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The Top 20 Underutilized Licenses

April 24, 2008 Article Start Previous Page 10 of 20 Next

10. Punch-Out!!

The game:
Long before Fight Night made the sweet science palatable to the current gaming generation, Nintendo pitted the tiny Little Mac against a cast of some of the most stereotypical, cartoonish fighters out there in this arcade classic.

The NES' Mike Tyson's Punch-out!! (Later renamed Punch-Out!! featuring Mr. Dream after Tyson's legal troubles) also focused less on real boxing strategy and positioning and more on pattern memorization and recognition of the opponents' signature visual "tells."

A Super Nintendo sequel upped the graphical fidelity and added a whole new cast of borderline offensive stereotypes, but the series has remained regrettably unused since then.

The remake: The obvious template for a modern Punch-Out!! remake would be Wii Sports' boxing, but the latter game's almost-random mapping of real-world movement to on-screen punches seems ill-suited to Punch-Out's more calculated, timing-based gameplay.

The Nunchuk and Wii Remote setup could still be effective, though, with the analog stick used for dodging and the Wii pointer used for pinpoint blows.

A similar setup could work with the DS touch-screen and D-pad for a portable version, or the developers could just go old-school and go for straight button controls. Either way, keeping the gameplay simple and the animation vibrant is key.

Spin-off potential:
While Punch-Out!! Protagonist Little Mac appeared as an assist trophy in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, his continued absence as a controllable fighter in the series is mind-boggling. The guy is already a fighter as well as a popular, core Nintendo property with plenty of retro cred. Passing him up for the likes of Ice Climbers and Mr. Game & Watch makes absolutely no sense.

Furthermore, the game's colorful cast of opponents could make for some great assist trophies -- Bald Bull's Bull Charge should be an instant KO for anyone unfortunate enough to get in its way.

Article Start Previous Page 10 of 20 Next

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