The Definitive 50 SNES Games: #29 Super Punch-Out!!

Click here to view our list of the Definitive 50 SNES games. Links to each video and write-up are included.

Nintendo’s famous Punch-Out!! series began life in the arcades of the 1980’s before being introduced to its mainstream audience with Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! on the NES. Super Punch-Out!! was developed as a sequel to the NES title and punched its way to North American store shelves in October of 1994. It is now available on the Wii’s Virtual Console service.

Super Punch-Out!! takes 29th place on the list of Definitive 50 SNES games. In this game, you play as Little Mac, a boxer in the World Video Boxing Association who seeks to become champion.

This title continues the addictive and challenging puzzle-like play-style established by its predecessors. Don’t go thinking this is a typical action-y boxing game, Super Punch-Out!! requires the player to watch his or her opponents carefully, learning patterns, figuring out what moves to use and when to strike. The gameplay can feel like a series of boss fights in which the enemy’s pattern must be learned and exploited. Build up your S bar by battering your adversary with repeated small punches, then go in for the knockout with heavier swings.

Super Punch-Out!! takes advantage of the Super Nintendo’s graphic capabilities to great effect. The game is still played from the “behind the back” perspective, but now Little Mac is semi-transparent, so his opponents can be shown clearly without radical size distortion.

Speaking of opponents, Little Mac’s adversaries are once again the most memorable component of this game. Cleverly named and humorous enemies such as Bob Charlie, Dragon Chan, and Bear Hugger each feature as levels of Super Punch-Out!!. The 16 opponents are broken up across four circuits of this game’s Championship mode. All four of each circuit’s boxers must be defeated in succession in order to beat those circuits.

Super Punch-Out!! also features a Time Attack mode and a Records View mode, both of which go a long way to extend the game’s replay value. Player progress can thankfully be saved.

Punch-Out!! for NES is one of that system’s best remembered titles, but its Super NES successor also deserves great praise for its strong continuation of that title’s gameplay, as well as impressive visual style.