Ten Pin Bowling at the core is a simple sport, bowl the ball down the lane and knock as many pins over as possible. Itâ€™s probably why as a leisure activity it is extremely popular, with you being pressed to find an available lane at the local Garden City Bowl on a Friday or Saturday night.
It almost seemed inevitable then that High Velocity Bowling would bring the sport on to the PS3 via the Playstation Store. While comparisons could be easily drawn between this and Wii Sportsâ€™ bowling mini-game the only thing they have in common is the sport they portray, with HVB having a more gameplay wise in-depth title which is surprising given its downloadable nature.
The art of rolling the ball down the alley is simple enough, by using the motion sensor simply twist your wrist to set the balls starting position, then move your hand back to determine the release angle and finally swing forward to release. While it may sound tricky it is simple enough, and the only buttons youâ€™ll need to press are either L2 or R2 for spin, depending on your handedness, and X as a confirmation button.
The challenge is consistently hitting the right spot, as it's fairly easy to pick your direction, but nailing the perfect angle/spin ratio for consistent strikes isn't. The playable characters at the beginning lack the stats to keep hitting strike after strike, so youâ€™ll need to unlock the others if you really want to be pushing up towards that oh so elusive 300 game.
While the gameplay of HVB seems intricate the rest unfortunately isnâ€™t. For starters thereâ€™s no online play, only leaderboards, which is a glaring omission for a title like this, and would help make up for the fact that while the challenge mode is fun to play, especially the trick shot section, itâ€™s too short and allows you to unlock characters and more bowling balls with ease. Local multiplayer is still an option though, and allows you to select an alley identity and hit the lanes with up to three others.
At face value the visuals seem very appealing with neon-lit fanfare the order of the day. Once scratching below the surface though youâ€™ll find a typical downloaded game presentation, with generic menuâ€™s getting you in to the game as quick as possible. Once on the alley youâ€™ll find some of the animations rather stiff and un-fluid, and the character detailing is pretty run of the mill stuff. One exceptional positive are the pin and ball physics, which depict a realistic game of bowling.
Another incentive to pick up the game is the ability to have custom soundtracks. All you have to do to load up your own jingles is tap the Select Button and pick a folder, and by pressing L1 or R1 you can cycle through the tracks, and you can set options for shuffle and repeat easily as well. In-game audio is fitting enough for the sport, with effects sounding realistic and the laid-back music, although alterable at your discretion, creating a lounge-type feel to the game.
High Velocity Bowling is a very fun title to play, and well worth a download at the Playstation Store. It probably isnâ€™t the game youâ€™ll play hours on end, but youâ€™ll find yourself coming back to it over and over again.