Brunswick Pro Bowling Hands-On

We head to the virtual lanes to play a few games of Brunswick Pro Bowling.

It may or may not be directly related to the popularity of Wii Sports Bowling, but people seem to have an increased interest in bowling video games these days. One game that's hoping to capitalize on this trend is Brunswick Pro Bowling from Crave Entertainment. We were able to spend some time with the Wii version of the game, which is also set to be released for the PlayStation 2 and PlayStation Portable.

Create your own bowler and lead him or her to fame and glory.

Whereas Wii Sports Bowling was a fun yet shallow bowling experience, Brunswick Pro Bowling is shooting for a deeper, more realistic representation of the sport. You can play a quick game with up to four players and play in real-life Brunswick locations, such as San Francisco, Houston, Paris, Tokyo, Honolulu, London, and more. But the game's real appeal lies in its career mode.

In career mode, you create a (left or right handed) male or female bowler and then modify your bowler's appearance in a number of ways. We created an old guy named El Guapo, complete with plaid pants, bad hair, and aviator sunglasses. Once we brought El Guapo to life, we checked our schedule, which was filled with league nights and tournaments. Winning events not only gives you money, but it also improves your reputation and skill. You can then use skill points to improve your bowler's arm strength, accuracy, hook control, and stamina. Money can be spent on new shirts, shoes, wrist guards and hats, as well as licensed Brunswick balls, which are rated for hook potential, breakpoint shape, flare potential, and R6 average.

When you hit the lanes, you won't need the Nunchuck because the game is played with only the Wii Remote. You can view the lane's oil pattern (this shows how the ball may behave as it rolls down the lane) with the 2 button and choose from two different types of balls with the 1 button. Next, you hold down the B button and twist the remote to change your position relative to the lane; you press left or right on the D pad to refine your aim. You'll then press A, which takes you to a side view of your bowler. When you're ready to bowl, you raise the remote, hold down the B button, swing the controller back, and then release B as you swing forward. There's a meter that shows your accuracy and power, but we weren't able to figure out exactly what made a shot more or less accurate. But we did find that what felt like a good shot generally was, in fact, a good shot. A training mode would have helped clear things up, but even without one, we were able to bowl 216 just five games into our career. The game touts a realistic physics engine, and other than a few stubborn pins, the pin physics seemed to be just fine.

Only when you have mastered both power and accuracy will you be able to achieve a strike.

Visually speaking, Brunswick Pro Bowling isn't mind-blowing, but most people don't pick their bowling games based on their visual appeal. There's plenty of variety to the look of the bowling alleys, while the lanes are nice and shiny. There also seemed to be quite a few different ball designs. Bowlers perform some subdued celebrations after each turn, and there are some funny animations that flash across the screen as well. If you get a strike, you might see a cartoon bowling pin with a baseball bat swing and miss at a pitch, or if you pick up a spare, a tire might roll across the screen.

Apart from the fact that the Wii has a different control scheme, while the PSP has ad hoc play and extra character customization options, the three versions will largely be the same. Brunswick Pro Bowling is currently scheduled to ship on August 14.

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Discussion

22 comments
talentedguy27
talentedguy27

I like this game because it helped me and continues to help me on making those difficult shots. I am an intermediate bowler. I just joined a real bowling league. Even though this is a videogame, it is helping me in real bowling. This game is good for anyone. Not just bowlers. I guess that people mostly go for graphics. Not control style. It doesn't matter which console you have. A game is just a game. As long as you enjoy it, buy it. I have the PS2 version. I played the other versions and they all make me happy because I llke bowling.

klrskir
klrskir

Wii Sports bowling is a better bowling game. More control, you actually throw with the character on the screen....Save your $$$

houtx1836
houtx1836

too bad they didn't make use of the wii-mote better than they did

FortWhatever
FortWhatever

Looks pretty cool and realistic unlike the crappy bowling games

Eclipse83Lives
Eclipse83Lives

The first one was pretty good if you bowl. Yea besides ride motocross, and cars. I bowl. I have a 300r ring even. But this game was fun for the bowler on that level. But I found when I played with friend not into that in depth into the level of bowling. They did not get it, and it lost them some, and they got bored. Will it appeal to none bowlers. Like the Wii thing is not really anything like real bowling at that high level. Yet is super fun, and vary realistic to basic conventional style bowling. So their gonna need to find a better balance in this one, to cater to the none high level fri night fun bowlers. .

TooCool
TooCool

Looking at the video footage, I'd say they completely missed the point. What made the Wii Sports bowling game so much fun was the feeling that YOU were throwing the ball down the lane. And it was your wrist movements that changed the accuracy of the ball. 1. This game shows a SIDE view during the swing as if you're some kind of spectator. Not nearly as immersive as a "first person" or "over the shoulder" view. 2. A meter is being used to determine the accuracy. Doesn't that completely negate the point of having a motion sensing controller? So if the throw of the ball is going to be completely determined by when I do or do not press a button, there's absolutely no reason to buy the Wii version. And bowling Wii style is the only reason bowling became popular in the first place. This company really missed the boat.

bluezy
bluezy

I'm assuming this is a budget title. If so, i may have to pick this one up.

jjdomo
jjdomo

clearly poor quality title? what are you talking about? have you actually played wii sports bowling? if it wasn't for using the wii-mote, it would be the worst bowling game in the history of mankind. this game looks head and shoulders above wii bowling. detailed character creation, career mode, purchasing new balls that have differences beyond their weight--this is like Tiger Woods Golf, but for bowling! I thin this game looks incredible and I would definitely get it. Plus, it appears to be much closer to actual bowling . . . wii bowling is nothing like real bowling.

xcollector
xcollector

Ten Pin Alley was great for its time. It was a PS1 game though. Any bowling game on the wii should have a control scheme like wii sports bowling at the very minimum. I feel as though this game was designed for the ps2 and then ported to the wii to make a quick buck.

MuRdeRous_DaVe
MuRdeRous_DaVe

It seems to be similar to ten pin alley control wise. Ten pin alley wasn't bad though. I had alot of fun with that game. I would say all it needs is an online mode with mics and an option to setup leagues.

JohnnyBiz
JohnnyBiz

am I insane.. or did the review say you stare at the SIDE of your character as you wind up to throw the ball? if this is true... why would I not want to stare down the lane?

BrUnOdeFeNiX
BrUnOdeFeNiX

In Wii this will be very nice, control down back and go up lol! Loko!!

rokkuman09
rokkuman09

I actually think this game could be pretty good. Bowling plus the Wii controller are a great idea (although not original, as it is in Wii sports).

phgrlext
phgrlext

Wii Bowling is good enough until they make a new game with online leagues.

sphinx-shadow
sphinx-shadow

i may get this if it's deep has it seems in career mode but i guess i have to wait see

gameshark5
gameshark5

Its hard to decide purchasing this game, like kavadias1981 said. There was nothing wrong with Wii sports bowling, you got to make your own character (though not as in depth or realistic as this game), it was easy to get into, and it played really well. I'm not going to resort to "Oh well this game is going to suck, nobodies gonna buy it", or at least not yet. But i can see a lot of people saying Wii Sports is probably better,

sdcazares1980
sdcazares1980

I swear that created bowler looks like Alex Navarro! lol

kavadias1981
kavadias1981

Look we have Wii Sports for Bowling. It is precise, fun and uses the Mii's. Why would we want to spend 30 quid on this (clearly) poor quality title?

murlow12
murlow12

I agree, greenneil4, probably somewhere around 5.0. But that doesn't mean the Wii version won't be fun, especially with a group.

greenneil4
greenneil4

Wow I doubt this game will get a very good review

sonicboom713
sonicboom713

The video posted for the game the other day looked atrocious, but if the control is that solid, I can look past the shoddy graphics.