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That said, I feel compelled to point out to any other hardcore Punch-Out fans out there what elements are different about this game, in particular the things that make it less "deep" than Punch-Out.
Obviously the theme, characters, and controls are different. A is block, up jumps, and you change attack heights by pressing down to hit low rather than holding up to hit high. A is also used for special moves or a shield bash but only while the opponent is stunned, and the B-trigger selects which special move you want to use.
The big addition that gives it depth Punch-Out does not have is character customization via a tech tree, and choosing from a variety of special moves you unlock instead of only having the pre-determined star punches (I kinda wish that most of these were shorter though, particularly the ones where you summon something from the sky).
- No timer or rounds - fight until you win or lose.
- No KO's, only TKO for both sides - you go down 3 times and lose, they go down 3 times and you win.
- There are no hidden instant knockdowns or instant KO's or making the opponent stagger from getting a lot of hits in rapidly like in Super Punch-Out.
- There are no "stars" or equivalent gained by countering certain moves - the bonus for countering is always the same (extra damage, bonus energy, etc).
- Counter attack damage is not related to what move was countered, so countering a powerful attack gives no more damage than countering a normal attack.
- The number of hits when an opponent is stunned is always the same (5) regardless of how powerful or dangerous the avoided attack was.
- No extra timed attacks as the opponent recovers from being stunned as in Punch-Out Wii.
- No opponents are particularly strong or weak to any of the 4 basic attacks (high left, high right, low left, low right) or require special hit patterns (like Sandman's high-low-low-low) when stunned. The basic attacks seem to all have the same effect and the only difference is choosing the correct one for countering hits, beyond that it doesn't seem to matter.
- Knocking down an opponent with a special attack has no particular benefits compared to a normal attack, and may even be a waste of a powerful special. The opponent always gets up with full health regardless of what method was used to knock them down.
- If you fail to properly avoid ANY hit of a multi-hit attack, you can't hit them back at all afterwards.
- You can't do follow-up punches after blocking, only by dodging or jumping over the attack (except in cases where blocking is the only way to avoid the attack, such as when they back up and shoot you with eye beams or something, then it allows you to do follow-up attacks as they get back close to you - this is actually a good way to know if there are any other methods besides blocking to stop the attack - if there is another way, blocking won't let you stun them after).
- There are no "gutter punches" or, in other words, no way to just hit them directly by mixing up high and low hits when their guard is low or high - you must either be countering an attack or avoid an attack and do follow-up punches to get any hits in (though I swear I've got a counter-hit from attacking during certain non-attacks like taunts, growls, etc.)
- Opponents do NOT follow pre-set patterns that change only based on your actions like in Punch-Out (which only very rarely used randomness). With a few exceptions (like first attack, first attack after getting up, reaction to health bar hitting a certain point) the attacks chosen by the opponent are completely random.
These differences make the game feel like Punch-Out does when you play it casually - all about checking for tells and either counter-attacking or dodging and attacking. Its more about reflexes than pattern recognition. It doesn't have the higher-level Punch-Out play of perfecting the pattern memorization and discovering the methods for super-fast takedowns and trying to knock out the opponent in the first round, etc.
There's nothing wrong with this, it has its own appeal and its own depth in other ways (like the skill tree, and some would argue the randomness gives it more replayability since the fights aren't the same each time), but its worth pointing out to any hardcore Punch-Out fans looking for the same level of depth.
However, any Punch-Out fan still should really play this game as its very fun if you like that style of play! The challenge mode is quite hard and should take a while even for a pro Punch-Out player to get through. Plus its only 10 bucks!
www.zauron.net/minebot - fun free game!
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