Game Review

Punch-Out!! Featuring Mr. Dream Review

Europe PAL Version

Posted by Marcel van Duyn


With ten NES titles originally released on the 3DS for Ambassadors only, it wasn't much of a stretch to expect the first ten put up for sale to be the same games. But we've already received a title that actually wasn't part of the Ambassador batch, and Nintendo has picked one of the best possible games.

Originally released in 1987, Punch-Out!! was one of two games developed by Nintendo to cater exclusively to western audiences, despite being made by one of their Japanese teams (the other is a little game you might know called StarTropics). In Japan, Punch-Out!! could initially only be obtained as reward for participating in a gaming tournament; it was only after its western success that Nintendo released it for sale in its home country, but it seems like its initial assumption was right, as it never really became popular there.

The unique thing about the Punch-Out!! series as a whole is that although the games are about boxing, none of them can really be called fighting games — they're probably closer to being puzzle games. Every opponent has a specific pattern of attacks, so early on it's as simple as figuring out the pattern and securing an easy victory. If you want to be the very best though, it's not as simple as just dodging attacks and then attacking while the opponents can't defend themselves; you can also interrupt attacks completely, sometimes earning you stars to use for extra powerful uppercuts.

Some opponents can even be knocked down instantly by hitting them in a specific way during a specific moment. But of course, the further you get, the harder it gets, as enemy attacks will come out much faster giving you less time to react, there will be fewer opportunities to attack back and there are fewer stars to earn. Mr. Dream, the final opponent, fittingly takes the cake for one of the toughest ever opponents in a Nintendo game — his attacks are lightning quick and most of them will knock you down in one hit.

Another memorable thing about the game is its colourful lineup of enemy opponents, all of whom have various amusing lines of dialogue between rounds, from the glass-jawed Frenchman Glass Joe to the Russian Soda Popinski, who was originally literally drunk (and called Vodka Drunkenski) but had his beer changed to soda pop for the NES game, making all his lines even more hilarious.

The game also features some very catchy music, most of it in the form of intro themes for opponents, and although you'll be hearing the main fighting theme a ton, it never seems to get annoying and will likely be stuck in your head for days after playing the game.


Beating 14 opponents in the main game will take a while — even with the 3DS Virtual Console's restore points — and after you've managed to best Mr. Dream you'll receive a password that allows you to play an extra-hard hidden circuit. Overall, it's a fairly simple to understand game, but it's actually surprisingly complex, difficult and above all, very entertaining.

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User Comments (35)



golephish said:

I always read mr dream as mc dream. silly tyson, you won't be missed. but my 10 bucks to the eshop this week will be ;p



MagicEmperor said:

Eh... Despite being one of my favorite games of all time, I doubt I'd buy it for the third time. I already have the original Mike Tyson cartridge, as well as--oh, who am I kidding? It's Punch-Out!! on the go. I guess I will.



XCWarrior said:

Have the NES version. I'll wait for Club Nintendo to offer this for coins. Not paying for it again. But a great game.



Kid_A said:

One of the all-time greats. Discovered it on the VC a few years ago and I fell in love with it immediately.



HanuKwanzMasBif said:

I'm wondering whether to get this or Sakura Samurai.
EDIT: Wow, it turns out I posted this exact comment on the Wii review in January.
I didn't even notice.



Samholy said:

a classic not to miss. it will depend how much they will sell it for. i remember raging at it when i was younger. same with its snes counterpart.
i fear raging at it again.
but... it was so good T.T



Tryken said:

I feel jipped by not having this get the 3D treatment. Of all the NES games that were going to get it, this was my number 1 choice (Snake Rattle and Roll would have been cool, too). To get it as just another port is mildly insulting, especially to those that already bought it for Wii.

If you haven't played Punch-Out!!! though, you're missing out on one of the best games of the NES era and beyond.



Punny said:

It's nice to finally have a portable Punch-Out!!, but I'm not sure if I want it, seeing how I already own it on the Wii.



Undead_terror said:

to bad it wasnt the snes one,but the bright side is i never played this one so i will most likely going to get it today



grumblegrumble said:

I would give it a 10/10! It's a wonderful game, but I knew it as Mike Tyson's Punch Out!! back in the day



FluffyNinja said:

Damn, I remember it as Mike Tyson's Punch Out!! The good old times of getting knocked out by Tyson.



Mok said:

I had the original Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!! for NES and bought the Wii version on the cheap last year so I can't see any reason why I shouldn't bring this baby to my beloved 3DS as well...



BudDudSlash said:

This is one of the best values for an NES game. It's meaty in length and always fun. Woo!



WaveGhoul said:

An 8? More like a 10, or at least a 9.
I might cave in and get it, although i already have it on Cart for the NES and on the Wii's VC. Then again, this just isn't the same...Not having Mike Tyson standing in is a sham!



dizzy_boy said:

i think that the d pad control isn`t quite as sharp as the nes version, it seems slightly off to me.
don`t get me wrong, it`s still a good buy, but it just needs to be tightned up a bit.



grumblegrumble said:

@WaveBoy I totally agree! This game deserves a 10, at least a 9! It is a NES gaming classic, kind of like the first Super Mario Bros. or Metroid. It set the standard for quite a while. It was as innovative in the day as it is today. Great game and characters, gameplay and design.

On a different note, I would love for Nintendo to release Duck Hunt on virtual console, too. lol They should have included it with SMB. You could shoot the ducks by using your stylus or finger! haha



sinalefa said:

Personally I like the SNES one better, but of course I agree this is a great game.



justinr said:

All of you who are on the fence about buying this are probably too young to remember the thrill of playing the original the first time. Now get off my lawn!



Nintendi said:

I'll buy 8-bit games when they're 99cents. I almost bought Punch-Out yesterday, but ended up getting Pushmo for the same price.



HanuKwanzMasBif said:

@Nintendi Pushmo is two dollars more...
anyway I decided to get this and it's AWESOME! so far I haven't beaten Piston Honda (played for about 20 or 30 minutes) but I'm starting to get the hang of it.



Nintendi said:

oops... well, I still rather have super punch-out. No 8-bit games for me. Unless they're 99 cents.



XXITheWorld said:

"No 8-bit games for me. Unless they're 99 cents."

>Implying one wouldn't pay more than 99 cents for Castlevania I or III, any NES Megaman, NES Zelda, Metroid I, Mario 1-2-3, Ninja Gaiden, Contra, Gradius, Ghost and Goblins, etc, etc



Kreegs07 said:

Just picked this up. It is still one of my favorite games of all time. Nice to have it on the go now!



Kreegs07 said:

@dizzy_boy I agree. But its not as bad as it is on the VC. The lag on that was so bad that is was almost impossible. This just goes to show that it is still worth it to bring out the NES still to enjoy this classic in it's purest state.



MikeDanger said:

I love having this game on the go! Honestly there is no other NES game i'd rather have on my 3DS than this one. Well, I would be pleased if Megaman 2, Ducktales, Metal Gear and Castlevania made it also on 3ds virtual console. But I love and i'm very greatful for Punch-Out.



Poketendo said:

boxing games never really appealed to me (in fact, no sports game ever did), but I tryed this one and I enjoyed it surprisingly much. May pick it up when I've got money left after buying Pokémon Bank.

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