Developer: Glu Games Inc.
Price: $4.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★½
Game Controls Rating: ★★★½☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★☆
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★★☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

For those of you who have been longing for a great Super Punch Out type game on the iPhone, the wait is over. Super KO boxing 2 brings the great blend of comedy, action, and difficulty that made the Punch Out series so great on Nintendo straight to your iDevice. Much like the Punch Out series though, in order to get to the top, you’ll have to go through some extremely difficult dexterity/timing exercises in order to get there. The game might look like it’s made for children, but it gets extremely difficult in the later stages.

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The first thing that you will notice about Super KO Boxing 2 (SKB2) is the graphical style. The game, again in an obvious homage to Super Punch Out, uses a polished cartoon style which is perfect for the genre. The graphics are almost as colorful as the characters, with various enemies including 15 Cent, El Bulli, and Sake Bomb. Each character, before the fight, has a nicely animated, if slightly too long, intro sequence where the fighter will do some sort of admittedly funny stereotypical cartoon motion. I was impressed throughout with the top notch graphics which will, on their own, provoke you to get through each of the games enemy fighters.

As nice as the graphics are, the most important thing is really the gameplay. Like Super Punch Out, the game pits you, the K.O. Kid, against an ever more difficult barrage of enemies, all with their own special punch sequences and unique weak points. In order to defeat the foes, you have to use your entire artillery of moves, including your high punch, low punch, and flying high punch, along with your ability to block, dodge, and taunt. Each button is easily reachable on the touch screen, leaving you with the daunting task of learning your opponents tendencies without getting knocked out in the process.

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Be prepared for a fairly steep learning curve, with a few fairly simple fights followed by a long string of personal pain and suffering. I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I played The Chief before finally getting his final 5 punch combo figured out. My issue with some of the levels was either the responsiveness or size of some of the buttons. For example, on The Chief’s level, I knew from the start where and when The Chief was going to punch, but couldn’t for the life of me press the right dodge button 5 times in succession. Maybe my thumb was just too large, or maybe I just wasn’t patient enough for his jabs, but for whatever reason I kept losing. I persevered through the challenge though, which I guess is a testament in itself to the quality of the game.

The games replay value depends greatly on the skill you possess in games of this type, but the game does offer quite a bit to do. There are three game modes, including the ‘Circuits’ mode, where you go through the fighters one after another, ‘Versus’ mode, which lets you individually pick your opponent, and ‘Challenge’ mode, which gives you a challenge for each fight. These challenges aren’t easy though, and will take you quite some time to beat. The very first challenge requires you to beat the opponent in the first round without getting hit… not an easy task.

Overall, SKB2 is a great game for pick up and go iPhone gamers. You can play a match, put the game down, and either finish the match later or start a new one. With each fight taking between 5-10 minutes, the game strikes a good balance between difficulty and longevity. Being one of the more polished apps in the app store, I feel that the game warrants its $4.99 price point, and will probably be a game that stays on your iDevice for quite some time.

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