I have an essay over at The Rumpus. It’s about my name, my dad, and Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!!
One afternoon I downloaded Punch-Out!! on the Wii U Virtual Console. A lot of memories came back, and it only cost thirty cents.
The first fighter, Glass Joe, whom I’d had such difficulty beating, has a record of 1 win, 99 losses. As an adult, I was able to knock him out in less than a minute. Once you’ve figured out the pattern, it’s not that hard to win.
I used to think the key to winning was strength and brute force. Then I realized that Punch-Out!! is more of a puzzle than it is an action-based game. Develop a higher level of thinking and use your wits to survive. Don’t make the same mistakes.
I still can’t finish the entire game, but there are endless opportunities to try and figure out the patterns. Video games are great that way, giving you a second chance in a way real life doesn’t.
When you lose, Punch-Out!! encourages you not to give up: “Start training. Make a comeback!”