If you love boobs, boxing and juvenile humour, VanillaBeast: Retro Knock-Out is the game for you. Developed by Vanilla Gaming Company, this prequel to the upcoming VanillaBeast: Ace in the Hole takes the gameplay of the classic Super Punch-Out!! and adds an outlandish and adult story in which players take control of Vanilla, a man with a mean punch and a lot of love for the ladies. Lured in by the promise of it making him wealthy beyond his wildest dreams, he decides to become a boxer. But to make it big and take down the current champ, Tike Myson, he’s got to make his way up the ladder.
You’re warned before starting VanillaBeast: Retro Knock-Out that this is a game with adult content. Much of it is contained in the story scenes, which are illustrated by Oleg Okunev. If you’ve played the likes of Metropolis: Lux Obscura or Perky Little Things, you might already be familiar with his work. In any case, it’s safe to say that Vanillabeast: Retro Knock-Out pulls no punches when it comes to nudity and sexual content. Within minutes of starting the game’s story you’re witnessing sex acts and more.
You can censor the game, if you wish. This removes much of the nudity, but you’re still left with some sexualised imagery such as the ring ladies with their inexplicably bouncy bosoms and plenty of humour that some would consider juvenile. There are jokes about STDs, for example, and characters can’t help but snigger when talking about using PP to enable powerful special attacks during play. Some will be playing with a smirk constantly on their faces. Others may find it all a bit too cringey.
Between the boobs, the boxing and the jokes, there’s plenty of entertainment here for those who aren’t offended by it all. Your career will have you facing off against a number of boxers, many of which are parodies of fictional and real-life characters. There’s Fake Jaul, for example, who only fights against those who aren’t really professionals or have passed their prime. There’s also Mason Gorehees, whose mask is both his strength and his weakness. You’ll certainly have a chuckle as you face off against your outlandish competitors on your path to supremacy. Though beating them might prove to be a challenge.
Like most boxing games, management of your health and stamina is pivotal here. Swing wildly at your opponent and you’ll soon tire yourself out, leaving you defenceless. Instead, it pays to study your opponent and anticipate their moves. Block one of their blows and you’ll gain stamina but suffer a bit of chip damage. Alternatively, you can avoid damage altogether if you dodge, but if you do it willy-nilly, you’ll expend more stamina than you recover by avoiding blows.
Then there are the tells. Hit an opponent while they’re exhibiting a tell, such as pulling a funny face, and you’ll earn PP, as mentioned earlier. With PP, you can complement your standard assortment of head and body blows with a powerful special attack. Be careful, though, because if you get hit while having PP, it will be taken away from you.
The fights here are challenging. Really challenging, in fact. Don’t expect to cakewalk every fight from the outset. We’d go as far as to say the game sometimes feels a bit cheap. While you take chip damage when blocking, for example, you’ll notice it isn’t always the case with your opponents. They also seem to hit a lot harder than you do. Still, you get the sense that you can emerge victorious with patience and persistence. This is the type of game that you’ll likely return to time and time again, just to see if you can overcome the adversary that’s been troubling you.
Any boxer you beat in the game’s career mode can be fought again at will, should you want to give them another battering. There are a range of objectives to complete that open up pieces of art, too, many of them featuring – you guessed it – boobs. A trio of training exercises can be played whenever you want as well, including one in which you face off against a shark. Because why not?
VanillaBeast: Retro Knock-Out obviously isn’t for everyone – just a cursory glance at its Steam page should make that clear. Those that are into challenging retro arcade games, don’t mind nudity, and can’t help but giggle at gags on the juvenile side, however, will likely have a blast with it. This is a silly game that some will find offensive but others absolutely hilarious. And though it can feel cheap at times, its comical take on boxing isn’t too bad either.
VanillaBeast: Retro Knock-Out is available now on PC.