I was never lucky enough to own an NES growing up, I was more of a Sega fanboy; sorry Nintendo. However, I do remember playing Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out at a friends house and now have the remake on the Wii.
Punch Your Way To Victory
The concept of Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out is simplistic, yet addictive. Dodge the attacks and quickly counter with a quick one, two! What made this game so interesting at the time was it, of course, had the backing of Iron Mike Tyson. At least it did for a short while. When the game released in 1987, Mike had already made a huge name for himself in the ring. He’d become the youngest heavyweight champion in history at the age of 20, just a year before. He’d later go on to best titans such as Micheal Spinks, Larry Holmes, Tyrell Biggs, Tony Tucker and many more. It was a magnificent time for Tyson. All eyes were on him and everybody, including Nintendo, wanted a bite of the champ.
Hello Dark NES
Speaking of bites… you likely know where this is going. Mike’s life would go on to spiral out of control in later years. In 1992 he was convicted of a sexual assault and sentenced to 6 years in prison. He served only 3, after being released on parole. Upon his release, he came back to the ring in an attempt to revitalise his career and cleanse his tarnished name. He fought and fought hard, but something clearly wasn’t right with the former champ.
His press conferences were fuelled with rage and in 1997 he notoriously bit off the ear of rival Evander Holyfield during a fight. Later he would admit that he wasn’t only fighting in the ring but also fighting a serious drug addiction. From prison to drugs to bankruptcy and the death of his child. Mike may have lived in the spotlight, yet a dark shadow certainly loomed over him.
Hardly Fighting Stereotypes
Punch-Out wasn’t short of politically incorrect stereotypes. With the likes of Don Flamenco (from Spain) dancing around with a rose in his mouth to Piston Honda who wants to put the TKO back in Tokyo. Soda Popinski was a huge Russian man that fought and drank. Sure he drank soda pops, but we know what Nintendo was getting at. It’s wrong to promote alcoholism to kids, but it’s fine to insinuate that Russians drink like fish… Nintendo logic!
Punch-Out – The Tale of the Tape
So you fight through all of the circuits until you get to Mike Tyson. Here you might as well turn the game off because you will get knocked out with one dynamite punch from this guy. I have only known one person to beat him and even then I’m pretty sure they were lying. Overall though, Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out is a solid title a hard-hitter on the NES. If you’ve never tried it, it’s worth a play. Just resist the urge to hurl your controller when you do get to the harder fights.
I can’t give you much advice when it comes to fighting Tyson. However, if you happen to get stuck fighting Piston Honda the second time around there is a little trick. It only emerged back in 2016, a whopping 29 years later! Look for a member of the audience (a bearded man). When his head dips, that’s the perfect time to strike. If timed right, you’ll knock Honda out cold. Cool right?