It was almost four years ago that Wii Sports launched alongside the Wii and made motion-controlled bowling a popular pastime in living rooms everywhere. About a year later, publisher Crave released the disappointing Brunswick Pro Bowling to take advantage of the same hardware. And now, to coincide with the release of Sony's Move motion controller, Crave has released a new PlayStation 3 version of the game. Ironically, while there's some satisfying bowling to be had here, the first thing you need to do in order to find it is ditch the Move hardware and pick up a regular controller. Brunswick Pro Bowling has its fair share of problems either way, but with the right controller in your hand, it's at least a passable re-creation of the sport.
6280742NoneSteer clear of the Move controller and Brunswick Pro Bowling becomes a better game.
Regardless of which controller you're using, the actions you perform are much the same; you hold a button down to pick up your ball, swing your arm much as you would at a bowling alley, and then release the button to let go of the ball. The regular PS3 controller needs to be held at an unusual angle in the palm of your hand when you're bowling with it, but it's not nearly as awkward or as uncomfortable as the in-game tutorial diagram makes it look, and it works well. Playing with the Move motion controller, on the other hand, is an exercise in frustration. The only prompt you're given to calibrate said controller is an error message that pops up the first time you try to bowl, and sadly, things don't improve much afterward.
For starters, the arrow that you use to aim--which you'd expect to more or less correspond with the position of your ball--in fact corresponds with the position of your feet when playing in Move mode. This discrepancy is something that you can compensate for, but it puts you at a disadvantage because when the game automatically suggests a position from which to take your next shot, it fails to take the discrepancy into account. Leave the 10 pin standing while playing right-handed, and the game will suggest that you stand to the far right of the lane. Throw from there using the regular controller, and your ball might cling to the edge of the lane before hitting its target. Try it while playing with the Move controller, and your ball will drop unceremoniously into the gutter the moment it leaves your hand, and even edging a step or two to the left isn't always enough to remedy the situation. Furthermore, while it's relatively easy to bowl consistently in regular play, adding the Move to the equation makes controlling the speed of your throw difficult at best. If you perform what you feel is the exact same motion two times in a row, then you might end up with a 20mph shot followed by a 5.5mph shot--that's not a huge deal if you're bowling in a straight line because you still hit the same target, but if you're attempting any kind of hook shot, it's often the difference between a great shot and a gutter shot.
Time your motions to coincide with the bowler animation for the best results.