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Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Time to update 'Punch-Out!!'

By Patrick Hruby and Kurt Snibbe
Page 2

Star uppercuts. Joggin' on the Hudson River with a trainer who looked like Al Roker. Beating down Glass Joe while Mario the semi-crooked referee looked on. Like "Tecmo Bowl" and "R.B.I. Baseball," Mike Tyson's "Punch-Out!!" stands as a seminal Nintendo Entertainment System sports gaming experience -- and the just-released "Punch-Out!!" for the Wii remake looks to recapture the magic.

Too bad they brought back the original cast.

Von Kaiser. Super Macho Man. Great Tiger. The new "Punch-Out!!" has polygon graphics, high-tech motion controls and the same tired lineup of goofy ethnic stereotypes gamers pummeled to a sweaty pulp some two decades ago. Even Piston Honda -- now Piston Hondo -- made the cut.

Look, there's nothing wrong with nostalgia. Still, we can't help but think "Punch-Out!!" would be better with an updated slate of opponents, punch-worthy palookas more appropriate for modern life ...