Super KO Boxing!
We go hands-on with Glu's upcoming over-the-top boxing title...
Super KO Boxing bears more than a passing resemblance to Nintendo's classic Super Punch-Out!, but can that really be described as a bad thing? In my opinion the world could use plenty more cartoon-style boxing games filled with over-the-top attacks and opponents. Super KO's huge, colorful sprites put the game on Modojo's radar a while ago, and after spending some time with a near-complete version on the E3 show floor I can confirm that the game plays great and looks great.
Controls are simple, with left, right, and down used to dodge in the corresponding direction, and up used to punch. As you land blows a power meter is slowly filled, and once it reaches a certain level a softkey can be used to let loose a devastating power shot. At first I thought I would be turned off by the single punch button, but my concerns were alleviated after downing a few opponents. It's true that in Punch-Out you could alternate between left and right with the A and B buttons, but the timing and learning of enemy routines was always more important than alternating punches, and Super KO's developers understood this. After a few minutes I didn't miss the second punch button at all.
Just like in Nintendo's classics, every enemy has different tells that telegraph what their next punch or flurry of punches will be, turning matches almost into elaborate dances, not unlike that of a rhythm game. Dodge, punch punch punch, repeat. It feels great, thanks in large part to the game's extremely impressive animation. The sprites are absolutely huge; probably the largest I've seen in a mobile title. This allows your opponent's movements to be crystal clear, turning a potentially frustrating situation into an extremely fun one.
Their huge size also shows off their absurdly colorful characters. It seems every opponent in the game adheres to some sort of ridiculously over-the-top stereotype, but the ones that I saw came off as humorous and cute, not meanspirited. 15 Cent, Sake Bomb, and Van Roider are among the line-up of enemies that will require humbling.
Super KO's responsive controls and crisp 2D visuals are a reminder of why mobile gaming can be exciting for more than just casual, puzzle gamers. Modojo will have a full review of the title soon.