Thursday, July 05, 2007

SGM Super 30: Video Game #4

Mike Tyson's Punch Out!

One, Mathematics is the language of nature. Two, Everything around us can be represented and understood through numbers. Three: If you graph the numbers of any system, patterns emerge. Therefore, there are patterns everywhere in nature. - "Pi" (1998)

I loved this game! This game and Ring King rank right up there with some of the best boxing games ever created. The key to victory is recognizing the patterns inherent in each fighter's unique style: Piston Honda wiggles his eyebrows before a jab; Great Tiger's turban jewel shines before he punches; Soda Popinski shuffles his feet before throwing his straight right, and so on.

Funny, that the game's protagonist - Little Mac - had such a limited array of punches available to him, and yet he was able to fight his way into this sport, where his opponents were consistently at leat 1.5 times his size. At best, Mac could throw uppercuts (but only a maximum of 3 at any time, earned by his skillful punching). How was that supposed to work exactly? Doc Louis must have been a hell of a trainer, 'cause if it were real life, Mac would have had to have some serious mob ties to make it to the championship.

Mike Tyson was removed from the game's licensing campaign shortly after the game hit the market. Contrary to popular belief, this was not due to his rape conviction; it was in fact due to a contract dispute, as well as his humiliating loss to Buster Douglas. Afterward, Mike Tyson became "Mr. Dream," who was basically Tyson with a different CG skin.

My favorite fighter? It's a toss-up. I always like Piston Honda; I fancied him a relative of Street Fighter II's E. Honda. But my favorite boxer to fight was Great Tiger, because I found a strategy to rack up on uppercuts that I don't think many people were hip to: When the jewel on his turban would light up, throw a punch to his head, and you'd get the star.

In light of the popularity of this game, why didn't they have a game like "Rocky" on PS2, where you could pick any boxer to play - Glass Joe, Von Kaiser, Piston Honda, Don Flamenco, Great Tiger, King Hippo, Bald Bull, Soda Popinski, The Sandman, Tyson/Dream, or Super Macho Man, or even Little Mac and his trainer Doc Louis, and Referee Mario thrown in for good measure? Hell, I'd have even tried to take Glass Joe through a career mode, if that game were to happen. But I guess we're supposed to be content with "Ready to Rumble" and crap like that.

Oh, Little Mac, where are you when we need you most?

1 comment:

Rev. Joshua said...

I always thought Mr. Dream looked like Vanilla Ice on roids. Now I'm gonna fire up the emulator and play some Punch Out.