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Pub: NintendoReleased: October 1987
Dev: Nintendo IRDWritten: 3.5.10

As a child of the '80s, I grew up on Hulk Hogan, Godzilla and Nintendo. When I think of the 8-bit NES immediately a select few titles pop to mind: Mario, Contra, Mega Man and of course, Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!!  It was a game that my brother and I loved. Our friends as well. I remember the epic battles with Soda Popinski, Sandman and Super Macho Man. Of course, that came via watching my brother's friend. My brother and I always lost to Great Tiger if memory serves correctly. But oh what great fun it was. The game brought an arcade-like quality to our very own living room, with great sound and simple classic gameplay. Let's take a closer look

First up is pathetic 1-99 Glass Joe... losing to him meant turning in your gamer card

                                                       "I HOPE YOU ENJOY YOUR 100TH LOSS!"

Ah, they begin to get a bit tougher as expected

                                                         Stars allow Mac to deliver a mega punch

I love me some Von Kaiser. Always thought he was a cool character

                                                           Don't get me started with his 'stache

Your first "real" challenge: Minor Circuit champ PISTON HONDA!

                                                     Ole chum Mario moonlighting as a ref... nice!

Look at Honda's head snap back!  Visuals are simple but effective

                                                            Honda's big move is easy to block

He may be a huge intimidating sprite, but he ain't got nutthin' on Mac

                                                         Congrats Mac!  NOW RUN DAMNIT RUN!!

I always HATED this guy... thought he was a waste of a character

                                               Funny though how his hair seems to get electrocuted

True story: my bro and I had a friend who looked an awful lot like King Hippo!

                                               Hmmmm... son of a gun is blocking all my punches...

WHAT THE -- !!  Remember when you first saw this?  [I rather not -Ed.]

                                                   Knock out Hippo once and he's done for, the git

This guy gave me and my bro trouble back in the day, grrrr

                                                       The key is to watch his turban for the flash

Beware his teleporting punching frenzy. Eat your heart out Dhalsim!

                                              One of my favorite characters of all time -- BALD BULL!

So fun to pummel this huge sprite. He's right up there with Abobo!

His charging Bull Run is easily countered with a well timed mid-section blow

This guy is TOUGH and really looks intimidating

                                                       I never understood his shade of pink skin

"Mr. Sandman bring me a dream..."  [Or a knuckle sandwich -Ed.]

                                                      Confession: I've never been able to beat him

I remember wondering back in the day if this was Randy Savage or not, heh

                                                                    What a sight for sore eyes!

Watch out for his devastating lights out turn punch

Wait what's that note in the upper right hand corner... huh...

                                                 The insanely difficult Mike Tyson... good luck Mac!

My brother's friend was able to make
it to Tyson on a few occasions. Just getting to Iron Mike was something of an amazing event in our gaming circle. We considered it a rare feat and just being able to land a few blows on Tyson's face was enough to earn you a couple high fives. I recall Tyson being very fast and very hard to hit, let alone knock out

Years and years later, Tyson had a memorable cameo in the hit film of 2009, The Hangover. There's Mac dodging Tyson's fists of fury. Ahhh,
some things never change

Left right left right left right!


Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!! remains, in my humble estimation, one of the finest games you could pick up on the 8-bit Nintendo. It stands the test of time as it is still very playable and still quite the hoot more than 22 years later. From the huge sprites to the various fight strategies you must employ, there can be no denying this is a great game that yes, even non boxing fans can enjoy. I have fond memories of renting this game and also of how my brother and I would laugh at how much Mac, especially in the running cutscenes, seemed to resemble our cousin David (from BUON COMPLEANNO!) so much. David was only one year old at the time, but Mac's face there in the pink sweat suit was the spitting image of baby David. Our uncle Jimmy, David's dad, would laugh along with us, because he saw it too. We always thought David would grow up to look like Mac, or at least become an iconic boxer of his time. He didn't. But alas, I digress. Not only has Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!! provided me with warm memories over 20 years ago, but it is still just as great today. And that, my friends, is the true mark of a classic video game


Be sure to check out the SNES sequel: Super Punch-Out!!

Images courtesy of vgmuseum.com