stay over 600 coins to keep the status?



Mayhem said:

You keep your status, it's all about how many coins you've earned in the 12 month period, not how many you have in your account. So I got platinum for last year (and got my Doc Louis download!) and am about halfway to platinum for this year currently. Basically unless you need to register certain games (if you want to spend a lot of coins), don't bother and "save" them up for the next period given you've already passed platinum.



Philip_J_Reed said:

@Egg Meister:
I'd certainly love to know how you managed to beat three difficulty modes in 2 or 3 minutes, without ever losing or starting over. (I assume you never lost or started over, as that would have increased your playtime substantially.)

You have much to teach us!

To those wondering, it took me over an hour to beat all three difficulties, and that was without figuring out all the different ways to better my time / perfect my strategies. I'd estimate a standard gamer (not Egg Meister, who beats the entire game in the time it takes you to play a single round ) would get 2 - 3 hours out of this release in total.



theblackdragon said:

@suburban_sensei: you can spend your coins at any time you like during the CN year. Your elite-status meter only records new coins that enter your account and will not be diminished until the end-of-Club-year reset, whether you spend them immediately after they enter your account or not, as it is a meter completely separate from your account coin balance.



Terra said:

I do get the feeling that at some point, Nintendo make this available to non-US Club Nintendo members. Hope I'm right, as I'd love to see this get released in Europe.



Kid_A said:

Was I the only one that found the third difficulty like, really REALLY difficult? Maybe because I'm a bit rusty on my Punch-Out skills (haven't touched the Wii game since I lost to Mr. Sandman in Mac's Last Stand) but that was on par with some of the tougher Title Defense fights.



Egg_miester said:

@Chicken Brutus i never said i beat all 3 difficultys in 2 to 3 minutes just said fights last that long really i haven't spent more then 40 minutes in the game haven't had that much time



Stuffgamer1 said:

I finished it off in an hour and six minutes, according to my gameplay history on the Wii (why haven't other consoles adapted this awesome feature yet?). 2-3 hours means you suck. And I can say that, 'cause I never even finished the contender circuit of the retail Punch-Out!! and I STILL beat Doc Louis faster than that!

EDIT: Oh, and I went back and replayed the first two matches a couple times after finishing the third off, too (wanted to see if it was possible to knock the chocolate away in round 2, mainly).



Philip_J_Reed said:

"i never said i beat all 3 difficultys in 2 to 3 minutes just said fights last that long"

Right, but...they don't last that long; they usually run closer to 7 or 8 with an advanced opponent like this. A single round lasts 3 minutes, and I'm sure you didn't beat Doc in one round. If you did, it was after lots of practice, which certainly deserves to be factored into the playtime.

"2-3 hours means you suck."

If you take that amount of time to beat Doc at all, maybe, but I think that's a fair estimate for anyone who intends to replay the game to perfect their methods and earn better times.



Stuffgamer1 said:

@Chicken Brutus: Yes, I meant if it takes you that long to beat Sparring mode at all. I mostly don't see the point trying to go for better times, especially since it doesn't save them. I kind of wish it had Exhibition Mode medals like the retail game, but only if it actually had a save feature. THAT would add replay value.

Also, it's quite simple to beat the first Doc Louis match in one round first try. Not the others (don't even think it's possible even if you do perfectly because of the unavoidable chocolate abuse), but defintely the first.



Philip_J_Reed said:

"it's quite simple to beat the first Doc Louis match in one round first try. Not the others"

...Which is my point. The game isn't Doc Louis's Warm-Up!! It's Punch-Out. There's more to the game than that, and saying that "the fight lasts 3 minutes" is akin to saying that Super Mario Bros. lasts for 40 seconds because that's how long it takes you to beat the first level.




This ought to be released as a wiiware download for everyone. Or at least everyone who has purchased punch out retail



Stuffgamer1 said:

@Odnetnin: What, you disagree?

@Chicken Brutus: Yeah, so he worded stuff poorly. People do that sometimes. We're just arguing useless drivel at this point. What matters is: Doc Louis's Punch-Out!! is really, really short and has less replay value than Tingle's Balloon Fight DS (which I consider relevant because it was a Platinum Status gift game as well). Doesn't mean it's not worth playing, especially if you're a big Punch-Out!! fan, but fact is fact.

Why did this need a review anyway? Only people who are going to play it already made their decision months ago anyway, so it's not like this review is helping people choose whether to buy it. Seems a bit odd when you look at it that way.



Odnetnin said:

@Stuffy No, for once I wasn't being sarcastic. I just vehemently feel it was way too easy; I would've have like Training, Sparring, and "Showdown" or something. (As in I wish there was a final, harder fight in place of Warm-Up.)
And the review has the best tagline ever, that's why it's here.



Stuffgamer1 said:

@Odnetnin: Oh. I hear "simple as heck," I think "in other words, not." 'Cause heck ain't simple. Or something. Whatever.

I liked the difficulties the way they were, and they do indeed make perfect sense in the "between circuits" placement Chicken talked about. I hate to think that content was taken out of the full game to make this WiiWare release (especially since this isn't available to most people), so I'd prefer to think it wasn't finished when the game released and they decided to flesh it out for this reward. That's a plausible enough answer, I suppose. Still stinks they didn't just make it "Pay and Play" content instead, but what are you gonna do? Sigh.



Odnetnin said:

According to Nintendo Power nobody even thought of this until after the retail game was finished.



Token_Girl said:

Some people may want to know if it's worth buying the code off ebay, so that's a reason to have a review.



Stuffgamer1 said:

Yeah, I guess so...though I can answer that one easily, given the ludicrous prices on eBay: If you're an über Punch-Out!! fanatic, go for it. If not, there's really no way it's worth that much. I wouldn't pay $10 for this game, and only MAYBE $5. Free was the perfect price, of course...shame it wasn't more wide-spread.



Crunc said:

I've got a $30 console code for amazon.com (US. It takes $30 off any console or handheld at amazon.com) that I have no use for. If anyone wants to trade their Doc Louis' Punch-Out code for it, let me know!



Capt_N said:

Be great if this eventually made WW. Then, anyone could d/l it. As for the exclusiveness of it, I would say, that the platinum ppl got it for free, whereas myself, & others would have to pay for it.



XCWarrior said:

Played it and beat it. Would not be worth it as a WW release, there isn't enough there. But for being a free title, it was a blast while it lasted. Just wish it saved best times and maybe had a fourth mode where Doc is sent back to his fighting days shape to take on Little Mac.



michaelmax said:

Wow, it's free. Awesome. I liked Punch out wii. But I think for the next punch out game, I would love to see more story, interactive training, and more story...did I mention more story? I'm a huge boxing fan...Nintendo made the best boxing game of all time with punch out in the 80's but lately EA sports is the undesputed champion in this category. Fight Night Round 4 is the quintessential boxing game. Even though no one could top EA's realism...Nintendo still needs to do more in my opinion to get a shot at EA's title. If they combined the story aspect of Victorious Boxers, the tight gameplay and great characters of Punch out...and throw in a deep training system, and we may just have a contender on our hands.



Mr-X9000 said:

once i become a platnuim member(im currently a gold member) i will get this along with a mario hat, the game and watch ds collections,the ball machine,and a giant ar card,among other things



EaZy_T said:

@XCWarrior That's a great idea, the extra mode.
It's too bad that this wasn't included with the main game, even just the warm-up really helps to "show you the ropes".

I believe that it's worth the 250 coins as a final Club Nintendo reward.

edit: corrections

Leave A Comment

Hold on there, you need to login to post a comment...