A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this game is an arcade boxing game, so there is some violence in the game. That said, the fighters are clearly cartoons -- i.e. not realistic in the least -- plus comedic effects can be seen such as stars dancing around their head after receiving a blow.
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What's it about?
Little Mac is back -- the classic cartoon fighter has climbed back into in the ring after a 15-year hiatus. Nintendo's beloved brawler PUNCH-OUT!! is now available for the Nintendo Wii, offering players one of two revised control schemes. Players can face off against each of the zany fighters -- such as Von Kaiser, King Hippo, and newcomer Disco Kid -- using the wireless and motion-sensing Wii Remote and Nunchuk controllers or the Wii Balance Board (included with Wii Fit). Alternatively, the game can also be played with classic NES-style controls by turning the Wii Remote sideways.
In case you never played the original, this modern update of Punch-Out!! -- now employing "cell-shaded" graphics that make the fighters appear as 3-D cartoons -- stars a young and spunky fighter, Little Mac, who challenges a host of hilarious boxers from around the world. Trainer Doc Louis will teach players how to swing a punch (upper cuts, jabs, and hooks), use defensive maneuvers (dodge, duck, and block) and dance about the ring with grace. Play well and you'll KO opponents, take on tougher fighters, and vie to wear the covered championship belt.
Is it any good?
Punch-Out!! is quite fun for both fans of the original as well as younger gamers, but it's not a perfect fighter. You can't play against a friend online (two players can only duke it out on the same television via split-screen) and its $50 price is too high for a game you could easily finish in a weekend (or less). That said, it's hard to resist the game's retro charm.
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