Piston Hondo

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Researched by: patrickthekid

, originally known as in the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) Punch-Out!! video game, is a Japanese boxer from Tokyo, Japan. He was originally designed by Makoto Wada for the NES Punch-Out!!, and then later by Eddie Viser in the Wii Punch-Out!!. He is portrayed by Kenji Takahashi in the latter game. He has been noted as being similar to Piston Hurricane, with IGN describing him as the NES version's answer to him. He is depicted as a traditional Japanese person, and features several stereotypes of Japanese people, including a high sense of honour and an affinity for sushi. In the Wii version of Punch-Out!!, his name was changed from Honda to Hondo by Nintendo. This was as part of a preventive measure because there is a car company named Honda. While Kotaku editor Michael McWhertor stated that this was wise, GameSpy editor felt it unnecessary because Honda is a common Japanese name.

Since appearing in Punch-Out!! for the NES, Piston Hondo has received positive reception. He has been included as part of multiple pieces of merchandise, including Topps trading cards and action figure. PC World listed him as one of the familiar characters in the Punch-Out!! series, while IGN listed him as one of the top fighters in the series. One of the producers of the Wii Punch-Out!! chose him as his favourite character. However, he has been noted as a racial stereotype of Japanese people. Sumantra Lahiri of The Escapist commented that while stereotypes such as referencing sushi and kamikaze felt nostalgic, these stereotypes have aged poorly since the 1980s. GamesRadar editor Brett Elston cited several things, including his skills with blocking a sword with his bare hands, eating nothing but sushi, and bowing frequently. Though he added that Punch-Out!! was developed in Japan, and the Japanese are notorious for laughing off stereotypes.

Piston Hondo is a Japanese boxer from Tokyo, Japan. He was originally designed by Makoto Wada in the NES Punch-Out!!, where he was known as Piston Honda. He was later designed by Eddie Viser in the Wii Punch-Out!!. In the Wii Punch-Out!!, he was voiced by Kenji Takahashi. To date, he has only appeared in these two games. He has several Japanese stereotypes, including a high sense of honour and an affinity for sushi. Honda has similar fighting styles to Piston Hurricane, who appeared in the original arcade version. Piston appears again in the Wii remake, though his surname was changed to Hondo. When asked by GamesRadar the reason for this name change, editor Brett Elston commented that their response indicated that car company Honda may have factored into the altercation, though noting that it was a preventative measure and not a response from Honda.

Since appearing in Punch-Out!!, Piston Hondo has received mostly positive reception. He has been featured as part of merchandise by Nintendo, including being a part of a series of Topps trading cards and action figures. He has been described as a notable character to the series by media outlets including the Official Nintendo Magazine and the New York Daily News. One of the producers of Punch-Out!! for the Wii chose Piston Hondo as his favourite character in the game. IGN editor Jesse Schedeen listed him as one of Punch-Out!! s top fighters. In the article, he calls him Japan's "resident superstar boxer". He adds that while Hondo was the answer to Piston Hurricane for the NES version, he doesn't see much resemblance outside of the fighting style. In discussing the improvements to the character design in the Wii Punch-Out!!, citing how he would "bow bow and utter trite Japanese while you fight." MeriStation commented that Hondo was not a dangerous opponent. GameDaily listed him as one of the greatest Japanese patriots in video games, stating that he is one of the series' "most determined combatants."

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