If I ran Sony Computer Entertainment I'd have done the same. One of the most popular and simple games included in Wii Sports is Bowling. It's just a perfect fit for the Wii's motion controller and is something everyone can play. So, High Velocity Bowling, Sony's effort at a motion controlled bowling game, makes sense. Sadly it doesn't make for a fun time.
The first real thing to point out is that the game isn't nearly as intuitive as Nintendo's unrivalled effort. The only real use of the motion sensitive capabilities of the Sixaxis comes when you swing back and forth to throw your ball - it's a way to control the strength of your throw only. You tilt the controller from side to side to adjust your aim, but this is something that would have been more precise had there been an option to use a control stick.
All other control is handled by buttons on the Sixaxis, as you hold it in a strange claw-like fashion, with the shoulder buttons facing the TV. So, rather than the genius way the Wii Sports game picks up twists in your throwing action to give spin to the ball, here you have to press the L2 and R2 shoulder buttons. It's nowhere near as simple and adds complexity to something that the Wii game doesn't even make you think about.
On the game mode front you get what you'd expect from a downloadable title. As well as the standard exhibition play and multiplayer support, you get a challenge mode that throws a series of events at you in a variety of formats, including trick shots. It's a nice way to play alone without simply competing against AI opponents, but how you get on with the core gameplay mechanics will determine how much time you want to sink into it.
For a PSN title High Velocity Bowling looks pretty good, although it's not really anything like you'd expect given the title. What you get is a fairly realistic looking Ten Pin alley with some stereotypical Americans - not really high velocity is it. One nice touch is the ability to play music stored on your hard drive via a handy in-game menu; nothing all that ground breaking but it's not something you see in every PS3 game.
In the end High Velocity Bowling is a game that simply isn't that much fun to play. Had we not been treated to Wii Sports then the controls on offer here would no doubt have seemed far more impressive, and the truth is that the Wii game destroys Sony's attempt. Sony's PSN is full of high quality releases, but High Velocity Bowling isn't one of them.
VideoGamer.com Score5 Score out of 10
- Decent visuals
- Lacks spark
- Controls feel fiddly
- Basic motion control