When it comes down to classic combat sports games from the 80’s one of the few titles that instantly comes to mind is the arcade title Punch Out from 1983. Punch Out was developed by Nintendo R&D3 and was arguably one of the most difficult video games from 80’s era of gaming depending on who you ask. Aa far a boxing games are concerned many would argue that Punch Out put that particular sub-genre on the map; paving the way for many other games in following generations of gaming. Punch Out is well known for it notorious difficultly level as players progress throughout the game by scoring knockouts on various professional boxers. In Punch Out players fight against a series of fictional boxers such as: Glass Joe, Bald Bull, Mr. Sandman and Pistol Hurricane. One of the things that made Punch Out so difficult back in the 80’s was the fact that players had only three minutes to score a knockout on their opponents. Those who failed to knockout their opponents in under three minutes automatically lost the game. The conditions that existed in order for players to win each round made it almost impossible to beat Punch Out in its entirety.
The sprites and art design for Punch Out looked great by early 80’s standards and seemed like an addictive game since it was so challenging. In fact, Punch Out had become so popular that it was eventually ported to the NES in ’87 despite the game being released years earlier in 1983. The cool thing about the NES version was that Mine Tyson was added as the final boss making the game itself more of an attraction; following his success and popularity after becoming world champion during the late 80’s. Punch Out is seen as a cult classic which was well received by critics and various gaming publications; and is still talked about to this very day. The popularity of the game spawned a sequel for the SNES known as Super Punch-Out which was released in ’94. While Super Punch Out for the SNES was a step up in terms of animation and gameplay it was not quite as iconic as its ’83 prequel. The original Punch Out game not only lead to the birth of the entire series but its still to be legendary within the gaming community in general. If the original Punch Out game did not exist the boxing sub-genre of sports based gaming may not have been as popular as it was during the 90’s.