When we first heard about the Super Nintendo Entertainment System in the pages of Electronic Gaming Monthly every gamer had different visions of what it meant. For me, I was thinking along the lines that many fans were- updated classics in 16-Bit glory. Legend of Zelda, Super Mario, NES Play Action Football, etc. While Nintendo and other companies did bring back some classics on the Super Nintendo, it was mostly sequels or original titles (I am still mad about not getting an updated Robo Warrior). One title that stood out from the competition, and Sega had NOTHING to combat it, was Super Punchout.
Super Punchout was one of those games that was a major salvo in the cannons of Nintendo in the 16-Bit wars. Sega was left with nothing to retaliate with as far as this one went and Nintendo knew it. Nintendo went on an advertising frenzy for Super Punchout- a rarity for them outside of their own publication- Nintendo Power which was just cover to cover Nintendo console and hand held games. Nintendo wanted fans to know about Super Punchout.
Boxing games are often slower paced and feature men sweating (something wrestling games have left out, thankfully). Not so in Super Punchout. Here the characters are updated versions of, and many new ones not in, the Nintendo Entertainment System game, Punchout. Just like in realistic boxing games, timing and paying attention to your opponent and their body mannerisms or you will find yourself flat on your back.
The characters make Super Punchout, just like in any game really. Nintendo seems to have this down pat. Pick a genre and if Nintendo has entered it with a game then you can almost guarantee they stole the show. The same can easily be said of Super Punchout and the boxing category.
I have to say thank you, Nintendo, for bringing Super Punchout to gamers 22 years ago today.
Don’t have a copy? Hit Ebay and get one and remember when games were just fun (hard as hell but still fun).