Glass Joe, as depicted in Punch-Out!! for the Wii.
|First game||Punch-Out!! (1984)|
|Designed by||Shigeru Miyamoto (Punch-Out!!, 1984)
Makoto Wada (Punch-Out!!, 1987)
Eddie Viser (Punch-Out!!, 2009)
|Voiced by||Christian Bernard (Punch-Out!!, 2009)|
Glass Joe (グラス・ジョー Gurasu Jō ) is a fictional boxer from Nintendo's video game series Punch-Out!! He first appeared in the arcade game Punch-Out!! in 1984, and three years later made his home console debut with the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) game of the same name. His most recent appearance was in Punch-Out!! for the Wii. He is both the first and weakest boxer that the player fights. The character was originally designed by Shigeru Miyamoto for the arcade game. Makoto Wada revised Glass Joe's appearance for the NES version, while Eddie Viser redesigned him for the Wii game. He is voiced by Christian Bernard in the Wii version.
Glass Joe is considered by critics to be a stereotype of French people, due to his weakness and cowardice. The stereotypical characteristics of Glass Joe were emphasized even more by the developers of the Wii game, Next Level Games. For example, they included cutscenes that depicted the character as a lover of luxurious things, such as gourmet coffee. Glass Joe is considered to be both a Nintendo icon as well as one of the most well-known characters in the Punch-Out!! series. His name has been used to describe sportspeople when they perform poorly.
Concept and creation
Glass Joe is a 38 year old French boxer hailing from Paris. Before the match against Glass Joe, his record is shown to be one win and 99 losses. He is the player's first and weakest opponent in every Punch-Out!! game that he appears in, and is notably skinnier than the series' protagonist, Little Mac. His mediocrity has been attributed to poor blocking and reaction time. He possesses several negative stereotypes of French people, including cowardice and weakness, which are demonstrated by his quote "Make it quick... I want to retire" in the NES Punch-Out!!
The character was designed by Shigeru Miyamoto for the original Punch-Out!! arcade game. The name "Glass Joe" was conceived by Genyo Takeda as a play on the fact that the character has a glass jaw, which signifies his inability to take a head blow. Glass Joe's appearance was later revised by Makoto Wada for the NES Punch-Out!!, and by Eddie Viser for the Wii game of the same name. The character is voiced by Christian Bernard in the Wii game, and much of his dialogue in between matches consists of counting to ten in French.Next Level Games, the developer of the Wii game, introduced cutscenes to depict Glass Joe as a fashionable Frenchman. They associated him with "fancy coffee" and French foods such as baguettes and croissants. They also showed him in front of the Arc de Triomphe and the Eiffel Tower, both Parisian landmarks.
Glass Joe's debut was in the first Punch-Out!! game for the arcades in 1984. According to an editor of UGO Networks, the character's role in the arcade game was to give young players a sense of accomplishment, which motivated them to spend quarters trying to beat the more difficult opponents that appear afterward. Glass Joe later appeared in Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!! for the NES in 1987, which was later renamed to simply Punch-Out!! While he did not appear in Super Punch-Out!! on the Super Nintendo, he was said to have opened a boxing school for potential fighters in the manual. Gabby Jay, the first boxer in Super Punch-Out!!, attended this school, and got his first and only win against Glass Joe. Glass Joe's most recent appearance was in Punch-Out!! for the Wii in 2009. He was one of the first characters revealed in pre-release material. The Wii Punch-Out!! features a mode called "Title Defense", which featured more difficult versions of the opponents. In this mode, Glass Joe is seen wearing protective headgear. The cutscene before this fight shows a doctor performing an X-ray examination on Glass Joe, which leads him to prescribe the headgear to protect his jaw.GameSpy's Ryan Scott wrote that players were given a false sense of security, only to find that Glass Joe was more difficult in this mode.
Impact and critical reception
Since his appearance in Punch-Out!! for the arcades, he has come to be considered a Nintendo icon. He is also considered one of the most identifiable characters in the Punch-Out!! series. UGO's Chris Plante considered the fight with Glass Joe to be one of the most memorable NES moments, even more so than the in-game fight against real-life boxer Mike Tyson. He was featured as part of a series of trading cards which depict various Punch-Out!! boxers. His name has been used as a derogatory term for sportspeople who perform poorly, such as Derek Anderson, Darnell Dockett, and the players of the North Penn football team. The name has also been used by ESPN's Bill Simmons to describe his disappointment with the heavyweight championship fight between boxers Wladimir Klitschko and Chris Byrd.
GameDaily's Chris Buffa called Glass Joe one of the most unappreciated Nintendo characters. He expressed a desire to see him do well in a future game.The Daily Telegraph's Tom Hoggins called Glass Joe "entertaining" and "wimpy".G4TV staff member "jmanalang" considered his victory over Glass Joe in the NES game to be a memorable moment in his video game history. In his review of Super Punch-Out!!, Allgame's Skyler Miller bemoaned Glass Joe's absence from the game.
Glass Joe's stereotypical French characteristics have been discussed by critics such as writer Sumantra Lahiri and Eurogamer's Oli Welsh.GamesRadar's Brett Elston wrote that Glass Joe embodies numerous French stereotypes, including cowardice and an affinity for fancy or expensive things.IGN's Craig Harris felt that his design focused more on being weak in the NES game, while the Wii version emphasized his French stereotypes. A member of the Retronauts podcast also saw Glass Joe as weak until he learned more about French stereotypes.Wired's Chris Kohler cited the croissants as an example of how the game portrayed him stereotypically. Buffa wrote that the stereotypes could be considered offensive, while Giant Bomb's Ryan Davis felt that there was nothing legitimate to be offended by.
Glass Joe has become notable for his weakness in publications such as Nintendo Power and GamePro. He has been used as a litmus test for the usability of NES controllers such as the U-Force and the Power Glove. GamesRadar editor Mikel Reparaz included him in his list of the "13 unluckiest videogame bastards", and wrote that there was something "weirdly poignant" about someone who loses so often but doesn't give up. He has also been by critics for his weakness, such as editors from GamesRadar, GamePro, GameDaily, Game Informer, andWired.
His appearance in the "Title Defense" mode of the Wii Punch-Out!! received attention for his increased difficulty level.Official Nintendo Magazine's Chris Scullion wrote that Glass Joe offset their worries that the Wii game would be too easy. Nevertheless, Game Informer's Bryan Vore still considered the fight easy.
- Nintendo R&D3. Punch-Out!!. (Nintendo). Nintendo Entertainment System. Level/area: Glass Joe. (1984-02)
- Rudden, Dave (2009-08-20). "The 11 Skinniest Video Game Characters". GamePro. Archived from the original on 2010-08-30. Retrieved 2010-08-05.
- Scullion, Chris (2009-05-21). "Wii Review: Punch-Out!!". Official Nintendo Magazine. Retrieved 2010-08-05.
- Plante, Chris (2010-02-27). "Top 20 NES Moments". UGO Networks. Retrieved 2010-08-05.
- Huling, Ray (2009-01-13). "Punch-Out!!'s Black Eye". The Escapist. Retrieved 2010-08-05.
- Iwata, Satoru (2010-06-10). "Iwata Asks - Punch-Out!!". Nintendo. Retrieved 2010-08-05.
- "Punch-Out!! Release Information for Wii". GameFAQs. Retrieved 2011-05-08.
- "Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!! Release Information for NES". GameFAQs. Retrieved 2011-05-08.
- Elston, Brett (2009-05-20). "Fun with stereotypes: starring Punch-Out!!". GamesRadar. Retrieved 2010-08-05.
- Kohler, Chris (2009-05-19). "Review: Punch-Out!! Is an Absolute Old-School Knockout". Wired. Retrieved 2010-08-25.
- "Sports - A Brief History of Boxing Video Games - UGO's Boxing Greats". UGO Networks. Retrieved 2010-08-05.
- Super Punch-Out!! game manual. Nintendo. (October 1994)
- Thomas, Erin (2009-03-31). "Punch-Out!! - hands-on". GamesRadar. Retrieved 2011-05-08.
- Scott, Ryan (2009-05-18). "Punch-Out!! Review". GameSpy. Retrieved 2010-08-25.
- Ashcraft, Brian (2009-04-28). "Yet Another New Character Coming to Wii Punch-Out!!". Kotaku. Retrieved 2010-08-05.
- Vivek (2009-05-18). "Punch-Out!! Review". Hardcore Gamer. Retrieved 2010-08-05.
- Orry, James (2009-04-21). "Punch Out!! modes detailed - Punch-Out!! for Wii News". Video Gamer. Retrieved 2010-08-05.
- Reparaz, Mikel (2009-02-13). "The 13 unluckiest videogame bastards". GamesRadar. Retrieved 2010-08-05.
- Burke, Chris (2009-08-15). "Round 1 of Browns' Quarterback Fight Goes to Brady Quinn". AOL News. Retrieved 2011-05-08.
- Florio, Mike (2009-10-30). "Rolle, three others fined in Cardinals-Giants game". NBC. Retrieved 2011-05-08.
- Lohn, John (2009-12-05). "Ridley is the boss in District One". Delaware County Daily Times. Retrieved 2011-05-08.
- Girardi, Joe; Pavano, Carl (2010-06-10). "Healthy A.J. Burnett produces on mound for New York Yankees as he manages pitching approach". New York Daily News. Retrieved 2011-05-08.
- Simmons, Bill (2003-06-21). "Heavyweights are a dying breed". ESPN. Retrieved 2010-08-27.
- Buffa, Chris (2008-09-03). "Most Unappreciated Nintendo Characters". GameDaily. Archived from the original on 2009-04-11. Retrieved 2010-08-05.
- Hoggins, Tom (2009-05-29). "Punch Out!! review". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2010-08-25.
- jmanalang (2008-08-30). "The Definition Of Hardcore Gaming". G4TV. Retrieved 2010-08-05.
- Miller, Skyler. "Super Punch-Out!! - Review". Allgame. Retrieved 2010-08-31.
- Welsh, Oli (2009-03-25). "GDC: Punch-Out!! Wii Hands On". Eurogamer. Retrieved 2010-08-31.
- Harris, Craig (2009-03-25). "Punch-Out!! Hands-on". IGN. Retrieved 2010-08-05.
- Kohler, Christ; Parish, Jeremy; Sharkey, Scott; Barnholt, Ray (2009-05-14). "A History of Punch-Out!!". Retronauts, Wired. Retrieved 2011-03-04.
- Davis, Ryan (2009-05-19). "Punch-Out!! Review". Giant Bomb. Retrieved 2010-08-25.
- Buffa, Chris (2009-05-18). "Culturally Insensitive Games". GameDaily. Archived from the original on 2009-05-22. Retrieved 2011-03-04.
- Nintendo Power 250th issue!. Future US. 2010. p. 59.
- Herring, Will (2009-05-18). "Punch-Out!! Review from GamePro". GamePro. Archived from the original on 2010-07-27. Retrieved 2010-08-25.
- Csatari, Jeff (1989-05). Electronics. Boys' Life. p. 15. Retrieved 2010-08-29.
- Caoili, Eric (2009-05-18). "U-Force Power Games ROMs Released". GameSetWatch. Retrieved 2010-08-31.
- Castro, Radford (2004). Let me play: stories of gaming and emulation. Hats Off Books. p. 52. Retrieved 2010-08-29.
- Workman, Robert (2009-05-18). "Retro Rewind: Then and Now: Punch-Out!!". GameDaily. Archived from the original on 2009-05-22. Retrieved 2011-03-04.
- Cowan, James (2009-11-16). "Game Informer's Top 100 Games Of All Time (Circa Issue 100)". Game Informer. Retrieved 2010-08-25.
- Cavalli, Earnest (2009-04-28). "Punch-Out!! Website Teases New Mystery Fighter". Wired. Retrieved 2010-08-29.
- McWhertor, Michael (2009-05-19). "Punch-Out!! Review: Call It A Comeback". Kotaku. Retrieved 2010-08-05.
- "The 7 Best Second Quests". GamePro. 2009-06-19. Archived from the original on 2010-08-07. Retrieved 2010-08-05.
- Sharkey, Scott (2009-05-15). "Punch-Out!! Review for Wii". 1UP.com. Retrieved 2010-08-25.
- McShea, Tom (2009-05-18). "Punch-Out!! Review for Wii". GameSpot. Retrieved 2010-08-06.
- Vore, Bryan (2009-09-22). "A Fantastic Throwback that's More than Just a Nostalgia Act - Punch-Out!!". Game Informer. Retrieved 2010-08-05.