With a somewhat impressive resume including Tiger Woods 06 for the Xbox 360, Blitz the League, and multiple Poker efforts, the latest from developer Point of View is a missed opportunity that can’t compete with the free pack-in title for the Wii. Brunswick Pro Bowling is an inconsistent, frustrating mess. Its only advantage is a career mode, likewise littered with complaints.
While it may seem like common sense, Lead Developer Kraig Horigan and his team have decided not to include a tutorial. Unlike Wii Sports, the motion controls are not 1:1 with the on-screen avatar. The animation is pre-determined, regardless of when the player physically swings the controller. This leads to questions as to when the ball should be released, when the wrist should turn for spin, and if the motion should follow the sluggish animation.
Even something as simplistic as a meter on-screen to help newcomers to adjust to the timing requirement would be a wonderful inclusion. Oddly, other editions of the game offer it. It’s out of place to see Wii owners left out.
This is only the beginning of this anemic $40 bowling title, one that retails for a little as $15 on competing consoles. Something is not right here. The menu itself is admittedly more than Wii Sports offers, yet compared to other sports titles in the same price range, there’s nothing here worth noting.
Creating a character is astonishingly limited when heading into the career more. If you wear glasses, be prepared to pay for them from the limited initial funds. Even when digging through the available options in the game’s pro shop, there’s little to note. Paying $400 for a shirt is absurd, and having it effect stats is even worse.
New players who jump in and want to simply throw some balls down the lane to begin their lifetime goal of becoming a pro bowler will find some snags in their plan. A fresh bowler is frustratingly weak. If you naturally put spin on the ball, forget it. The amount of spin is determined by a slowly building stat that increases with the purchase of new equipment or by competing. There is no power behind the ball, and difference between playing a quick match with pre-built characters and your own is a staggeringly different play experience.