THE CASE FOR: This game came out in 1987, damn near thirty years ago, and not only is it still the best boxing game ever made, but it’s damn near the only one the world ever gave a drizzling shit about. (I spent like three dollars renting George Foreman’s K.O. Boxing, and it still hurts a little) It’s set in a completely nutso-bonkers, bananas-ass world where boxing is pretty much the most stereotypical professional wrestling possible, stuffed to the gills with wacky characters, ethnic stereotypes, a few guys actually wearing briefs in the ring, one dude with literal magical powers, and black people never actually holding any championships. And you get to play as Little Mac, the scrappiest of underdogs, trying to make name for himself as a four foot tall weakling in a world of gigantic muscle-beasts. It’s hard without making you want to hurl your controller at your grandmother, and the first time you beat Super Macho Man and make it to the Dream Bout with Mike Tyson, you feel like a literal goddamn champion of life. And that first time when you finally do take down Tyson, you feel like a literal invincible God-King. And from there? You start over and do it again, because the entire experience is amazing.
THE CASE AGAINST: It’s technically the exact same
game as regular old Punch Out!!, the game they re-released when
their contract with Tyson ran out. And while the guy the replaced
him with, Mr. Dream, does all the exact same things, it’s just not
the same, and completely ruins the experience. If you were too
young to remember the time period, Mike Tyson was maybe the most
absolutely insane, unkillable monster that boxing had ever seen,
at a time when most of the general population still cared about
Fresh Prince did a song about thinking he could beat Mike Tyson
as a joke, because in the world before Sam Kinison-level
partying, spousal abuse, Buster Douglas’s fists, and freaking
rape convictions caught up with him, the thought that
anyone could beat Tyson was complete nonsense. Anybody could beat
up Mister Dream. Fuck him, he looks like a cop. I ain’t
care, I’ll whoop his ass right now, I’m crazy, send him to
Also, the timing is all weird on both illegal emulated copies of the game as well as the legally-purchased Nintendo Wii version, so if your NES is broken or your old cartridge is all screwed up, you’re kinda shit outta luck when it comes to this one.
Is that John Cena?
Personal Memory Involving This Game: Back in the day, my elementary school did this thing where toward the end of the year, they would load the whole sixth grade (aside from whoever didn’t get their mom to sign their permission slip) into some buses and take everybody to Roller World, because I guess people still skated in 1991. As for me, I had no coordination or balance of any kind, so any attempt to roller skate was suicide. I took all twenty of the dollars I had to my name, got them changed into quarters, and spent the day on the arcade machines. And since there’s something wrong with my priorities, rather than getting in line for Street Fighter 2 or hell, going for any other cabinet I couldn’t access for free at home, I went to the PlayChoice-10 machine. That was this thing Nintendo put out where you put in a quarter and you got to play your choice of ten regular-ass Nintendo games, and this one has Mike Tyson’s Punch Out on it, and it was the real version instead of the shitty Mr. Dream version that came out a year earlier. And friends, I whooped its ass. I don’t know how many quarters it took, (I think one coin got you five minutes of play, but I might be wrong) but I got all the way from Glass Joe to Mike Tyson himself. And you have to understand, this was back before games held your hand and let you win them – There are still people walking our streets today who still own a copy of this game, and still have never taken down Iron Mike OR Mr. Dream. And here and now in the year 2015, thanks to the ravages of age, a lifetime of severe personal physical neglect, and a complete lack of any discernible athletic ability, I can pretty safely say that I will never compete in the main event of Wrestlemania to become a conquering hero and World’s Champion. But I tell you this: In front of a crowd of stunned sixth-graders, (okay, maybe like five other dudes) toward the end of the third round, as I threw down my enemy and smote his ruin upon the canvas to score the TKO, I found out EXACTLY what it must feel like. It was truly my finest hour.
Then maybe 45 minutes later, some other kid who was not as impressed with my accomplishments swiped my wallet and took something like three bucks from me.
CURRENT TOP TEN AS OF MARCH 24, 2017
1. Fallout: New Vegas (XBox 360, 2010)
2. Castlevania (NES, 1986)
3. Tecmo Bowl (NES, 1989)
4. Brütal Legend (XBox 360, 2009)
5. Mike Tyson’s Punch Out !! (NES, 1987 - Original WordPress version)
6. Fallout 3 (XBox 360, 2008)
7. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (Sega Genesis, 1992)
8. Sonic the Hedgehog (Sega Genesis, 1991)
9. Sonic the Hedgehog 3 (Sega Genesis, 1994)
10. Fallout 2 (PC, 1998)
14-10,000,000,000,000,000 - TBD
Release Date: 1989
Cool Football Card I Have From 1987: 1987 Topps Jerry Rice
Cool Movie From 1987: House II: The Second Story
Cool Heavy Metal Album from 1987: Dream Evil by Dio