Tired of hearing the guy at the retail store tell you how incredible and innovative Wii Bowling is? Forget him. PlayStation 3 now has their superior version in High Velocity Bowling. It’s almost as though the PlayStation team looked over at the success of the other consoles and said, “Hey, people seem to enjoy those types of arcade titles. Let’s bring them over to our console and place them on steroids to play so much better.” What they’ve ended up with is not only a superior title but a superior experience all around.
High Velocity Bowling is one of the latest PlayStation Network titles to be released. The game features very detailed cartoon-like graphics without taking away from the realistic bowling experience. All of HV’s elements seem to have come together without flaw. The only thing that could have made this title over the top is if they had added an online portion to the game. However, at least they have something to build on if a sequel were to ever take place.
The game comes with 8 characters built into it. Unfortunately, only two of them are ready from the get go. Jill and Joe are the starting characters and are completely sub-par compared to the rest of the available class. Each character offers multiple clothing options as well. In order to unlock the remaining six characters you must complete the challenges provided in Challenge Mode. We’ll discuss that more in a little bit. Outside of the 8 initial characters, the game has already been given the ability of having two more characters added on. Amber, who is a trucker looking woman with a heavy ball and little Mike, who may resemble the Hispanic version of Mini-me are both available for $0.99 in the PSN.
Each character is also equipped with a couple of witty lines of dialogue that may meet their expected stereotypes. You’ll laugh the first couple of times, but with any repetitive dialogue, it does get old.
High Velocity certainly gives you enough ball options, most certainly. The game starts you off with 5-7 balls, each with a different weight, as well as grade from D’s to A’s. You’re also able to unlock new balls as you play as well. With the different clothing options and the ball changing abilities, you’re offered a pretty decent customization set for you to personalize your bowler to a certain extent. Though, we all would have loved to see a Create-A-Bowler, I’m sure.
Let’s delve a little bit into the game modes. HVB doesn’t offer a lot of modes; however, the two they do offer seem to be more than efficient. The game comes with a Let’s Bowl Mode, as well as a Challenge Mode.
In Let’s Bowl mode, you’re given the opportunity to just play some straight up bowling. There isn’t much else to it outside of that. You’ll be given the option of playing on your own or with 3 other people for a team of 4. Great for a little two-on-two action.
Challenge Mode offers you three challenges per level. These challenges when completed will enable you to unlock different balls, clothing options, and even extra characters to play with. Challenge Mode is a single-player event. Some of the challenges include one-on-one competitions, tournaments, as well as a trick shot challenge.
If you bowl a perfect game, you won’t have to worry about anyone missing it. The game will log your perfect score for you and place it in the Trophy Room. This way you can go back and brag to all of your friends about your accomplishment. Since they’re already your friends, chances are they won’t think you’re any more of a loser for boasting over a video game bowling achievement.
Despite not having any online capabilities, that didn’t prevent them from adding a Leaderboard option. This will allow you to see how you stack up against the rest of the world. The Leaderboard covers everything from total perfect games, to top score, and even to top scores with each individual character. This way, you’ll always have some sort of competition taking place if you need an extra incentive to let loose and throw down.
One of the things we noticed was that this title is definitely a living room game. Sometimes in a smaller bedroom the game may not have as much appeal as you won’t have full flexibility to truly utilize the games features. This is also one of the only downfalls, because if you’re a younger kid your parents may not want you hooking up your console in the living room. Don’t worry though, High Velocity Bowling is such a family oriented game, that we’re sure you’d be able to convince them to not only allow it, but for them to take part in enjoying it with you.
The gameplay mechanics are also spot-on. The motion sensor of the controller couldn’t be any more accurate than it already is. The system will pickup and read everything it’s supposed to without you having to over-exaggerate the motions with your arm. This also leads to a very small learning curve if any at all. The game is pretty straight forward. The R2/L2 triggers create spin on the ball and the game even allows you to switch the strong hand up for those lefties out there.
One of the cooler in-game functions is the ability to check the oil slick on the lanes. They’ll show you where the floor is slick and where it may be dry for a better shot overall. This was actually an impressive feature as we didn’t expect it to pop up as it did.
Overall High Velocity Bowling is an incredible experience and a great family-oriented title. You’ll find yourself playing it over and over due to its high replayability. Despite not giving you any online options, it doesn’t hurt this interactive title whatsoever. Just throw down the change for it right now, the title is definitely a must buy.