Dropping by Crave Games booth at E3 I was immediately intrigued by Brunswick Pro Bowling for the Playstation 3, not only as an avid bowler myself but as someone who expected much more out of the Wii edition. I was hoping the Playstation Move controller could help redeem the franchise and finally deliver a true replication of the sport of bowling. Sadly it looks as if the Brunswick Pro Bowling franchise just shot another gutter ball.
For starters, the game doesn't seem to have improved much visually over the past iteration. The graphics look way below the Playstation 3 standard and the sounds seem recycled and basic. Although the team has promised a deep bowling experience - even going all the way to ensure that oil patterns on the lanes mimic real life - I fear that the lackluster presentation will end up making these features obsolete.
But all that could have been forgiven if the most important part of a game like this - the controls - actually worked. However, an over-complicated interface that requires the user to either hold the Move controller high or low then twist for minor adjustments was so clunky and so unresponsive that not only could I not get it to work, but also the team demo-ing the game had issues of their own. On top of that, the actual bowling activities of swinging and releasing were not precise and did not match the on-screen actions, a problem that also plagued the Wii edition.
So I left the lanes that afternoon disappointed once again. But I hope that the developers take notice and refine the game, because I do believe a top quality bowling sim would not only be great fun but could also reach a mass market appeal. Sadly, as it is, Brunswick Pro Bowling is not that game.