I know you’re probably tired of me writing about Punch-Out! I’d apologize but to tell the truth I’m not sorry. I’m so excited for a new Punch-Out! experience that I’m willing to shout it from the rooftops at this point…
Nintendo has released five new screenshots, all of them showing off some multiplayer action. If you’d like to view the screenshots, and not read about my pondering of multiplayer Punch-Out! then scroll to the bottom.
When I heard that Punch-Out! would be receiving a multiplayer mode, I wasn’t completely surprised by it. It’s no secret that the Wii is probably the most used console for local multiplayer (Wii Sports, Rock Band, Wario Ware etc..). It’s odd that with the announcement of this new mode, that we haven’t heard many details about it. If you read numerous previews online, hardly any mention has been given to Punch-Out!’s multiplayer. Did Next Level Games just tack it on to try and appease gamers who won’t buy anything unless it’s multiplayer? Or will a dedicated, and fleshed out mode show itself when we box another?
I was reading ‘For the love of…Punch-Out!’ by Dave Cook, which is a great read about what made the original Punch-Out! so great. Everything from the idea of taking Little Mac as an underdog to champion. The puzzle like gameplay style of figuring out the timing of your opponents attacks. The over the top style of the boxers you had to take on, and how over powering they seemed as you progressed through the game. So, how could all of that spirit translate to the multiplayer portion of the game?
I think we can throw out the first, and third point I made in the previous paragraph. Unless a huge announcement is made regarding multiplayer, I highly doubt that there’ll be an underdog feel to multiplayer. Unless the person you’re playing against repeatedly kicks your ass. There really won’t be much in the way of style, considering the only boxer you can use is Little Mac (unless some more information shows itself). Of course you will have the ability to turn into Giga Mac, but regardless you’re still ‘Mac’.
Although I don’t think they’ll be able to capture many aspects of Punch-Out!, the puzzle like gameplay will be quite interesting. In the traditional puzzle genre, the idea pitting two players against one another was a tiny revolution in style. If anyone remembers the hectic gameplay sessions of Tetris Attack back in the day, then you know what I’m talking about.
I think that same spirit can be captured in multiplayer Punch-Out! If you’ve ever played a fighting, or boxing game then you know that many people have patterns they use for strategy. This has the potential to add an element that Punch-Out! has never had; change. Fighting against a human opponent will add an unpredictable nature to Punch-Out! that I believe will be quite a bit of fresh air. Depending on if they change the speed of gameplay, or do too much with Giga Mac this could end up changing things up more than needed.
The proof will be in the pudding though, and unfortunately we still have a few weeks before the pudding comes out. Oh well, you can still enjoy the screenshots below.