Super Punch Out!! always seems to be forgotten by people when listing off the SNES’s best titles. To be fair it’s up against some stiff competition, but to this day SPO is still an incredibly fun and polished gem that has sadly faded from most people’s memories. The developers of Beast Boxing Turbo clearly remember it though, with their game being clearly and highly inspired by Nintendo’s boxing puzzle game, with a bit of Fight Night mixed in for a colorful arcade feel that reminded me why I miss SPO so much. It’s in no way a perfect replacement, but it’s an admirable effort and a surprisingly fun time!
So you want to box? Well tough luck, human, there’s no place for your kind in the ring! Under a disguise though no one would stop you, and thus you enter the world of beast boxing in an attempt to make a name for yourself and prove humans have a place in the sport.
As the name suggests, this isn’t straight boxing, but somewhere between the over the top feel of the before mentioned Punch Out and a simple arcade recreation of the sport. Your collection of moves is small and the way to utilize them equally limited, but you’re given just enough variation to be able to plan out various moves, and counter the attacks of your beastly enemies (which true to form all have their own special attacks and fighting styles). It’s easy to learn and honestly pretty easy to master as well, which actually becomes an issue after a point as fights become cake walks and the CPU’s way to counteract this is to rely on cheap hits and forcing you into corners that never feel particularly fair. It’s disappointing the difficulty fluctuates from such extremes, but when it’s not beating you in the face without remorse the ease of conquering your opponents never became hugely unsatisfying.
As a budget priced game there have been some obvious cuts and as a whole the amount of content here is slim. Perhaps most disappointing is the absence of any multiplayer mode, which seems an obvious addition that could have extended the hour or so story mode a lot further. Other issues arise in the clunky combat, that isn’t a problem generally but on higher difficulty levels leads to a lot of cheap KO’s. Some recycled character models/frames are a bit tacky as well, but the cartoon artstyle mostly makes up for the corners that have been cut off the presentation.
Irregardless, Beast Boxing Turbo is worth recommending if only for how unique it is to the platform, and for how fun it is while it lasts. It’s far from the classic that is Super Punch Out!!, but as that is a sequel itself perhaps it’s only a matter of waiting for Beast Boxing 2 for it to reach that point.
In the meantime I’ll be over here punching pigs in the face.