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Monkey Puncher (Game Boy Color) artwork

Monkey Puncher (Game Boy Color) review

"Choosing either of the two siblings, Kenta or Sumire, make no difference to the overall aim of the game, which is to raise and train a monkey strong enough to topple the Saru group and freeing your imprisoned family. Handily, you happen to obtain a feisty little monkey by the name of Freddy who may very well be your token to glory, vengeance and the possible triggering of Armageddon."

Life hasn't been easy. At a young age, you lost your mother to illness, and your heartbroken father threw himself headlong into his job as a sportsman, leaving you and your sibling with a lonely upbringing. But it was the new found determination he put into his work that supplied you with a comfortable life as your father rose swiftly through the ranks of his chosen profession. Though not without consequences! The darker side of Daddy's sport, the Saru mafia, decided to remove all the obstacles in their path in order to turn a once honest league into a profitable criminal syndicate. Your father, amongst others, had been a thorn in their side for too long, representing a shining beacon of honesty and virtue in a sport that they vie to take over completely. Before you even slip the cart into your Gameboy, know that the battle is already lost and your family have been taken from you. A nefarious group, famed for their prowess in illegal mind-control techniques, now hold your surviving parent and your only sibling as hostages with only you somehow sliding through their net. And if you want them back, if you want to reap unholy vengeance, there is only one thing you can do, only one road open to you.

Take up your father's profession and teach a monkey how to box.

Choosing either of the two siblings, Kenta or Sumire, makes no difference to the overall aim of the game, which is to raise and train a monkey strong enough to topple the Saru group and free your imprisoned family. Handily, you happen to obtain a feisty little monkey by the name of Freddy who may very well be your token to glory, vengeance and the possible triggering of Armageddon.

Training your punching primate is as easy as pie -- which HG's own Boo tells me is very easy indeed. Your house is conveniently equipped with all the monkey training equipment any good cornerman will ever need, and, as the last surviving person in your household, it's yours to abuse. Take Freddy jogging and improve that stamina so he won't punch himself out; teach him how to skip and get that speed up so he can dodge flurries of blows; have him pound on a punch-bag to give his blows some power and so on. These training session are literally a case of monkey-see-monkey-do (which is handy, because getting that pun in otherwise would have been a chore), and will see you partake in the training with simplistic timed button presses in an attempt to get your primate partner interested. Pump the A button in rhythmical time and start yourself off on a series of gruelling push-ups to show Freddy how it's done, then berate or praise him as he either follows tune or goofs off.

Getting your monkey interested in these training sessions will see his stats soar until the little slugger is ready to fight! All you need do then is climb to the summit of a 15-tier tourney, stomping Saru in the process. To do this, he'll have to step into the ring with varying battle-primed bruisers in an attempt to improve his standings. Of course, Saru isn't going to just sit back and let you progress unchallenged, and they'll make themselves a nuisance as and when they can.

The battles let you chose a simplistic tactic on behalf of you fighter, and you are then made to sit and watch the bout. Then, win, lose or draw, you do it all over again; you train, you fight, you progress. Things remain charmingly simply, but before long, the repetitiveness will wear you down and the undeniably awesome aspect of making your own ninja monkey gets lost in a sea of drugging combat and continuous training. Monkey Puncher is a great game in short doses, but anything more than that simply highlights that fact that everything you do, you've done before. Wash, rinse, repeat -- but with boxing monkeys.

Currently in my own little world, Freddy reigns as king of his league, has seen off Saru thugs and has even rescued a family. Even now, the game is happy to give him more to do, but progressing further feels a chore best saved for another day.

EmP's avatar
Staff review by Gary Hartley (February 16, 2006)

Gary Hartley arbitrarily arrives, leaves a review for a game no one has heard of, then retreats to his 17th century castle in rural England to feed whatever lives in the moat and complain about you.

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