Knock out: Infendo reviews Punch-Out for Wii


Developer Next Level Games must have studied Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out for years. Because they have recaptured the spirit of that classic game and revived it with slick presentation, tight controls, and fresh perspective in the all-new Punch-Out for Wii. It doesn’t happen often, but Punch-Out not only lives up to the hype of the original, it surpasses it.

Like its predecessors, Punch-Out Wii is “all about the timing,” according to Doc Lewis, your trainer. The game has as much to do with real boxing as Rocky Balboa does; not much. In reality, it’s about countering an offensive from your opponents, or catching them off guard. It’s an exaggeration of the truth, and it’s more fun this way’just like watching Rocky is more exciting than watching a real boxing match. Nevertheless, you can’t just step up swinging and expect to win. Punch-Out requires strategy. And you’ll have just as much fun remembering (or learning) the combos of your opponents as you will overcoming them.

When the updated sequel was first announced, I thought the focus on timing might be antiquated, dare I say gimmicky’like “Blast Processing” (aka speed) was to early Sonic games. But I was wrong. The timing required to win Punch-Out fights has aged considerably well, if not better on Wii’like a fine bottle of wine or rich Italian cheese. But timing is only as precise as the controls, and Wii owners already know how splashy and unresponsive motion controls can be at times. Fortunately for Punch-Out, the default nunchuck and Wii remote controls work like a charm. You’ll feel empowered when using them. And you’ll want to master the game using them.

For long-time players like myself, however, you cannot go wrong with “NES Style” controls. With a quick disconnect of the nunchuck, you’ll feel right at home dodging, ducking, and blocking punches. If I had to pick between the two, I’d give NES Style the slight nod, because they’re a tad tighter. But after beating the single-player mode, I’ve already begun going back to win the championship with motion controls, as it offers a unique and still-worthy experience.

The third control option, which integrates the balance board, is throw away. By standing on the board, you’ll be able to dodge punches from either side and duck. That’s it. Not a lot to experience here. I suppose it could extend the life of the game a bit, but I had no fun playing this way, and quickly returned to hand-only gestures or NES-Style.


  1. All in all, it was a pretty good review.
    And a pretty good game.

  2. Birthday this week. Hopefully the ‘rents can find it in time for my trip home. Great review, Blake!

  3. Great review! I’ll have to pick this up sometime.

    P.S. Sorry to nitpick with the spelling, but Sega boasted about “Blast” Processing, not “bast” processing.

  4. More than 20 years, a marriage, one degree, and two kids later, you would think I would have mastered the Indian boxer’s teleportation craftiness. But I haven’t. –Blake

    That’s because you’re old dude.


  5. Sounds like a lot of fun, but it could do without the floating french pastry.

  6. As good as this games is, there’s no way I’m going to spend the £30 it costs to get this game (here in the UK).

    Will wait for a price drop.

  7. Please use “Next” buttons rather than “Page 1,2,3..”

    Plenty of commenters have already requested this more user friendly approach to multi-page articles, but Infendo refuses to do it.

  8. Great review. My wife picked it up today. Can’t wait to get home and start swinging!

    Also, the trick to great tigers teleportation is to wait until he moves back in the ring, then hold block until you’re hit. Once he hits you, you have to release it quickly and hold it down again in preparation for the next teleport. Do this about 5 times and he’ll be dizzy and you can nail him for the star. At least that’s the way it used to work. 🙂

  9. great review! you should replace adam sessler at xplay. he always seems to cheese me off, even in a positive review. oooh! anybody get a bumper sticker with their game? it says hellz ya, mac is back. lame, but cool at the same time

  10. What more did you expect the balance board to add other than dodging and ducking? I really love the Wii Fit boxing trainer and I was hoping for a similar experience. Now you’ve got me worried. Should I just save my money?

  11. Then you might like it, Casey. In any case, the core controls and gameplay are a blast.

  12. It has been over a decade and a half since I played this game on the NES but I still coulden’t get my brain to play using the Wiimote and Nunchuck. I just had to go oldschool with just the controller. May have to break down and by the classic controller for this. It’s OK thought I downloaded the game for free at

  13. @FiNsTeRc

    You dirty rat! Just proudly admit to it, why don’t you? Now go buy it!

    May have to break down and pay for the game… huh? huh?

  14. A fantastic update, & one that avid gamers just like me like to read day in and day out!

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