Tonight, I have every single intention to play and write about Lego City Undercover for the Wii U, which I just picked up yesterday. Finally, a new game that isn't a port on the Wii U, and not an eShop title either! I was super excited just to buy the game, much less finally play it.
So when I got home tonight, I turned on the PS3 first, mainly because I wanted to get some God of War Ascension in before diving in to Lego City Undercover, since I was going to be writing about the latter. Well, turns out there was a system update that needed to happen (shocking, I know) before playing anything, so I went ahead and started that dubious process. I turned on the Wii U, popped in the disc and grabbed my Vita in anticipation of long load screens, figuring I could get my daily challenge on Smart As... done for the day while waiting.
Before jumping right into the game, however, I wanted to browse the eShop real quick, just to see what came out today. Low and behold, Zen Pinball 2 was finally released, and Punch-Out!!, the old NES version, was added to the Virtual Console for the promo price of a mere thirty cents! So I started the downloading process for those two games, while mastering the Smart As... daily challenges. Then I realized that my PS3 was finally done updating its own system, so I fired up God of War, because well, that was my original plan anyway.
I played a couple hours of that, and finally got to a point where I felt good about stopping for the evening. I picked up the Wii U GamePad, checked my finalized downloads, installed them, and then made the mistake of opening up Punch-Out!!. That was a mistake, you see, because I LOVE Punch-Out!!, and could play that game any time, for whatever reason. A long while later, I realized that I still needed to write this blog, and well, here we are.
Punch-Out!! will always have a special place in my heart. It was one of the first games that I remember, along with the Mega Man games, that I played that used the code system to essentially save your progress. It gave you a code every so often to allow you to pick up at a certain point next time you played so you wouldn't have to replay all the fights you already dominated in. A simple system that is ridiculous in this age of technology, where a simple Google search would produce every code I wanted for it. But back then, it was a life saver and a time saver, and prevented the loveable Glass Joe from being destroyed over and over again.
Another thing I will always remember is how this game forced you into pattern memorization like no other, as that was the only key to victory, along with quick reaction times. For anyone that says video games rot your brain, give Punch-Out!! and try and then tell me your brain feels like mush, because mine feels amazing afterwards (unlike a real boxer's brain after a fight, but that's a different topic for another time, I'm afraid). Once you figured out the pattern of each fighter's offense and defense, you could easily reign down on them with a fury of punches. Up until the last couple of fights, that theory holds true, but after that, it's not only muscle/pattern memory, but quick reaction times. If you weren't dead on with your punch timing, there was no chance for victory. Especially when fighting Mike Tyson.
Speaking of Tyson, that is the version I had as a kid. Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!!. I didn't even realize a second version, featuring the fictional Mr. Dream ever existed until much later in my life. Of course, that second version is the only version that Nintendo is still allowed to liscence and redistribute, so that's what I was playing tonight. Mr. Dream is still as hard as Mike Tyson was, but for some reason, he just isn't as intimidating as Tyson was. I realize it's only a game, but man, Tyson was the Baddest Man on the Planet for a reason, and just his likeness in that game sent chills down the spines of kids everywhere. Again, though, Mr. Dream is still as hard, and even tonight I couldn't beat him. I gave it all I could, but let's be real here - I'm older now then I was back then, and my reflexes just aren't what they used to be, despite all the practice I got with the God of War Quick Time Events recently. Also, fatigue and distractions played a good part in it as well.
So yeah, I have ADD. Bad. Tonight was the perfect example of that. But at least I got to play one of my all-time favorite games, and probably my third-favorite sports game ever. There are a couple more Punch-Out!! games to play this year, so look forward to that. Unless I get distracted in the mean time, of course.