GDC 2009

GDC 2009: Punch-Out!! Hands-On


“So, how did you get past security?”


“No…really…how did you get past security? You’re 18?”

“I’m 23.”


The Punch-Out!! line was pretty robust even for the final day of GDC, so chatting as we waited was a must. I finally did get my hands on it and I can tell you — without a cloud of nostalgia, for I am one of the sad few who did not experience the joy and bliss of taking out Mike Tyson as a child — that it was fun and quite responsive.

My match was against Von Kaiser, who is easily recognizable by fans of the original NES game not only for that blond mustache, but also those same cross punches. Of course this time around instead of timing your button presses (unless you are really that attached to the old school, as it were — Nintendo has left the option available for button controls), you time the actual throwing of the punches (with your actual arms) as Little Mac — and he’s a cutie in this version!

While floating like a butterfly feels very natural on the analog stick, stinging like a bee is sometimes tricky, since you need to remember that just punching “up” will not get you a face shot; the sensors won’t detect your verticality, so you have to remember to hold the stick up and punch to bust some jaws. I had some trouble getting the super move (Star punch!) to work with the A button, but I have a (huge) hunch that it had more to do with my boxing skills than the game, as I eventually lost the match in decision.

Alas, my time was up, but I live to fight another day — May 18th to be exact, when Punch-Out!! hits (or should we say “punches”?) the shelves.

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