Election Year Knockout 2020: The Punch Out Style President Debate (PC) Review with stream
No political side
No real soundtrack
Pricey for content
It’s not a great time in the United States, and it doesn’t look like its gonna get better real soon. From pandemics to pandering, one game is at least trying to provide a stress relief. Election Year Knockout is trying to give you the feeling of fighting back against constant negativity and the horrible state of discourse we live with every day. You are in a boxing ring, and are taking on every major political opponent on both sides in vie for the presidency, with the man himself as the final boss.
You start off with your own character that you can customize, and like the original Punch Out, you start off easy with your very own glass Joe, “Jab Bush”, which serves as your tutorial. You can either play an easier mode or more advanced mode based on your skill set, but the basic moves are the same as the original. Low and high punches on either side lets you thrown in some combos, but you have to watch your stamina as you will run out of steam faster than you thought possible. If you land enough punches, you can use the equivalent of start power and go for a haymaker. There are three knockdowns a round for a win, or play it all the way through the rounds for a TKO win.
I recorded some of my playtime of Election Year Knockout and you can watch it here:
The real star of the show is of course your opponents, as it’s a boss rush type of game. Starting off easy with “Jab” he swings really slowly, and leaves himself open to the haymaker punch for an easy win. However, this is not to say that this game is easy, as the difficulty shoots up pretty fast around the third fight. Even in easy mode you will have some tougher patterns to figure out, and trying to manage your stamina is a fight in of itself. Like the original game, EYK:2020 has a real cavalcade of characters that all have very different fighting styles or powers that you need to see coming and dodge. It’s definitely on the sillier side of things with obvious parodies of the real people you’re fighting having appropriate super powers, but it just adds to the entertainment value.
After defeating each parody figure, you will see a newscast with some decent humor in it, and it allows you to further define your “political leanings” by choosing from a list of funny choices and in my case I was in the “I’m Walking Here Jet Set Non-Social Party”. The jabs at the real political system are actually fairly tame, and use more subtlety than I was expecting and the fact that it’s not actually bias to either side is a miracle, and very appreciated.
Admittedly, the mere idea of this game is worthy of an eye role at the start. On the outside looking in it seems like every other terrible media that’s aimed at causing outrage and is just looking for attention. However, after digging deeper you will find some decent satire and enjoy poking fun at the political system itself, and maybe work out some issues on some political figure stand ins while you’re at it. The art and design is fine, but has a more toony look to it that might put people off a game with more substance than it seems. It has flaws of course like loose controls, is a bit pricey, and a difficulty curve that looks like sharp teeth, but overall its more than it seems and is worth a look.