In case you haven’t seen it yet, a must watch thing for you to watch is this commercial for the Wii version of Punch Out! It’s a deliciously self-aware anticipation for what would have to try exceedingly hard to not be a very enjoyable game:
It’s like one of those vids people on College Humor made for years, except actually sanctioned by Nintendo. The full band version of the theme song makes my heart rise too. Also, you’ll notice no twin towers in the NY skyline when he’s running. More motivation for punching on foreigners of muddled ethnicities, I’m guessing.
But three words would make this game a stunning, face-smashing success, genre-crashing, attention-grabbing success:
The dude is already having a weird but welcome resurgence right now, and the timing is perfect. With the Tyson documentary full of a surprisingly thoughtful introspection on a long and difficult career (not to mention fantastic one-liners and repeated use of the word “skulduggery”) , a corresponding Nas song and a scene-stealing appearance in the trailer for The Morning After, the world is ready for post-boxing Tyson to reenter our lives.
People forget that in the 80s, Mike Tyson was a force. He wasn’t an athlete, he was a mascot for raw, American power. He was in that rarefied arena of people who captured a lot of our hopes and aspirations for the country, even if they were brutal at times. Like Hulk Hogan, Michael Jackson, Steven Spielberg, Michael Jordan, Tom Hanks, people who were the best we had to offer up for one specific purpose, ones who would capture an almost supernatural air of dominance when they set about their tasks.
Back in the cold war 80s, that meant a lot to see Mike out there beating his way to the top with sheer unstoppable force. At least, I think it did. I was 8.
Actually, the trailer for this game is very similar to the Tyson movie in some ways as he re-examines his career. And Mac got KO’d by King Hippo after beating Mr. Sandman and all the rest? That sounds a little like someone’s Buster Douglass moment.