Bowling. Just thinking of the word conjures up images of ugly shirts, bad shoes and fat guys jiggling all over the place. Now that may sound like paradise for some of you out there but for many, the bowling alley went the way of the tie-died shirt, disco and the yo-yo; replaced by entertainments more exciting and closer to home.
But along came Nintendo, and along came Wii Sports, which showed that you needn’t actually leave the comfort of your lounge room to experience all the visceral intensity that bowling provides. Sony’s taken a leaf out of the Nintendo handbook with High Velocity Bowling, the latest sports sim to hit the Playstation Network, one question now remains, is it a strike, or merely a gutter ball?
Well, it’s a bit of both really. Gamers will struggle to find anything of better value in these days of $129.99 games, as the low price tag and fair degree of depth means that High Velocity Bowling really is great bang for your buck. The game utilizes the motion controls of the Sixaxis extremely well, with the motion of actually bowling a ball translated effectively.
Twisting the controller to begin with sets your position within the lane while the shoulder buttons will set your spin. A simple flick of the arm, as you would for a real bowl, will propel your virtual counterpart to fling the ball down the lane and into the pins. It’s simple, easy and quick to understand and the ease at which you will, at least initially, be able to score strikes is especially encouraging.
While the game is a nice replication of the “sport” of bowling, it’s not all that compelling if you don’t like the sport in the first place. Graphically the game does have its moments but is seemingly content to just get by, and while some of the unlockables are interesting, the lack of an online component is criminal in terms of any lasting impact the game will have on your PS3.