Nintendo's Big Secret

DK Coconut Bowling
Probability: Knowing Nintendo - we wouldn’t put it past them…

What is it?
Imagine the tie-wearing ape in another irrelevant game. This time, he’s bowling with coconuts (cause it’s a jungle theme) and the pins are bananas! Really, we couldn’t imagine any way to make Kong more useless, outside of having him host a trivia game. But if the fun of Wii Sports Bowling was any indication, we’d love a follow-up, and since Mario is associated with almost every sport (still waiting on Mario Superstar Curling), why not have the big ape host a ten-pin tournament?

Above: Probably in development

We imagine every Kong - from Funky to Dixie - will play a part and somehow involve wacky power-ups and super shots. Didn’t get that spare? Well, then do a ground pound DK-style and have the other pins drop from the tremors. Online play is a must as is unlockable characters that aren’t primates - Miis, King K. Rool, En Garde and maybe even Mario.

Besides handheld games, Mr. Kong hasn’t been relevant in his own games for quite a while - having last starred in Wii’s abysmal Donkey Kong: Barrel Blast. That game relied on drumming with the Wiimote and Nunchuk and was a sloppy port of Donkey Kong Racing for the GameCube - which would have made use of the bongos. Seriously Nintendo, we don’t need Wii bongo add-ons to make a DK platformer work. We know Rare no longer makes games for Nintendo, but why not an in-house produced Donkey Kong Country 4 for WiiWare? Something credible, please.

Probability: Never ever

What is it?
Our older readers may remember ROB as Nintendo’s little Trojan horse. After the videogame crash of 1983, no one wanted to play crappy games anymore. Enter the NES and ROB. ROB was a giant robot packaged with an NES and zapper. Nintendo couldn’t sell the NES to vendors, but they could sell - and market - ROB as a toy. Oh, and kids got it too. They ran to their parents and convinced them to buy ROB, because he was just a toy that came with a game system. A year later, Nintendo dropped ROB and sold just the system. Oh, and somehow it was popular.

Above: You too can have this much fun!

Nintendo has already given us tech demos showcasing what the Wii can do with their console name in the prefix - Wii Sports, Wii Play, Wii Fit and Wii Music. But now, make way for Wii ROB! We see ROB being like one of those RoboSapiens - one controlled via the Wiimote. He can dance, battle, roll across the floor, talk and even be utilized to pick up all the other Wii controller add-ons - Nunchuk, Wiimote, Classic Controller, Zapper and Balance Board - and put them in the closet for quick storage. No more clutter!

Above: ROB remembers the safety strap

Seems like there’s a revival in ROB by including him in WarioWare: Smooth Moves and as a playable character in Smash Bros. Brawl. Even if we don’t see ROB coming back in any tangible form, it is kind of strange to see Nintendo forcibly push him back into the spotlight some 20+ years later. Such is Nintendo’s branding, we guess. But at some point we wonder if ROB’s fan service or just a way for us to buy into a supposed Nintendo legacy by loving everything they churn out.

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May 20, 2008