Punch-Out!! was released in September of 1987 for the NES. The game’s premise is the classic underdog story. A rookie boxer known as Little Mac wants to make it to the big leagues of boxing and must work his way to the top fighting various opponents, all varying in difficulty and power. Punch-Out!!’s game-play is built around dodging enemy punches and swiftly countering. The player can either jab left and right or do Little Mac’s star punch, his uppercut. In order to use his uppercut the player must first get a star by either jabbing the opponent moments before they punch or moments after they punch. Punch-Out!! is all about timing. Without timing, nobody can get very far.
Punch-Out!! features 10 unique boxers to play against, all having their own personality, strategy and timings. The graphics don’t hold up the best today but were very good when they were released. The theme tune is iconic to the franchise, making every match that bit more exciting. Punch-Out!!’s gameplay is timeless being satisfying and challenging – definitely one of the highlights of the NES’s lifespan.