The gaming world is abuzz this week thanks to some photos of a Hollywood Video sales terminal that reveals a listing for "Wii-Bonk" in the product database. Lots of folks believe this is the coming of a brand new Bonk title for the Nintendo Wii, but I'm going to take an educated guess and say that this isn't a new Bonk title, but a North American release of the upgraded and updated Bonk's Adventure that hit Japan back in the days of the Nintendo GameCube. Remember that oft-overlooked adventure? NFG Games has a grand look at the revival you've never played.
The graphics are, of course, all new. Utilizing polygon player and enemy characters the range of expression from every creature in the game is thrilling. A serious danger of making the move from 2D to 3D is losing the charm and character that makes hand-drawn sprites so appealing, and in this respect Hudson has not by any means let us down. Bonk's moves are now gloriously animated, with delightfully deranged expressions for everything he does. Indeed, the new Bonk has been carefully crafted by artists who know exactly how far to push the angry cross-eyed lunatic look without making it ugly or unappealing - a line Bonk 3 crossed. Everything is happily animated, from the enemies to the now fanged smiley-faces Bonk collects on every stage.
I'd love to see a new proper modern Wii-centric Bonk's Adventure, but I'm betting that this project is just another "Wii-make". Granted, it's a Wii-make of a game hardly any of us outside of Japan have been able to enjoy, so for that $15 budget price I'll gladly pick it up, but why would Hudson develop an all-new Bonk game when it has one unplayed by so many fans already finished and sitting in the vault? Prove me wrong, Hudson. Prove me wrong.