VanillaBeast: Retro Knock-Out! is a funny-as-hell parody experience that’ll push you all the way. This old-school boxing experience is tongue-in-cheek, rude, and undeniably amusing. However, its simple approach may be too understated for some, and its crude language and imagery will not appeal to everyone.
Developed and published by Vanilla Gaming Company, this is a boxing simulation title. Moreover, it has a dark sense of humour, pixelated graphics, and a fight with a shark. Consequently, what is not to like in this guttural sports experience?
VanillaBeast: Retro Knock-Out! is the new Rocky Balboa.
Everyone loves Rocky Balboa. This loveable chap is always the underdog, even though he has won practically every fight he’s taken part in. Accordingly, this is the feeling that VanillaBeast: Retro Knock-Out! tries to generate. Yet, the cocky protagonist and masses of naked women make it hard for you to empathise with the hero.
This unknown boxer is discovered in a strip club. He spends his time enjoying the dancers and other unmentionable endeavours. However, he loses his temper with a meathead and all hell breaks loose. Unwilling to back down, Vanilla Beast lets his fists do the talking. Consequently, this encounter gets him noticed and the promise of money, women, and power twists his arm. As such, he begins training to become the next big thing. Yet, he doesn’t realise that 30+ fights stand between him and world domination.
An old-school experience.
VanillaBeast: Retro Knock-Out! does a great job of blending comic book cinematic with pixelated fixed-screen fights. Accordingly, the core action was reminiscent of Punch-Out. This excellent retro boxing game was adored by its Nintendo fan base. Moreover, its straightforward and hard-hitting approach made it a moreish but easy-to-follow experience.
Thankfully, though, this game has more depth to it. With training to complete, a ridiculous but enjoyable story to enjoy, and 3 divisions to top, there is plenty to keep you busy. On top of this, the Leisure Suit Larry jokes and wonderful boxing parodies will have you chuckling throughout. Additionally, the incredible character models were wonderfully accurate, and this added to the hilarity.
Tough but easy to understand.
This was easy to understand but tough to master. Unfortunately, the basic gameplay lulls you into a false sense of security. Effectively, all you must do is dodge and weave to stay alive while reading your opponent’s “tell”. If you can do this, you will build up your stamina and gain “Power Punches” (PP). These OTT shots are essential if you wish to knock out your foe. Yet, if you are hit, you lose this skill and you must try again.
Each fight follows a similar pattern. Before you hit the ring, you must complete a training regime. If you are successful, you will increase your stats for the fight ahead. Once this is completed, you are sent to the ring to annihilate your opponent. However, this is easier said than done, and every fight takes a lot of effort. Subsequently, you will have to study your enemy’s fighting style and understand what their “tell” looks like. On top of this, you’ll have to maintain your stamina and health if you wish to succeed.
If you fail to beat your opponent, it is not the end of the world. Instead, you must train again and try each fight repeatedly. If you win, you will move up the rankings and the story will progress. As this happens, you’ll enjoy an array of smutty and tasteless cutscenes. The provocative moments are silly, rude, and in keeping with the adult mindset.
VanillaBeast: Retro Knock-Out! looks dated but fantastic.
The developers have done an amazing job with this title. The old-school pixelated art style and the excellent venues were great to look at. Moreover, the character models were amusing, and this added to the humorous nature of the game. Alongside this, the animation is smooth but simple and the colour palette is vivid and in your face. Disappointingly, though, there isn’t any blood and there are also no visible injuries no matter how hard you fight. Had this been incorporated into the action, then the game would have been vastly improved.
The audio made me cringe and chuckle. The loud sound effects worked perfectly with every thrown punch and every dodged blow. Additionally, the sound of the PP landing on your opponent’s head was brilliant but uncomfortable. Alongside this, I loved the crowd noises and the other familiar ambient sounds.
Whenever a PC game utilises full controller support, I smile. Thankfully, VanillaBeast: Retro Knock-Out! does an amazing job with its control setup. Consequently, you may use a mouse and keyboard or a console controller. Either way, the button mapping is simple and easy to understand. Furthermore, the inputs are responsive and that was fantastic. Much of the gameplay requires rapid reactions and memory recall. Subsequently, it was essential to have reactive inputs that kept you one step ahead of your opponents.
Though the action is relatively rudimentary, there is still some replay value. If you so wished, you can return to fight anyone again. Alternatively, you can practise every fight or undertake hours of training. Additionally, there is a wonderful story to enjoy and some crazy characters to encounter. As such, this has loads of replay value and longevity.
VanillaBeast: Retro Knock-Out! A great trip down memory lane.
Punch-Out was an addictive game that was tough to put down. Subsequently, if any title attempts to replicate its gameplay, then I’m sold. This wonderful trip down memory lane was tough and occasionally frustrating. However, once you understood what was happening, you could master each fight and be crowned champion of each category. As such, I loved this game and I recommend that you buy it here! Boxing is more than a sport, it’s a way to get rich and become powerful! Can you become the next big thing? Study your foes, identify their weaknesses, and win every fight.