Approximate Release Month: October 1992
Genre: Boxing simulation
Developer: Sting Entertainment
To its credit, TKO Super Championship Boxing isn’t just copying other boxing games.
The only boxing game series I’m all that familiar with is Nintendo’s Punch-out!! games. The behind-the-back perspective meant that the characters were big and well animated, but the boxers were more or less glued in place and unable to roam around the ring. TKO Super Championship Boxing is much more mobile. Having the game played from a side-oriented perspective means the boxers can wander around the ring like a real boxing match. Matches in this game are more about boxer positioning than where your punches are landing. That might be part of the reason I don’t care for the fighting too much, or I’m not picking up on the subtleties. It’s not bad, just basic.
In addition to the expected skirmish and multiplayer modes, there’s also a somewhat in-depth Championship mode. You create a boxer, and as you defeat your opponents you can choose how to improve him in an RPG-like training menu. Do you want your boxer to be faster? Stronger? Able to throw more punches before getting tired? If you have a particular play style you prefer, you can tailor your fighter to it.
It’s a good first step, but TKO Super Championship Boxing doesn’t quite go far enough with this idea. Training is merely a menu selection, and if you lose a match, it’s game over. You can’t continue on and keep improving your boxer, making the mode less interesting and more gamey. As it is, Championship mode is a standard arcade mode with some customization.
Punch-out!! is still more fun, but TKO Super Championship Boxing is different enough that they could be complementary to each other if the latter had more to it. The game doesn’t do anything wrong, it’s just vanilla.