#524 – Ring King

Gentlemen, please, we can all be Ring Kings.
Ray Leonard Jr. approved Ring King as soon as the check cleared.
Great character animation for an early NES game.

PLAYERS: 1-2 simultaneous



GENRE: Sports

RELEASE DATE: September 1987

There’s only one NES boxing game that matters: Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! (or, if you prefer Mr. Dream, Punch-Out!!). Any other contenders hope they contain an iota of the personality, the amazing control, and the replay value that Punch-Out!! brought to the NES. Ring King doesn’t skimp on the charisma with its squatty, big-headed boxers and unique power point assignment before each match. Step into the ring, however, and the supposed “king” doesn’t fight worth a damn. Each fight is like a continuous circle dance, with you looking for opportunities to pop your opponent in the face. You have a couple different moves at your disposal, like the typical jab, hook, and uppercut, with the option to learn more moves as you progress and get stronger. Win fights and you’ll amass more power points to assign to your punch, speed, and stamina rating. Punch and stamina are your most important attributes in the ring. If you lack in either, your punch or your body will be weak – either way, you’ll fall fast. The fights are slow and tedious, even if your stats are beefier than your opponents. You shouldn’t punch wildly and hope the punches will connect because your stamina will decrease. Unfortunately, it’s hard to tell when your opponent is leaving himself open for a hit, so some extra punching is almost required. Tap ‘B’ to block, but don’t expect much. Your boxer doesn’t seem to block at all, and only occasionally does he dodge your opponent’s blows. In later bouts, the computer is obscenely strong. If you don’t block at just the right moment (which, again, is hit-or-miss), you’ll be down in a couple hits. Ring King will draw you in with its endearing graphics, then pummel your heart with its lackluster gameplay. Boxing’s greatest hits? Not a chance. There can be… only one.


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7 replies on “#524 – Ring King”

Not that either of them are anywhere near an accurate depiction of boxing, but I would argue that Ring King is much closer to the real sport than Punch-Out simply because you can move around the ring in all directions, there are clinches, and the call is honest and not rigged against you when the fight goes to points. (Because the game keeps a tally of clean punches landed on-screen at all times).

In no way am I ragging on Punch-Out, it’s one of the best games ever. But I think it’s really a game of timing and memorization that just happens to have a boxing skin.

(Also, to completely kill my argument that Ring King is the more realistic boxer… you haven’t experienced the game until you catch a guy with an uppercut and knock him up and out of the ring. So satisfying.)

You know, it took me years to getting around to this game. It always just looked so bland and clunky. Finally picked it up for a buck or two at a garage sale. I have to say my feelings toward it were largely in line with yours. I just never got into this one – if I wanted to play a boxing game, I’d put in mike Tyson’s Punch-Out

Surprised no mention of the trainer orally pleasuring the boxers between rounds. As a kid, I was confused as to what they were doing. I thought he was blowing air in the guy’s belly button (lol)

@Matthew: Ring King is probably closer to the real sport than Punch-Out, but so is George Foreman’s KO Boxing, and… well, yeah.

@Chalgyr: A buck or two – at least it was only that.

@Latchkey Nerds: Yeah, I noticed that… decided people could find out for themselves if they really wanted to delve deep into the game.

Crap game, but a must-have. Why? Because it’s not every day you can buy a game for about $3 and get treated to midgets giving blowjobs between boxing rounds.

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