TKO Super Championship Boxing
SOFEL steps into the SNES heavyweight ring with TKO Super Championship Boxing. The game puts up its dukes with a touch of realism and keen fighting features. But compared to its 16-bit competition, it pulls a few punches.
The Tale of the Tape
On paper, TKO looks like a well-rounded bruiser. One pugilist can spar with a computer-controlled partner in an Exhibition match, throw his gloves in the Championship race, or go fist-to-fist against a second player. Championship's settings are locked in, but Exhibition puts the difficulty and number of rounds at your fingertips.
ProTip: You recover energy faster than the computer. Dance away if you're on your last legs and live to fight another round.
Although the eight boxers' names and personalities are fake, their mug shots are mean looking. Each competitor is rated for Punching Power, Speed, and Stamina. You start with built-up boxers in Exhibition mode. In between Championship bouts and after a few beatings, you choose from five automatically-executed gym sequences to train your weakling. Passwords enable you to continue the quest for the belt with your newly buffed boxer.
The Bench Press enhances both Stamina and Punching Power. Use it several times before facing the final lighter, Thomas Mitchell.
Once the bell sounds in one- player mode, your opponent's offensive arsenal works you over, but it doesn't knock you cold. He throws a conservative array of jabs, body blows, hooks, and uppercuts in four degrees of strength. The multiple button combos required to fire off your fists combine with sluggish control to produce strong, but not Herculean, action. You often hook when you want to jab and vice versa. On defense, you can dodge, block, and clinch to conserve energy, but again the control is not quite up to snuff.
Although the visuals aren't a total knockout, TKO paints a cool panoramic view of the crowd and the side-scrolling ring. Multiple arena sites and more detailed character animation would promote the graphics up a notch. The crowd sounds are raucous, and so is the one-track music.
It Coulda Been a Contender!
A few more sparring rounds in the development cycle might have pushed TKO Super Championship Boxing into title contention. Let's call TKO a journeyman game with a solid proven ring record that's destined to rule the middle ranks of the SNES division.
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With the most advanced graphics ever created for boxing, the 'sweet science' has never been so incredibly real.
Check out the action: you've won your first bout, but it was tough! 8 gruelling rounds, and now you're dog tired. So it's back to the gym to work on your stamina. Next bout: you're up against this guy who's REALLY FAST! He's not hurting you, but he's building up points with pitty-pat combinations, and you're getting mad! Between rounds, your corner tells you how to get even! They've seen he drops his left guard, so he's open for the right hook. Next round: BAM! Right hook! HE'S OUTTA HERE!
This is TKO SUPER CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING. Non-stop Smashin'Bashin'Knuckle-Krunchin Action!
Either go one-on-one with a buddy; pick a fight with one of eight powerhouse opponents; or go for the whole enchilada - beat 'em all and become WORLD CHAMP!