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Punch-Out Brings Boxing Fun to the Wii
Lately, I've been exploring the Nintendo Wii gaming system and trying out some of the available sports games. Punch-Out is a fun, cartoon-like boxing game that makes good use of the Wii's motion sensor capabilities.
For some games, the Wii uses a two-controller setup, and for a boxing game like Punch-Out, it really works well. With a controller in each hand, the system can recognize your punches, blocks and other boxing movements, making for a realistic experience. It's also a nice little workout, your arms get really tired from holding them up and throwing punches, even only after the three three-minute rounds that make up each fight.
Although the graphics are very cartoonish and the jokes and sayings of the characters are quite corny, the gameplay makes it fun. The Wii controllers have rumbling effects and vibrations which coincide with hits. They also have their own little speakers that have sounds, in addition to the sounds coming out of the TV speakers. When you throw a punch, you feel it in the controller and hear the sound at the same time.
The game is great for kids, and adults will also enjoy the realistic action. The game could get a bit tedious for adults, but the changing levels of competition and the need to fight your way up the ranks against more and more skilled opponents keeps it exciting. There are also practice modes where the opponent can't injure you, allowing for as much practice as you like. It really helped me to learn how the system recognizes my movements.
The game has a more cartoon-like feel than some of the other Wii fun-type games. I like the cartoon look better than the robot avatar-type figures they have on games like Wii Sports. The characters are rendered well and the boxing ring and backgrounds are also realistic.
The gameplay is realistic. The Wii is very sensitive to movements and the movement of your hands and arms (there are two controllers for the game, one held in each hand) really is matched with the character's movements on-screen. Combos, rabbit punches, and other real boxing moves are possible.
There is a good range of practice sessions and actual fights, which count towards rising through the ranks to win the championship. There's an "exhibition mode" for practice and a "career mode" where each fight counts toward your ranking and ability to advance in the game.
Online and Multi-player Action
You can go head-to-head with other players in person or online. I like how the Wii controllers are "married" to you own system, so you can use them on other systems and they retain your personal profiles and information. The game also allows for matches against other players over the Nintendo network via a high speed connection.
Punch-Out is one of the titles in the Nintendo Selects series of games and has a retail price of $19.99. I think its a good value and its one of the games I play over and over again, especially when I have friends over, to show them how the Wii works.
Freddy Sherman is an old-school gamer who began his gaming in the 1980s with a Colecovision system and has been playing ever since. He's currently a Nintendo Wii, Nintendo 3DS and Xbox 360 user. Aside from playing the games, he enjoys the technology and business side of video gaming. You can follow him on Twitter - @thefredsherman.
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