Continuing My Excellence in Game Breaking News

Tyson winking at you was scary back then, too
Tyson winking at you was scary back then, too

So much to get excited about, I’m not sure where to begin.

With that in mind I will begin here.

Released in the late 80’s (1987?) Mike Tyson’s Punch Out was a game on the SNES that my friends and I played for hours on end. It was a classic. Ah the memories.

The 2009 version, besides fun new Wii controls (disclaimer: I haven’t bought this yet.) Enjoys an expected graphics update.

I don’t even like boxing as a sport – but the game was so much fun. Sadly, without playing the game I am not here to review – just share in my excitement for the upgrade and then ponder a question that has been asked many times before: What games would you love to see “updated”? And as a follow-up – can the magic of a couple decades old game be recaptured with today’s tech and design differences?

Time for my top 3? Glad you asked.

3. Privateer (1994)

Be your own Han Solo, run missions, fight in space sims, buy/sell/kill? Yes thank you. Missions felt oft-repeated, but with today’s tech and design I would like to think this would be the easiest of games to update and make super cool. Could probably even Multiplayer it – or, (shudder) Massively Multiplayer it. Great part was there was a main story line, but you could freely stray from it to do an endless stream of side missions


Where is Chewbacca?
Where is Chewbacca?

2. Star Control 2 (1992)

I didn’t ever know, or figure out, how to win this game. I just explored and played and played and played. Diplomacy, gathering, and combat components as I ventured out to save the earth from slavery. I don’t want to include any spoilers here, in case you are thinking of picking it up to give it a whirl.


The fate of the earth is in on your highly pixelated ship.
The fate of the earth rests on your highly pixelated ship.

1. X-Com (1993)

‘Nuff said.

Resource, Research, Team Managment and turn based combat. Pure Joy – and a great challenge.


All ur base are belong to you
All ur base are belong to you

I know those are easy picks, but I wonder how Punchout (2009) will fare both on it’s own merits and the nostalgia merits. I wonder if PC gaming will go the route of Hollywood and start remaking old classics for revenue. I certainly wouldn’t complain – Although I am half afraid to pick any of these titles back up for fear of let down. What was great 10-20 years ago, may not feel so spectacular now.

What are your favorites?

9 comments / Add your comment below

  1. Sorry that my WordPress format doesn’t do graphics – or captions – very well. Layout looked great in the Visual editor =)

  2. I read the review of Punch Out! in my latest Play magazine, and despite the wife saying “No more Wii games!” I’m really thinking I’ll get this one.

    They interviewed Kensuke Tanabe (the producer) and he was quoted as saying, “The classic scheme [Wiimote on its side, NES-style] gives players faster and more precise control, which makes it easier to beat opponents, but we prefer the intuitive and full, physical feeling you get through motion control. Once you get acclimated to motion controls, you can never go back to the classic style.”

    I have fond memories of playing Super Punch-Out! (SNES version) over, and over, and over again. Sometimes I’d run through the four divisions from beginning to end, other times I’d just focus on trying to beat my best time on a certain boxer. IIRC we had better than 10-second times on almost all of the 8 boxers in the first two divisions, but to get times that low you really needed to know your opponent really well. You had to counter every, single one of his first few blows to stun him, then time your Super Punch perfectly to knock him down, and hopefully Out For The Count! If you were good, really good, you could even counter with a Super Punch. Not the double-tap, rapid-fire Super Punches, but the single-press Super Punch. Countering with a Super Punch often resulted in a Stun and a second, perfectly timed Super Punch usually resulted in a knock down, if not a KO.

    Oh. And did I mention it appears to support two-player head-to-head games?

    Yeah, I think I’ll be getting this one. I just hope it’s released for $20-$30, not $50. That could be a big sell. Then again, 40th birthday coming up in a few months 😉

  3. Chris, have you been picking my brain again? Privateer and StarCon2 have been in my top ten games of all time for a long time now. XCom isn’t far behind.

    Now, if they are going to be upgraded to MMOs, we’ll need alternate payment models…

    Oh, and StarCon2 is the first game I wrote a FAQ for, though I didn’t know that’s what it was called at the time. I had the optimal path charted out to win the game and find (all?) the secrets.

    If they were to release a Privateer sequel/remake that didn’t stink (P2 was dumb), I’d get it. If they made a StarControl sequel or remake that didn’t stink (SC3 was awful), I’d get it. The Precursors SC2 soundtrack remix is part of my current music rotation; I’m itching for some great StarCon.

    If they remade XCom and took out the dumb parts (or upgraded them)… I’d probably wait to get it on sale, but that’s just on principle. I’d still get it.

    I *am* hoping Jumpgate Evolution manages to capture some of the Privateer lightning… but there really is nothing like the original.

  4. @Cap’n: It’ll drop in a couple of months. Sadly, I don’t really have time to play right now but hopefully I will when the price drops. You could also probably get away with renting this title, but I suppose it depends what else is in the box and gameplay with replay value.

    @Tesh: I think I read your FAQ in Starcon2 (or one similar) that had all of those things listed. I stopped reading it, however, when I realized the joy in that game was getting lost and trying to figure things out on your own.

    Interesting about Jumpgate:E – I’ll definitely start reading up on it a bit to get my self overly excited before the impending dissappointment! =)

  5. Well, I didn’t actually *publish* the FAQ, it was just something I wrote and shared with a few friends so I could blast through the game if I felt like it. Indeed, just mucking about is a lot of fun. Even if I’m playing with my FAQ, I’ll just use it to take care of the time-sensitive stuff and then go off and do my own thing because it’s more fun that way. (I think the Spathi are the only time-sensitive event, come to think of it. Though taking care of the Slylandro early is nice to keep the probes from being annoying, and the earlier you can access Quasispace, the easier it is to move around looking for stuff.)

    Aye, I read just enough about J:E to be interested and optimistic, but not enough to get attached in case it crashes and burns. 🙂

  6. Ah, then I probably didn’t read yours then, afterall. I did find and print one though. On a dot matrix printer. Ah, those were the days.

  7. From what I’ve read, after beating all 18 (I think) boxers in Wii Punch Out! you unlock a harder version where they change up their routines and no longer open a bout with the same, memorable combos. And apparently after beating that harder level, there’s an even harder level. There’s also the new head-to-head mode, although IIRC that’s not technically new. A long, long time ago, in an Arcade far, far away, I ran into two head-to-head boxing games which used a wire-mesh boxer. Was that the original, very first Punch Out? My memory is not quite that good 😉

  8. I remember that arcade wire mesh boxer, too, Cap. I *think* it was the first, but I’m a bit hazy on the timing, too.

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