Super Punch-Out!! (SNES)

Pub & Dev: Nintendo | October 1994 | 16 MEGS
Pub & Dev: Nintendo | October 1994 | 16 MEGS

When the Super Nintendo came out in 1991, many people eagerly awaited the souped up 16-bit sequels of their favorite 8-bit NES classics. And for the most part, one by one, they poured in. The first was Super Mario World, then you had the likes of Contra III, Super Castlevania IV, Mega Man X, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Super Metroid and the list goes on. But where was our beloved Little Mac? Finally, in October of 1994, the excruciatingly long wait was over. We were at last gifted with Super Punch-Out!! It proved to be a great game that was worth the wait.



Nintendo recently announced their upcoming release of the SNES Classic Edition. Of the 21 SNES titles on offer, Super Punch-Out!! made the cut for the American release. It’s interesting to note the Japanese version picked another game in place of Super Punch-Out!! Actually, there was never a Super Famicom version of Super Punch-Out!! ever released. I guess Japan is sticking to their guns. It’s strange but true. I have no idea why but it’s certainly their loss.


Hello, dear old friend
Hello, dear old friend

If you grew up in the ’80s then you probably had an 8-bit Nintendo or at the very least you knew of a friend who did. For me and many other kids, growing up in the ’80s meant a steady diet of NES, TGIF and WWF. It was Mario and Hulk Hogan. Contra and Randy Savage. Mega Man and “The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase. Castlevania and The Ultimate Warrior. Glass Joe and “Iron” Mike Sharpe! Yup, you can’t talk about the best NES games from the ’80s without mentioning Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!!

Holds up well 30 years later!
Holds up well 30 years later!

Nintendo made us wait for Super Punch-Out!! but hey, they did give us fair warning at the end of the NES game. Not sure how many eagle-eyed gamers caught their “hidden” message but they didn’t lie — they held up their end of the bargain.

[Boy, please -Ed.]
The April 1 date made most think this was a joke

[Boy, PLEASE -Ed.]


Some of your old favorites are back!
Some of your old favorites are back!

They say your past has a way of catching up with you. Mac finds this to be true as some of his old ring “buddies” are back for another go. I wish Piston Honda and Soda Popinski made the cut as well but I get the need for new blood. At least we got Bald Bull, Mr. Sandman and Super Macho Man. It was like seeing a dear old friend, er, or bully in this case. Not that I know what it was like to be bullied growing up. Of course not. Yes… of course not. [Right -Ed.]

Defeat these 12 and you unlock four more
Defeat these 12 and you unlock four more

I guess King Hippo must be enjoying retirement, eh? I’m not the biggest fan of these new boxers — Gabby Jay is just a cheap Glass Joe knockoff with none of the charm — but I am a fan of Piston Hurricane and Masked Muscle. They’re great additions to the roster while the others felt a little too gimmicky for my taste.





Make the pain rain, Mac man!

In the NES game you receive a star for counter attacks, landing a swift blow and so forth. This acted as your rite of passage to using “super punches.” In this game things run a little differently. Once you fill up your meter, you’ll have access to all the special punches your heart desires… so long as you don’t get hit. I like this change.




Gabby Jay is the SNES version of Glass Joe. Hell, he even graduated from Glass Joe’s School of Boxing. Why anyone would pay top dollar to be trained by arguably the worst professional boxer ever is beyond me, but Gabby Jay does have one win to his name. His victim? Who else but Glass Jo(k)e. At 1-99, the 56 year old Gabby Jay doesn’t have much left in the tank. Then again, he didn’t have much even when he was in his physical prime. Might as well hand him his 100th loss then maybe he’ll retire. Jay opens each fight with a pathetic war cry of “YAY!”

Jays having a stroke
Is he having a stroke?
All day, Jay!
All day, Jay! ALL DAY
Gabby Jay? More like Gabby Joke
Gabby Jay? More like Gabby Joke


SpriteBHThe heaviest boxer you’ll face, what he lacks in boxing technique he makes up for with a punch that packs a mighty wallop! Originally a carpenter, Bear Hugger grew up sparring with the animals in the forest near his home. His pet grizzly bear was his closest rival until he left Saskatoon to begin his pro career. Though not the best, he’s a major step up from the Gabby Jays of the world.

Dont bother punching him in the ponch
Useless punching his belly
Look out, Mac!
Look out, Mac!
Ducking is new
Ducking is new
Lets see...
Let’s see…
... what you had for breakfast!
… what ya had for breakfast!
No more Mario moonlighting as a ref. Sigh
Sadly, no more Mario moonlighting as a ref. Sigh


Sprite_piston_hurricaneAfter losing his home to a terrible storm, Piston Hurricane took his anger out on the mean streets of Havana. He soon became known and revered as “The King of ‘Vana.” Nobody dared to even look at him the slightest wrong way. Legend has it he once knocked out his own mom for looking at him funny. Turns out mama had gas. So just imagine what he’ll do to you!

Hes a bit childish
Peek-A-Boo, I kill you
Piston brings the punches to the party
Piston brings the punches to the party
Time to spike that punch!
Time to spike that punch!
Hell test your dodging skills
You’re no hurricane…
Not even a CATEGORY ONE hurricane!
Not even a CATEGORY ONE hurricane!
King of Vana huh?
“King of ‘Vana” huh?
Youre just a couir
You just a court jester in my world!
Go back to being the Queen of 'Vana!
“Go back to being the Queen of ‘Vana!”

Knocking out your opponent silly and watching him fly back to his corner is one of the game’s pure joys. It also gives you a breather — madly tap the buttons to recuperate any lost health in classic Punch-Out!! form.

"Better luck next time, PUSSY HURRICANE!"
Better luck next time, Pussy Hurricane

Though sometimes they don’t get up, granting you the right to gloat and taunt like no tomorrow. Camera flashes abound and the crowd cheers. It definitely nails down the big fight atmosphere.


Sprite_bald_bullTruly one of the most iconic villains in Nintendo history. There are many memorable bad guys in 8-bit gaming history but my two favorites were Abobo and Bald Bull. Universally beloved, it just wouldn’t be Punch-Out!! without Bald Bull as the champion of the first circuit. Not being his first rodeo, some boxing pundits claim his best years are behind him and that he’s more reputation than dominance at this point…

Not as fast as he once was
Not as fast as he once was
Still got the biceps though
Still got the biceps though
C'mon Old Yeller
Come on, Old Yeller!
Time to take you out back...
Time to take ya out back…
... and put you down for good!
… and put you down for good!
Really? This again?
Really? THIS again?
Can't teach an old bull new tricks
Can’t teach an old bull new tricks
"Welcome to 1994, bitch!"
“Welcome to 1994, bitch!”

The infamous “Bald Bull flat on his belly” look. You know you love it. Don’t feel sorry for him. He’s had a heck of a career. But now is the time for the new generation.

Congrats, Mac!
Congrats, Mac! Love the celebration animation
Quit the excuses. Bald Bullshit, more like
Quit the excuses, old timer. Bald Bullshit, more like

I like the detailed stats you get at the end of each fight. Gone is the round system. Instead you get 3 minutes to duke it out. Some prefer the old style but I didn’t mind this too much. I do miss the funky little tips Doc Louis would give Mac in-between rounds, though.

30 seconds, Bull? How the mighty have fallen
30 seconds, Bull? How the mighty have fallen

The battery backup memory records the top 8 times. The NES game didn’t have this. It was fun to try and top your best time. Funny how addicting trying to shave half a second off your best time is.

In addition, whole circuit points are recorded
In addition, whole circuit points are recorded

These little touches add to the game’s longevity.




Sprite_bob_charlieBob loves to juke and jive. In fact, back home he was crowned the “Jive King” of Kingston. Now he’s in the States looking to make a name for himself. Speaking of names, he’s rumored to be boxing under an assumed name but no reporter has dared question him since the, ahem, Columbus incident. Tony Ellis, you’re in our thoughts and prayers for a speedy recovery…

He's not drunk
Don’t fall for his mind games
Nice try, pal!
You’re gonna have to try better than that!

Bob Charlie may seem to be drunk but the bastard knows what he’s doing out there. Unfortunately for him, you’re no ham-and-egger (R.I.P. Bobby “The Brain” Heenan). THIS ONE IS FOR TONY ELLIS, DAMNIT!


Sprite_dragon_chanThe Major Circuit’s youngest boxer, scouts are impressed with Dragon Chan. Only 22 years old, he quickly ascended the ranks of the boxing universe. He makes for a terrible interview, though, since he speaks not a lick of English. Pain, however, is universal. Trained as a kick boxer, Dragon Chan is infamous for pulling into his bag of tricks. If you thought Bob Charlie to be a little unconventional, you haven’t seen anything yet my friend!

Whoa, when did this become MMA...
Whoa, when did this become MMA…
Be ready to duck!
Hidden Dragon, Peking Duck [HAR HAR -Ed.]
Dragon Chan is quick on his feet
Dragon Chan is super quick on his feet
Perhaps I spoke too fast
Perhaps I spoke too fast


Sprite_masked_muscleMasked Muscle follows the classic Punch-Out!! tradition of big beefy boxers imposing enough to make you contemplate a change of careers. Take a steroid-injected masked wrestler, slip on a pair of gloves, give him a purple mist dirty attack and you have instant magic. Muscle was banned from pro wrestling for spewing a lethal mist into his opponents’ eyes that caused permanent eye damage. He’s one tough hombre!

His patterns are fun to counter
His patterns are fun to counter
He forces you to use both fists
He forces you to use both arms
Are you sneezing or dabbing, bro?
Bro, are you sneezing or dabbing?
Rumor has it his skull contains a metal plate
Rumor has it his skull contains a metal plate
I hope you're wearing your cup
I hope he’s wearing his cup…
If the mist catches you...
If the mist catches you…
... this is the not so pleasant result
… this is the not so pleasant result
Go back to Lucha Underground!
“Tell Vinnie Mac to suck it!”


Sprite_mr_sandmanClassic Mr. Sandman returns from the NES game. He looks superb in 16-bits, eh? The first seven boxers are easy to dispose of but Mr. Sandman is the first real challenge for newbie players. With his mighty powerful punches and near mythical aura, Mr. Sandman confidently reigns as champion of the Major Circuit. There’s a reason why some call him “Chocolate Thunder.” He might make you call him daddy!

Time to put your big boy pants on
Time to put on your big boy pants, Mac
His punches are dynamite if  they connect
His punches are dynamite if they connect
Beware the quick left jab
Beware the quick left jab
Now you got his attention
Now you’ve got his full attention
To the left to the left
To the left, to the left
To the right to the right
To the right, to the right


Ahem, um, sorry about that. Mr. Sandman takes Mac to the distance but David slays Goliath in the end. Look at all that spit coming out of his mouth. Love the attention to detail! You had a heck of a run there, Sandman, but this ain’t the ’80s anymore. It’s time to graduate to the World Circuit and take out another old friend… Super Macho Man!



Sprite_aran_ryanAran was teased and bullied for his name growing up. Being scrawny didn’t help. He skipped college and instead devoted his time to lifting weights and he picked up boxing along the way. As his muscles developed so did his boxing skills. Known for his unrelenting scrappiness, Aran Ryan now takes out his childhood angst on anyone standing across the ring from him.

Block the body blow
Block the body blow
Block your money maker
Not the money maker
He's a tougher Piston Hurricane
He’s a tougher Piston Hurricane
No four leaf clover's going to help him
No four leaf clover will help him
I got your Lucky Charms right here
I got your Lucky Charms right here
Watch out for his debilitating squeeze
Watch out for his debilitating squeeze
I don't swing that way, pal
I don’t swing that way, pal


Sprite_heike_kageroAt just 19 years old, Heike Kagero’s future is bright but he has already established himself with a respectable 14-8 pro record. Rumor has it Heike dabbles in the occult, and that his hair is actually the spirit of a samurai protégé who died far too young centuries ago. Mind you, that’s just a rumor. But those who have been whipped by Heike’s hair will tell you differently!


Beware the hair!
Beware the hair!
That boy ain't right...
That boy ain’t right…
Heike reminds me of the zebra Battle Beast...
He reminds me of the zebra Battle Beast


SpriteMCMad Clown wasn’t always a clown, and he wasn’t always mad. In fact, he had a budding career as an opera singer. But on the biggest show of his life, he froze on stage. From that point on he ran to the circus but it wasn’t long before they rejected him on account of mental instability. That’s when he turned to boxing. There he excelled. His trick? Pretending his opponent is one of the audience members who laughed at him!


Mad Clown brings his circus tricks with him
He’s brought his circus tricks with him
Don't dodge left or right here or else
You mad, bro?
He didn't take too kindly to that question
He didn’t take too kindly to that question
Evade this by ducking
Someone needs a hug
Or a stiff jab to the chin
Or better yet, a stiff shot to the chin
Nice try Bear Hugger, er, Mad Clown
Mac’s cardio game is on point
Time to send Bear Hugger...
Time to put Mad Clown down
See ya Twinkle Toes!
See ya, Twinkle Toes!


Sprite_super_macho_manAfter all these years Super Macho Man’s reign of terror still sits atop the world of boxing. Well, of the World Circuit, anyhow. But don’t tell Super Macho Man that unless you want a couple black eyes. Owning a stellar record of 29-3, his only blemishes came at the hands of the Bruiser twins and an upset victory by Little Mac way back in 1987. The time for the rematch has finally come!


Was Mac's 1987 victory just a fluke? You decide!
Was Mac’s 1987 victory just a fluke? You decide!
The most intimidating curtsy you'll ever see
Most intimidating curtsy of all time
His Super Macho Punch is devastating
Super Macho Punch!
Be ready to duck
Be ready to duck
Oh so satisfying
His face there reminds me of…
But maybe that's just me
But maybe that’s just me!
Here comes the pain
Here comes the pain
Macho launches into a flurry of punches
Macho launches into a flurry of punches
Show him your footwork, Mac!
C’mon, my grandma’s faster!
I can do this all day
Really, that all you got?
Someone needs a nap. Let me help!
Someone needs a nap. Let me help!
Good luck, Mac
Good luck, Mac



Sprite_narcis_princeYou can’t see it there but Narcis Prince (what a fitting name) has a V on his sweater. People who tease him that it stands for virgin end up in the hospital. The V actually stands for victory. He’s a promising young boxer who shot up the ranks quickly. Narcis showed so much potential that he was promoted to the legendary Special Circuit — a circuit renowned for featuring only the best of the best. He throws a fit whenever you punch him in his “beautiful” face. Hey punk, it’s boxing. What do ya expect?!

That V is for victory all right
That V stands for victory all right


Sprite_hoy_quarlowHoy Quarlow (what a name) hobbles to the ring with his trusty wooden cane. But rather than setting it aside, he brings it into the ring to whack you upside the head with. What kind of shady organization is running this thing, eh?! At 78 years old Hoy has forgotten more about boxing than you’ll ever learn. Bearing more than a passing resemblance to Yoda, Hoy was appropriately known as “The Beast From Beijing.” Though he may not look it in his ripe old age, he can still knock out fools with the best of them! And then he’ll get the senior discount at the local Denny’s down the road. Because that’s how Hoy Quarlow rolls.

I don't want any of your wood!
I don’t want any of your wood!


Sprite_rick_bruiserThe Bruiser twins rule the boxing world. Rick Bruiser is universally regarded as the second best boxer of this generation. His one loss came at the hands of his twin brother, Nick Bruiser, in a main event that broke the all time Pay-Per-View sales record. It was a fierce and close battle that many historians have touted as the greatest boxing bout in the annals of history. Rick is as menacing as they come. The deadly southpaw once decimated Bald Bull in under a minute and Bald Bull has been “broken” ever since. Mr. Sandman barely made a dent in this war machine and Super Macho Man quickly learned his place in the pecking order. If by some miracle you’re able to get by Rick, what’s left of you will be easy pickings for the even tougher Nick Bruiser. Damn. The Bruiser twins were born to dominate and destroy.

Maybe it's time to settle down...
Mac sees his life flash before him


Sprite_nick_bruiserThe Undisputed Champ. Nick Bruiser is the ultimate boxer. No empathy, no emotion. Just a stone cold killer. Boosting a perfect 42-0 record, boxing pundits often argue who would win between “Iron” Mike Tyson and Nick Bruiser. Opinions differ but consensus says Nick Bruiser would ANNIHILATE Tyson. It’s hard to argue. Bruiser strikes fast and hard. The mere sight of him alone is enough to psych out most boxers. Bruiser’s aura is damn near MYTHICAL — he often beats opponents long before the bell sounds. Only one challenger can give him a run for his money, and his name is Little Mac. Bruiser scoffs at the very idea but deep down in his black heart he knows the threat that Little Mac presents. The Boxing Match of the Century has been signed. Who will win and be the Undisputed WVBA Champion? Only you can decide!

Long live the king, Rick Bruiser
Long live the king, Nick Bruiser



This ad gave us a chuckle or two
This ad gave us a chuckle or two


Be immortalized forever (or until the battery dies)
Be immortalized forever (or until the battery dies)

The time attack mode records your fastest times and highest scores. It’s a sweet additional mode that the 8-bit NES game didn’t have.

Was there any doubt? [There was ONLY  doubt -Ed.]
I just wish Doc Louis was here to witness it
Once you beat all four circuits, the game’s longevity relies on coming back to the time attack mode to set new highs. It’s always a good time stopping Bald Bull dead in his tracks during his Bull Charge. Or sending Mr. Sandman to the dream world myself. This isn’t the kind of game you play for hours on end. But it’s the kind that you are likely to occasionally play when you only have 15 minutes and want something quick and fun. At least that’s how Super Punch-Out!! is for me.

Beating a record by one tenth of a second
Barely beating a record is incredibly thrilling!
What can I say. I'm pretty good... [PLEASE -Ed.]
What can I say. I’m pretty good…
I set the world record!
I set the world record!

Believe it or not, I’ve beaten Super Macho Man in under 8 seconds. Look and see for yourself if you don’t believe me. The previous world record was 0’09″43. I submitted this shot to Nintendo for posterity but for some weird reason unbeknownst to me they’ve rejected my submission. Well, either that or they lost it in the mail. Alas, we’ll never know… [You are more delusional than Gabby Jay -Ed.]


Did you know this was his original look?
Did you know this was his original look?

There was a debate going around that the Mac in Super Punch-Out!! is not the same Little Mac from Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! Actually, it is. In fact, this was his original look before Nintendo changed it. You can see that clearly is the Little Mac we all know and love. However, I guess they wanted to make him look a little bit “cooler” hence the change. Personally, I don’t mind. I still like the final product we got with regards to Little Mac. Besides, it’s mostly just cosmetics we’re talking about here. The gameplay delivers and that’s mainly what I care about. Still, it’s fascinating to recall the difference between Mac’s first form and what he eventually became.

From Nintendo Power Magazine, Volume 63
From Nintendo Power Magazine, Volume 63



Super Punch-Out!! was very well received by the majority of fans and critics alike. While more people seem to prefer Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! on the NES, very few have deemed Super Punch-Out!! as anything less than a great game in its own right. It graced the cover of GameFan (and what a cover it was) for their October 1994 issue. GameFan’s signature character, the Postmeister, stood in Mac’s place. A bit of a glory hog, that one. EGM gave it ratings of 79% and 86% (given by their two sports game writers as opposed to the traditional four person review panel). GameFan rated it 90, 95 and 95%. Super Play Magazine scored it at 90%. Little Mac’s return was an unequivocal success. Better late than never!

EGM ranked it as the 56th best game of all time
EGM ranked it as the 56th best game of all time
I was miffed EGM didn't give it the traditional review!
I was miffed EGM didn’t give it the traditional review!
I was even more miffed at this somewhat low score :P
I was even more miffed at this somewhat low score :P
Preach, Super Play, PREACH!
Preach, Super Play, PREACH!


Bald Bull never looked better!
Mac and friends never looked better!

There will always be a special place in my gaming heart for this franchise as well as for Little Mac and all his crazy foes. Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! was one of my favorites back in the late ’80s. So I couldn’t wait for the inevitable 16-bit “Super” treatment. It was a longer wait than any of us expected, but just like “make up presents” in early January it’s a classic case of better late than never. Nintendo was wise to mix in the new blood along with the return of some old familiar faces. Seeing Bald Bull, Mr. Sandman and Super Macho Man in 16 glorious bits was a welcomed sight and a tremendous fan service. The jump from NES to SNES made for a major visual upgrade. You can actually see the bulging muscles and watch the spit fly out of a guy’s mouth as you twist his head back with a well-timed uppercut. The visuals have a real arcade-like quality to them. Speaking of which, did you know there’s actually a 1984 arcade game of the same name? Navigating an older and bigger Mac through the boxing ranks presents a certain nostalgic charm, even if Nintendo did alter his look a bit. Best of all, Little Mac controls like an absolute dream. It’s crisp and super responsive. If you mess up, you know it’s on you and not the game.

HOW RUDE! Cover up when you sneeze next time, jeez!
HOW RUDE! Cover up the next time you sneeze. Jeez!

In addition to the three old faces, there are lots of new foes to scout and take out. You’ll have to learn all their techniques, such as Masked Muscle’s paralyzing purple shower. It all adds to the wacky fun. There’s just something special and sacred about a Punch-Out!! game. Maybe it’s the larger than life boxers. Maybe it’s the comic book-like zany brutality of it all. Maybe it’s figuring out the patterns and tendencies of each new competitor and then exploiting their weaknesses. Or maybe it’s simply a timeless classic from the golden days of retro gaming. I like to think it’s all of those things, along with, of course, the fact that I think all of us can relate to Little Mac in some form or fashion. We all love a good underdog story and I believe there’s a little Little Mac inside each of us. It’s David vs. Goliath, good vs. evil, you against all odds. There’s something simple and beautiful about that. And Super Punch-Out!! captures that feeling to a tee. Each opponent gets progressively tougher and nastier. By the time you reach the Bruiser twins you’ll feel like you’ve been through the trenches yourself!

A classic never goes out of style
A true classic never goes out of style

There are a few blemishes to note, though. Seeing a few more familiar faces would have been nice, especially Piston Honda. Many fans prefer the villain roster of the 8-bit original, claiming the 16-bit roster to be not quite as memorable. Fans have argued over the years about which they like better. The NES one is better overall I think, but there’s something to be said about the 16-bit treatment of Punch-Out!! that took the game to new heights graphically and really brought home an arcade-like quality. The SNES game eliminated the three round format (with breaks in-between where you get tips from Doc Louis) and instead features one round lasting three minutes. I do prefer how the SNES version tracks your knock-out punches (full meter vs. earning stars) and you had four different knock-out punches in Super Punch-Out!! as opposed to just one in the NES game. The Bruiser brothers are brutal but they’re definitely no Mike Tyson in terms of sheer difficulty. By the way, did I mention the awesome battery-backed capabilities of the SNES game, allowing you to store top scores and compete among friends? Oh, but did I mention the legend that is SODA POPINSKI? It’s like being forced to pick your favorite child. I love both games for different reasons. You simply cannot go wrong with either!

These childhood terrors have aged like a fine wine

All in all, Super Punch-Out!! is no doubt a Super Nintendo classic. It’s aged very well, too. I still love playing it even to this day. Whether you prefer the NES or SNES version, there’s no denying Super Punch-Out!! is a worthy sequel. Having more boxers, seeing ol’ Doc Louis and having some cutscenes would have been great, but I’m more than satisfied with what we got. This is one of those games I envision myself playing well into my twilight years when I’m as old as Hoy Quarlow himself, God willing. Boxing games rarely get better than this. Now if you’ll excuse me, I got me a couple Bruiser bros to beat up… ;)

Graphics: 9
Sound: 8
Gameplay: 9
Longevity: 8

Award4Overall: 9.0
Gold Award


Finally beat both Bruisers after all these years!
Finally beat both Bruisers after all these years!


Somewhere in the Bronx, New York...
Somewhere in the Bronx, New York…

It was a cold and dark night in the Bronx. An old bulldog roamed the streets. If you looked close enough, you’d recognize him as Little Mac. Yes, that fabled boxing teen heart throb from the vaunted ’80s. Made a comeback in ’94 and then disappeared into obscurity. Mac is now in the second half of his life and on this night, something stirs deep within his core. A feeling he hasn’t felt in over 20 years…

The rumble in the basement...
The rumble in the basement…

The knees are feeling good. The joints are working. The back’s never felt better in years. Was it possible? Could it be? Could Mac return to the ring for one last shot at glory?

There was an eerie stillness to the night
There was an eerie stillness in the cool night air

It felt like the calm before the storm. Mac’s old trainer, Doc Louis, couldn’t believe it. Mac didn’t tell Doc explicitly, but Doc knew. He had seen that look in Mac’s eyes before. The very same look that Mac had right before he knocked out the likes of Bald Bull, Mr. Sandman and yes, even the brutal Bruiser twins. The Mac man is hungry, and he wants one more fight. One more chance to shine under the bright lights and recapture a flicker from the past.

This place was once vibrant. Analogy... ?
This place was once vibrant, teeming with life

Mac and Doc got back in the car and drove around town. One by one, they stopped off at each of Mac’s old haunts. Mac peered inside the store as though he were peering down his very soul.

"You ready to go yet, Champ?"
“You ready to go yet, Champ?”

Then they headed over to the old pet shop on 4th Avenue. It was where Mac got his first pet fish. Poor Freddy. He only lived six weeks, as Mac recalls it.

Mac: *sniff*

Doc: Hey Mac, you crying?

Mac: Uh, no. No no.

Doc: Looks like tears to me, Mac.

Mac: C’mon Doc, you know I got allergies.

Doc: Of course.

"Man, where does the time go, Doc?"
“Man, where does the time go, Doc?”

Mac: Damnit Doc, look at this will ya? This is where I grew up. I remember my mom buying me a Nintendo and some boxing game back in 1987. Those were the good old days. Lot of memories here, Doc. You know they say if you live in a place long enough, you are that place…

Doc: I ain’t no talking building. Listen, enough yapping. I gotta get your old ass ready for the Sandman!

Mac: You know what to do. Time to take that ancient bike of yours out of storage.

"Man, its just like the old days, Doc!"
“Man, it’s just like the old days, Doc!”

Just like old times, indeed. Doc’s training regimen was legendary in the ’80s and ’90s. Tonight begins the comeback trail!


Doc: Mac, I gotta be real here. You sure put on a lot of weight in the last 20+ years.

Mac: I’m not the only one who’s changed. You hardly look like the Doc Louis I knew! In fact, maybe it’s the dizziness from all this running talking but I swear you look yellow all of a sudden!

Doc: What?! You must be going blind in your old age.


Doc: Alright Mac, this is your night. You’ve put in the hours. You’ve dropped the weight. Whatever happens tonight, I want you to know, from one old ass fart to another, I’m proud of you for making it this far!

Mac: Come on, Doc. You should know me better than that. I ain’t satisfied making it this far. I didn’t come all this way to finish in second place. Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place and I don’t care how tough you are it will BEAT you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or NOBODY is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done! Now if you know what you’re worth then go out and get what you’re worth. But ya gotta be willing to take the hits, and not pointing fingers saying you ain’t where you wanna be because of him, or her, or anybody! Cowards do that and THAT AIN’T YOU! YOU’RE BETTER THAN THAT!

Doc: Um…

Mac: Whoa, sorry. I get my wires crossed from time to time, you know.

Doc: That one’s probably Nick Bruiser, 1994, Vegas. First round uppercut.

Mac: Don’t worry ’bout me Doc. I still got most of my mental facilities.

Doc: *mutters under breath* Faculties.

Mac: You said something Doc?

Doc: Uh, nope.


Mac: Hey listen Doc! They playing my music. You know what that means.

Doc: I know what that means. This is your night. Mr. Sandman ain’t what he used to be. Hell, none of us are. But you’re better than him. Always was and always will be. Now you go out there and you leave it all out there in the ring!

Mac: Man, I love you too, Doc Brown.

Doc: *mutters under breath* Soda Popinski, 1987, Detroit, second round hook.

“WELCOME BACK!  *clap clap clap*  WELCOME BACK!”

Though he’s been out of the spotlight for over 20 years now, Mac has adoring fans of all generations. Grandfathers have passed Mac’s legacy down to their fathers. And fathers to sons. After all this time, folks still fondly remember. And they’re not shy to show Mac the appreciation he’s due.

“LETS GO MAC!  *clap clap clap*  LETS GO MAC!”

For one last time, with the good Doc Louis by his side, Mac made that long walk down the aisle with the capacity crowd chanting his name in ecstasy. The show of adoration sent chills up and down Mac’s spine. Even if he doesn’t win, this moment will forever live on.

R.I.P Bernie Mac. The REAL Mac!
R.I.P Bernie Mac. The REAL Mac!

Long time nemesis Mr. Sandman paces in the ring, awaiting Mac’s arrival. We haven’t seen Mr. Sandman in decades, either. He still looks good. It’s the rematch everyone’s talking about. Mac Man vs. Sandman — RING THE BELL!


At the end of a hard fought battle, busted and bruised, Mac took a moment to acknowledge his loyal legion of fans. It’s been one hell of a ride. We’ve witnessed here tonight two boxing legends go toe to toe one last time. The sport will never be the same again. As for who won, the fans did. The sport of boxing did. In an era where we push youth and quickly cast aside the old, this was a historic night where tradition was honored and appreciated. Good night everybody!

SNES Classic Edition

It's happening
It’s happening

Yesterday news broke that Nintendo would indeed be releasing their SNES Classic Edition starting on September 29, 2017. Last year they released their NES Classic Edition for $60 and it was a smash hit. Rumors began swirling immediately that the SNES Classic Edition wouldn’t be far behind and sure enough, it’s almost here. For the low price of $80 here’s what you get:

  • HDMI support
  • SNES (super) mini
  • Two classic SNES controllers
  • 21 classic SNES games preloaded into the system


Let’s take a closer look at all 21 games, in alphabetical order.



One of the most intense action-packed 2 player SNES games ever made. Contra III is classic run and gun mayhem. Best experienced with a friend in tow, there’s nothing like blasting alien scum to Kingdom Come as you navigate your way through some of the most memorable moments in 16-bit gaming.



There were three DKC games released on the SNES, with many citing the second (Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy’s Kong Quest) as their favorite. I actually prefer the first one. Call it nostalgia but it was fresh, mind blowing for its time and the difficulty was just right. A little on the easy side at times, but it cranked it up when it needed to. Mainly, I enjoyed using Donkey Kong in all his glory. Don’t forget those amazing tunes, either!



Take The Wonder Years, Peanuts, Doug, The Goonies, Dragon Quest and put them all in a blender. You’d probably get something like EarthBound. Whimsical, unique and different, EarthBound is charming and captivating as hell. But there also lies some sneaky mature themes throughout, such as the loss of innocence in a corrupt world. A classic RPG any SNES fan should play through before all is said and done.



Arguably the greatest 16-bit RPG ever made, Final Fantasy III is an epic adventure. It took me nearly 50 hours to beat back in 2008 when I experienced it for the first time, and I loved every second of it. Memorable characters, plot twists, haunting music… it has it all. It’s too bad the almost-just-as-good Final Fantasy II isn’t also included, though. But if you had to pick just one, they made the right choice here.



It may seem a little outdated today, especially to F-Zero virgins, but this blew our minds back in 1991. It still holds up well, although it is a bit bare bones. Still a good choice. The music is awesome. You could say that for most of these games, quite frankly.



Of all the games featured on the SNES Classic Edition, this is the most surprising. I don’t say that disparagingly! Kirby’s Dream Course combines the best of Kirby and golf. It’s a blast to play and addicting as hell. Glad this made the cut. It doesn’t get the props it deserves. Now a larger audience will get to experience this for the first time. As well as SNES fans from the ’90s who somehow missed out on this back in the day. A definite dark horse candidate for “Game I Didn’t Expect To Sink So Many Hours On.”



Rather than one grand adventure, Kirby Super Star is a compendium of nine standalone games. It’s vintage Kirby, and it’s loads of fun.



A no-brainer. One of the best SNES games ever, nay, one of the best video games of all time. A masterpiece in every sense, this adventure will forever remain timeless and quintessential. Who could ever forget the first time they saw that rain come whipping down?



The best Mega Man game on the SNES. Never before could the Blue Bomber move around like he does here. The ability to scale walls, ride armored machines and even throw a Hadoken made Mega Man X one unforgettable journey.



The first ever 3-player action RPG, Secret of Mana was a marvel for its time. It’s a great game but one that I do feel is slightly overrated. Still, the ability to play it with two friends made it something special. It’ll be interesting to see if Nintendo releases a multitap for the SNES Classic Edition. 2-player Secret of Mana is still awesome but it’d be a shame not to be able to experience it as a 3-player affair. On a side note, I much prefer the Super Famicom-only sequel, Secret of Mana 2 AKA Seiken Densetsu 3.



Star Fox was pretty amazing back in 1993. It’s a little rough around the edges today in 2017, but hopefully people will be able to overlook the dated visuals which were considered fairly groundbreaking for its time.

12. STAR FOX 2


The biggest news of this SNES Classic Edition is the inclusion of never before officially released Star Fox 2. This game was programmed back in the mid ’90s but never saw the light of day as the N64 was looming over the horizon. Of course the repro of this game has been available for many years now, but it’ll be nice to have an official release (especially HDMI-supported).



Some people argue Super Street Fighter II is better, but I’ll take Street Fighter II Turbo. Street Fighter II created a revolution, but it was Turbo that refined it. For my money this is hands down the best fighting game on the SNES. So many sore thumbs and even more sore egos courtesy of this game back in 1993. Good times.



It’s a little slow and the visuals are a bit outdated by today’s standards, but this was the definitive Castlevania game for many folks prior to Symphony of the Night. Being able to swing Simon’s whip in all directions made controlling him a breeze and loads of fun. There’s a beautiful simplicity to this game. Besides, who doesn’t enjoy taking down Count Dracula?



Probably the hardest game of this list, Super Ghouls ‘n Ghosts suffers from some slowdown but still provides one hell, pardon the pun, of a romp through some ghastly levels. I’m glad this game made the list. It’s a classic but often slightly overlooked in lieu of some bigger names such as Super Metroid and Contra III. Well deserved, Sir Arthur. Well deserved. You’ll terrorize a whole new generation of gamers. Congrats, good sir.



The Mario Kart franchise is one of the most beloved of all time. It’s so good that it attracts even the most casual of gamers. There’s something very likable about the characters from the Mario universe, the various weapons and imaginative course designs that constantly bring people back for more and more. This is where it all started — it’s the granddaddy of all Mario Kart games. Still playable after all these years!



Mario in an RPG? Nuts. Bowser as a playable good guy? Even more nuts. Yet it all works, to no one’s surprise. Super Mario RPG brings timing to the RPG party as well as some wacky, lovable characters. A good time for sure.



Released on the Super Famicom’s Launch Day of November 21, 1990, Super Mario World is still as playable today as it was nearly 30 years ago. Shigeru Miyamoto knows how to make a damn good video game, and his fingerprints are all over this one. Great visuals, amazing music and smooth gameplay. Can’t ask for much more.



If there were a Super Nintendo Mount Rushmore, anyone who doesn’t include Super Metroid automatically has their list disqualified. You just can’t talk about the very best SNES games without mentioning this 24 MEG GEM. Adventure, atmosphere, gun slinging, exploration, Super Metroid has it all. And that is all.



Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! was one of the best NES games ever made. Its sequel, Super Punch-Out!!, is also an excellent arcade-like take on the sport of boxing. It’s all about patterns, timing, memorization and execution. While the new boxers here may lack the personality of the NES game, it’s still one of my favorites and I’m happy to see it made the list.



Aside from baby Mario’s incredibly annoying crying whenever he’s dismounted, Yoshi’s Island is a daring and brilliant deviation from the standard Mario game formula. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea but I find it equally as splendid as Super Mario World — just in slightly different ways.


The NES Classic Edition had 30 games, but the SNES Classic Edition only carries 21. However, the 21 games here are obviously much lengthier than the ones found on the NES edition. While the 21 games represented are great choices, there are a few glaring omissions. Whether due to licensing or whatever, here are nine great SNES games (in alphabetical order) that are conspicuous by their absence.

Oh, and before we begin, I will refrain from including the following two titles due to the simple fact that it doesn’t look like we’ll be getting any sort of multitap with the SNES Classic Edition. While both these games are still great as 2-player games, the real magic comes with a room of 4.

NBA Jam T.E.
NBA Jam T.E.
Super Bomberman
Super Bomberman



An early first generation title and a classic one at that. ActRaiser switches seamlessly between side-scrolling levels of good old hack and slash platforming and a simulation mode where you must help build the land and protect the people. It’s a little simplistic but it didn’t need to be complex.



Perhaps the most glaring omission of all, some believe Chrono Trigger to be the best SNES game ever created. Quite a loss, then, not to have one of the very best titles ever made in 16-bit history. Although I do understand at least a little bit since Nintendo already packed in three RPGs. Still, it’s tough losing out on this one.



Although I prefer the original Donkey Kong Country, I’ll concede that this does play slightly better. If you had Yoshi’s Island to go along with Super Mario World, you probably should have added this as well. Alas, poor Diddy and newcomer Dixie Kong are left hanging… [HAR HAR -Ed.]



Another classic 2-player SNES game from the system’s early days. Perhaps this was a little too offbeat for Nintendo to include for the mainstream, however. If that is the case, that’s a shame because the gameplay shines through and speaks for itself. Note: This game is included in the Super Famicom Classic Edition as Ganbare Goemon.



Hard as nails, but also super fun with a friend right alongside ya! It’s too bad this got snuffed… it would have exposed Pocky & Rocky to a brand new generation of gamers.



Vintage glorious 2-player gun slinging action. ‘Nuff said.



Next to Chrono Trigger, this is the biggest glaring omission. Not to mention it would have been the only beat ‘em up on the SNES Classic Edition. That makes its absence all the more egregious. No beat ‘em ups represented?! That’s a crime! But I totally understand it might have been a licensing issue and Nintendo simply not wanting to pay the extra cost for the Ninja Turtles brand. Whatever the case may be, it’s a shame. This defined many of our 16-bit childhoods and is arguably the finest beat ‘em up on the SNES.



No puzzle games are represented either, and Tetris Attack is the best as far as I’m concerned. This inclusion would have provided endless hours of cutthroat competitive play, and it saddens me that it didn’t make the cut. Well, at least for the American release. The Super Famicom Classic Edition does include this game but under its Japanese title of Panel de Pon.



Come on, Nintendo. This is another classic childhood game for many of us who grew up in the early ’90s. Every kid played this game to death that holiday season of 1993. Sure, it may be a little overrated but it’s freaking ZOMBIES ATE MY NEIGHBORS! Nintendo, you could have even tweaked it to make it better. Think about an easier difficulty setting, a strafe button, etc. A missed opportunity any way you slice it.



This is my honorable mention. I love this game and it was also published by Nintendo. I see why it wasn’t included, though. Fake player names, outdated rosters and so forth. But damn is this game fun. Many people, even non baseball fans, still play it to this very day. It would also have been the only sports title featured in the package.



In Japan, the system will include Panel de Pon (Tetris Attack)Fire Emblem: Mystery of the EmblemGanbare Goemon: The Legend of the Mystical NinjaSuper Soccer, and Super Street Fighter II. These titles replace EarthBoundKirby’s Dream CourseStreet Fighter II Turbo, Super Castlevania IV, and Super Punch-Out!! from the US model.

Super Punch-Out!! was never released in Japan. Strange but true. I guess they’re keeping true to form 20+ years later…


Welcome back, dear old friend
Welcome back, dear old friend

For $80 this is an insane bargain. Having 21 classic SNES titles, with HDMI support, in one tiny system is greatly appealing particularly to those who don’t already own these classics. You’re talking less than $4 a game, and that’s not including the system. Sadly, the NES Classic Edition suffered from lack of production and over demand, causing scalpers to swoop in and take advantage. Preorders for the SNES Classic Edition are going fast and resellers are everywhere posed to capitalize. $300 markups would be a safe bet. Of course, when you consider some of these games sell TODAY for close to $300 individually, $300 might still seem like a good deal for 21 games. And it is, at less than $15 a game. But it would be a shame to pay $300 for something that is retailing for just $80. As always, it’s a call only the individual can make. I already own all these games so I’d pass if the asking price is $300, but at $80 I would probably bite. But what are the odds I’ll be able to find one for $80? Probably not high.


But on a more happy note, I’m just ecstatic that my favorite console, the Super Nintendo, is back in the mainstream spotlight. I expect a ton of nostalgia to overcome young adults in their 30s who see this package and go “Oh wow, I haven’t played these games in 20, 25 years!” It just makes me happy knowing the SNES will once again bask in the glow of the spotlight. Nintendo plans to stop production of these Classic Editions at the end of 2017, so the spotlight will be short-lived, but it’s nice knowing come September a lot of casual people will be buying a Super Nintendo in 20-freaking-17. And who knows, it may lead to something bigger. At the very least, exposure never hurts and it thrills me that younger generations of gamers will have a chance to play and appreciate these classics. That’s a definite win in my book!



Speaking of SNES comebacks...
Speaking of SNES comebacks…

By the way, it recently came to my attention that BS Shockman is getting an official Super Famicom release June of 2017! Wow! The SNES scene is booming right now in a way we haven’t seen in a long time. BS Shockman is also known as BS Kaizou Choujin Shubibinman Zero. Check out my review for more info.

Fun 2-player game worth checking out
Fun 2-player game worth checking out

Rock on, SNES. Rock the f*ck on.