Bonk: Brink of Extinction is an adventure platformer developed by Pi Studios that was planned to be released in 2010 for XBLA / PSN / WiiWare. It was set to be priced at 1000 points on the Nintendo Wii Shop Channel’s WiiWare platform, 800 points on XBLA, and $10 on PSN. In September 2009, before the title was officially announced, a Neogaf user inadvertently stumbled upon an official fact-sheet for the game on Hudson’s website:
A doomsday comet, surrounded by smaller chunks of debris, is on a collision course with Earth. A strange magnetic field around the comet seems to be driving most of the planet’s weak-willed creatures crazy, and smaller bits of debris are smashing into the jungle near Bonk’s home. Bonk must undertake a perilous journey that will take him to the very center of the planet to save the world.
The Return Of The Most Widely Requested Classic Platformer
- Story Mode with Co-Op play. Play alone or have a friend join you at any time!
- An entire new adventure with Bonk as he swims, bites, climbs, jumps, runs, and head-butts his way through jungles, deserts and volcanic caverns
- Search for help along the way: power ups, check points, and extra health are the staple for every adventuring caveman.
- Transformations are back and weirder than ever! Now Bonk can transform himself into eight different forms by eating meat or encountering Primordial Jelly. No enemy is safe from the boy with the super noggin!
- Online play for the first time in the series!
- Classic 2D platforming in a 3D world.
- Tons of collectibles will have you searching the entire prehistoric world.
NL: The original Bonk titles were famous for their mini-games. Can we expect to see more of these in this new release?
Plempel: You know it! We’ve hidden entrances to mini-games in just about every level.
NL: Will Brink of Extinction feature the same gameplay system as in the original games or can we expect some new ideas in the mix?
[…] Bonk can switch between the different forms as needed, they’re no longer a 30-second one-off pickup item. Bonk has a limited amount of power and making use of his transformations reduces that, while certain items increase it.
DHGF: The game promises eight transformations for Bonk. What are some of these?
Andrew Plempel: Some of the transformation will allow Bonk to control fire and ice attacks. There is also a transformation that will allow bonk to shrink himself down to a smaller size so he can fit into tiny passageways.
DHGF: What other modes are available besides story mode?
Andrew Plempel: Well in the initial download we are only including the story mode and online co-op. We do have some PDLC planned that will bring competitive multiplayer modes to the table.
In 2010, two more interviews were conducted by Siliconera, and Otakuxgamer with Peter Dassenko (Hudson Entertainment Producer) that discussed its planned co-op mode and revealed that Bonk was initially conceived as a retail release:
SN: How did development of Bonk: Brink of Extinction start?
Peter Dassenko, Producer: Internally it had been documented as a Wii Game, a DS Game and finally a Digital Download game.
SN: Since cooperative play is a key feature, did you design levels with areas that you can only reach with two players?
Yes. Some levels are designed so that accessing certain areas is easier with a friend. They’re also designed in a way that requires the use of power-ups that you might not have on the first play through.
GamesAbyss played the game in October 2011:
Powers such as the Ice Hat however don’t just come in handy for combat situations; they’ll also be for some light puzzle-solving. For example, freezing enemies into solid blocks will allow Bonk to use them as stepping-stones to reach ledges he couldn’t reach before. So in essence you have the classic Metroid formula at work whereby you will be able to collect these power-ups and access areas you couldn’t get to earlier.
Bonk: Brink of Extinction featured three worlds, each of which included ten stages. Aside from the main story, three DLC packs were also planned: Horde Mode, Dactyl Story (where Bonk had to retrieve his dinner from a pterodactyl that stole it) and Monkeyshines (where Bonk had to fight the monkeys that invaded his village).
Bonk was finished, but not released,because, after buying Hudson in January 2011, Konami decided to shelve some projects in order to save money. Hudson Entertainment, the USA branch of the Japanese company, closed down in Febraury 2011. In March of the same year, Famitsu Weekly announced that Bonk was cancelled. Almost at the the same time, Pi Studios ceased operations. Moreover, as a game which depicted a natural disaster, it ran the risk of causing offence, in the aftermath of the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami.
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