Originally released in 2017 on a legit NES cartridge, Creepy Brawlers is now making its way onto consoles as a low cost digital download. Mega Cat Studios, also responsible for the new old school beat’em up Coffee Crisis, programmed this title using original Assembly language making this an honest to goodness new original Nintendo game. Undoubtedly cool and created for fans, Creepy Brawlers is an obvious homage to classic Punch-Out!!.
Playing as some dude who gets sucked into a monster movie, the player needs to box classic horror monsters using the same control scheme and overall design from Punch-Out!!. The initial zombie encounter is a little more challenging than a fight with Glass Joe but quickly ramps up in difficulty. However, even though this is a boxing game, gameplay is actually a reaction based puzzle title. With each attempt, the player learns a little more about the moveset of each opponent, analyzing tells and determining when to strike. Then, once the puzzle aspect has been solved, the player then needs to hone reaction skills to a tight degree as the opportunity to land that critical punch is often limited. Like Nintendo’s original game, there is a lot of trial-and-error, practice, and tenacity that needs to be involved to encounter success and entertainment with this type of game. Punch-Out!! was never my personal cup of tea but understand how one could enjoy it. Watching blindfolded speed runs are always entertaining too.
If you enjoy Punch-Out!! and the SNES sequel Super Punch-Out!!, there is no reason for you not to enjoy this new old game. This project clearly exists because it was created by fans of the original game. So much so that the devs went through an insane amount of dedication to program the game to work on NES hardware and even produce carts. While it doesn’t surpass the original in any way and acts as a vehicle to travel down nostalgia lane, it also reminds modern game players how far game design has come in the last three decades. It only costs a few bucks on the eShop and worth checking out if you are a fan of 8-bit games and want to support a new developer to create these dedicated titles.
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