Metroid Prime 3: Corruption isn't the only game I finished this week. While playing games on Nintendo's Wii I've found that I've developed a curious habit. Whenever I get a new Wii title I end up getting a new Virtual Console game as well and wind up dividing my time between the two of them. Corruption's counterpart for the past two weeks has been Hudson's Bonk 3: Bonk's Big Adventure, and now that I've finished it I've finally achieved a childhood goal of playing and completing all three main Bonk games.
I've never owned a TurboGrafx-16, nor did I ever really want one enough to throw money at it. The only games on the console that really jumped out at me as a kid were the Bonk games, and while initially I was disappointed that the series was a TG-16 exclusive, eventually Hudson brought the series to consoles I did own once the TG-16 was out of the marketplace. I eagerly and excitedly bought Bonk's Adventure for the Game Boy back in the day and was disappointed to find it was scaled down from what I'd seen of it's home console counterpart. Bonk commercials of the day showed the caveman hero being swallowed by a large green dinosaur, battling a large boss (the boss of the first world as I later discovered), and other such things. The Game Boy game had none of those moments, although I suppose I shouldn't have expected them given the handheld's technical limitations. Then Bonk landed on other platforms, including a Game Boy sequel, two Super NES adventures, and one NES incarnation. There's even an arcade adaptation, too. All good fun, yes, but still the primary Bonk trilogy was out of reach.
You know what happens next. Hudson brings the original Bonk games to the Virtual Console over time, and I've purchased each and every one of them to play over and over. I can understand why the character ran out of steam in the mid-1990s. Each of the TG-16 Bonk games is basically identical to the last, right down to the power-ups, imagery, and level structure. Competiting characters such as Mario and Sonic the Hedgehog were reinvented and tweaked with each new appearance in those days, making Bonk appear stagnant by comparison. Bonk 3 introduced size-changing power-up candies to the series, yes, but by then I assume it was too little, too late.
So now I've consumed Bonk's adventures. Time to move on? Sure. Like Mario and Sonic, however, I've found that the Bonk titles offer some great replay value. I've returned to them frequently when I don't feel like playing anything too complicated. They're great little adventures, and should Bonk return someday I would gladly welcome him back.