Last week I purchased Punch-Out!! Featuring Mr. Dream, for the 3DS's Virtual Console from Nintendo's eShop. It was under $5 and I loved that game growing up, so I figured why not? Punch-Out falls under that category of games that you can pick up, play for about 10-15 minutes, get your ass kicked and put it down. I don't feel like there're enough games out there that follow this type of model. A lot of games, ones that I tend to buy anyway, you seem to need to put at least an hour into playing before I feel like I've done anything. Sometimes I just want a game that I can quickly play and have very little, if any, emotional investment it. Punch-Out fits that bill perfectly.
So I've played Punch-Out now for probably about an hour or so (my DS says 1h8m) and it's exactly how I remember it, which is exactly that I was hoping it would be. All the sound effects are there, the music is the same, which again, is what I was looking for. I wasn't looking for updated graphics, new interface or schnazy extras. The only thing about the game that I knew I wasn't getting from my childhood was Mike Tyson. See, I started with Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!! By now we all know the reason and the difference between the two versions of the game, and frankly, since I'm buying a digital copy of the game, I can forgo it not being the original version of the game.
Which brings me to the main point of this article. Soda Popinski is still kicking my ass. The first time around playing Punch-Out, I could reliably get to Soda Popinski's stage and almost 100% I would have my junk handed back to me twisted in one of those plastic six pack holders. Today, the same thing will happen. I have no problem with most characters. Great Tiger can be a little annoying because it's hard to tell when the gem in his turban is flashing on the small 3DS screen. Bald Bull's Bull Charge will still get me on occasion, and by "occasion," I mean that I'll be knocked out about 50-60% of the time. Yes, I know all about the counting to 3 bit, but still. Fucking Bull Charge.
Eventually that brings us to god damn Soda Popfuckinginski. He just seems disproportionately difficult compared to the previous fighters. I know I've beaten Popinski at least once before because I've fought Mr. Sandman and promptly lost (after going through Bald Bull and Don Flamenco a second time). In one recent bout, I was able to bring Popinski down to within two - three punches of knocking him out, then he seemed to gather his whits and promptly TKO'd me.
It's good to know that a game that I remember so fondly from my childhood has been ported so well that I'm still stuck at the point in the game where I was more than 20 years ago. I guess if I decide to pick up Kid Icarus or Master Blaster, that I'll most likely be as stuck as I was when I first played those games. I guess that just means I need to dig deep in the deeper recesses of the closet and dust off that pink track suit.
Only 2,903 Miles To Find Doc.