Video games usually defy reality in one way or another. However, there has always been one genre of games that does its best to give you an accurate representation of the real world: Sports games. Thanks to this week’s Virtual Console release of the second best boxing game ever, Punch-Out!! Featuring Mr. Dream (the best is Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!!) we can see how it stacks up to reality, and examine some of the more nefarious questions that it raises...
The gameplay on the VC is outstanding, hampered only by the fact that it's a pain to do a super punch using a rotated Wiimote. The gang's all there (except for the ear-biter). If you're a bit rusty, Great Tiger’s Tiger Punch and Bald Bull's Bull Charge are still pretty hard to beat, or perhaps you’re subconsciously perplexed by some of the underlying questions and continuity issues that are brought up in the storyline of the game.
For example, if Mac is from the Bronx, why is he training in Brooklyn? (The Brooklyn conclusion is drawn from the fact that Mac goes for a run with the Statue of Liberty on his right -- this can only be accomplished if you are in Brooklyn or Staten Island -- and really... who's going to go to Staten Island?) If you don’t live in NYC, you might not realize that it takes like an hour and a half to get from the Bronx to Brooklyn. Just to go for a run? That seems like a bit much. So why is he really there? Is it perhaps because he's there to see a certain plumber who happens to moonlight as a boxing referee? This begs the question: Is Mac, or his Carl Winslow look-a-like trainer, trying to get on Mr. Mario Mario's good side? Are they slipping him a few bucks for a fast count next time Mac faces Von Kaiser? Who know... but it certainly is suspicious.
That's the most diabolical question raised in the game, but there are others:
1. What happens to Don Flamenco's rose? He eats it, right? (I hope he de-thorned it first.)
2. How much does King Hippo weigh? Can't you just ask him to just stand on a scale? I will not accept “??????” as his official weight. That’s just dumb.
3. Why do King Hippo's pants fall down? I mean, come on. Never, EVER, have I seen someone get punched in the stomach, and then their pants fall down. Get him a belt or something.
4. How does Great Tiger’s turban know he’s going to throw a punch before he does? That’s some crazy black magic that I wouldn’t wanna mess with.
5. Is Super Macho Man not only the President of Steroid Club for Men, but also a client?
6. Where are all the ninjas?
7. Why is Mac’s jumpsuit so FABULOUS?
I offer these questions up to the great Nintendo Gods, and hope for some kind of a sign.