Boxing has never really interested me. Maybe it's because it's just not as real as Professional Wrestling, I don't know. Boxing video games, therefore, are also low on the list of games I want to play, but there are a couple of them on this 1001 list and they're on it for a reason.
Nintendo's Super Punch-Out!! seems to be the gold standard for both simplicity and challenge. It won't take much to know that button mashing won't work here, but it will take some practice to make progress on your way through the circuits.
Let's glove up (if that's a thing) and fist someone.
Definitely punch them.
If there's a better-looking boxing game than this, then I don't know of it. Super Punch-Out!! doesn't concern itself with realism, but on exaggerated frames of animation and over the top, bordering on stereotypically offensive characters.
You're viewing the action from an almost first-person third person perspective, with a useful use of transparency. You can see your opponent through yourself, so you can hopefully see where they're going to land a hit on you and either block or dodge it.
Some punches can be blocked with no effort at all, but others can't be blocked and must be dodged. Knowing how to read your opponent's wind up cues will come with repeated playthroughs, and each of your foes will have different strengths to avoid and weaknesses to exploit.
|Source // Wikipedia|
But you can't exploit weaknesses by blocking, so you'll have to aim punches to the body and head, either from the left or right, as well as finding the time for stronger attacks for extra damage. Deal enough damage for a knockout and the bout is yours.
As you can imagine, I didn't manage to become the champion in what is, cynically speaking, a string of quick time events in disguise. But I was having fun, on the receiving end of damage or not, which must be a good thing.
I'm not going to bother honing my skills to become the champion, but I'd like to at least make a bit more progress next time, mostly to see what other overly dramatic opponents I'll be facing. I've seen them on YouTube, obviously, but seeing them in front of you, with a controller in hand, is far different.
With multiple versions across the decades, it's not too hard to play some form of Super Punch-Out!!, but this was my first time playing it and it won't be the last. It's got a memorable look, gameplay that you don't see outside of boxing games, and a sense of achievement when you finally beat your opponent.
Get in the ring yourself, if you've not already done so.
The game saw a limited run release in Japan some three years after the rest of the world. Do they not like boxing or something?
Super Punch-Out!!, developed by Nintendo IRD, first released in 1994.
Version played: SNES, 1994, via emulation.
Version watched: SNES, 1994 (xISOmaniac)