Saturday, March 9, 2013

Armchair of Anger: Punch-Out, downloadable, for the Nintendo 3DS

With the utmost respect to one of my all-time favorites...

I recently purchased a Nintendo 3DS although I already had purchased several of the system's predecessors – I was basically made to buy it because the game New Super Mario Bros 2 was only available on the 3DS and not the DS Lite, so if I wanted to play the game without purchasing a Wii, I had to buy the 3DS.

The 3DS has been a worthwhile purchase. The internet browsing is far from ideal, but was a great help when my laptop wasn't working properly. Also, it has the ability to purchase download games, such as Punch-Out.

Mike Tyson's Punch-Out is quite possibly the greatest video game ever made. Punch-Out, which is available for download is the exact same game, except that the final fight is not with Mike Tyson, but instead with a fictional boxer called Mr. Dream.

This is probably due to copyright issues, but I like thinking it's because Nintendo didn't want to put him in a game after he bit some guy's ear off.

Whatever the case, this is not a complaint about the 3DS, or the lack of Mike Tyson in the Punch-Out available; it's a complaint about the controls itself.

The original game was on the 8-bit Nintendo, or NES, system. This controller featured a four-directional D-pad, A and B buttons, select, and start. The Nintendo 3DS has MANY more buttons than this. Yet on the NES, the controls were simple. Left and right punches, high and low, and a special attack of an uppercut. The uppercut was accessed by pressing select on the original NES controller, which you would usually tap with your left thumb, just a hair away from the D-pad.

For whatever reason, not only did the 3DS NOT choose to keep the uppercut as “select,” or to use it as a combination of the two punch buttons (which are not where they should be anyway), or either the top R or L buttons - which are easily accessible by your forefingers while not removing your thumbs from punching and the D-pad. Instead, they put the uppercut on the Start button, which is very far from either of your thumbs, and nowhere near accessible to the left thumb which would have usually pressed select. Beyond that, the start button is next to the home button, which can take you out of the game completely.

The bottom line – this is poor planning. They should've kept the uppercut on the select button, or made it accessible through one of the top bumpers. Even without Mike Tyson, it's a great game to have on the go, but the placement of the uppercut was a very poor choice. The first time I played the game, I quit because I couldn't figure out where the uppercut was. Why use the start button which would usually pause the game? They should've used the select button like always. If they wanted to move it, they should've moved it somewhere better, NOT somewhere worse.