Players: 1+ Player Game | Genre: Sports
Release Date: 12/06/07
One of the best new downloadable games you never heard of is coming to the PlayStation Network in roughly a month. Despite receiving virtually no press, Sony had High Velocity Bowling stuck in the back of their Gamer's Day event in San Diego. The results were surprising.
Everyone loves Wii Sports Bowling. It is super easy to pick up the controller and bowl against your friends. Sony is taking the idea of motion controlled bowling and adding in a more sophisticated look with better physics and a realistic engine that will cause you to approach bowling like you would in real life.
Players will find several modes in High Velocity Bowling. These include: Head to Head, Tournament, and Trick Shots. Each mode offers its own fun and variety. As you play through HVB, players will be able to unlock other characters--each with their own particular strengths and weaknesses. Unfortunately, there is no option to create your own player. This is something that the Developers wanted to integrate but they were under time restraints and decided to concentrate on other aspects of the game instead. While it is possible that the feature could be added in some sort of add-on pack--it may never see the light of day. If the public is receptive to High Velocity Bowling, Sony could potentially integrate it into Home. This is all speculation and nothing was promised by the developer. But because the Home version of bowling is nowhere near as fun and enjoyable as High Velocity Bowling, Sony should strongly consider this.
Another feature that is currently MIA is online play. Due to the development schedule of the game, there was not time to integrate any online modes into the core gameplay mechanic. Depending on how the game sells on the PlayStation Network, I was told that an online mode will be available this summer that will run roughly five dollars. It is possible that the five dollars will include some other features as well. In addition to offering online play, the developers would also love to incorporate video chat, voice chat, online tournaments, and more. However, before they are ready to commit any additional costs or resources, High Velocity Bowling needs to generate some sales on the PlayStation Network. For a game that has its future dependent on sales, I am surprised this was the first time anyone has really seen this game before.
As we mentioned above, there isn't any online multiplayer in the current version of High Velocity Bowling. But players can still have fun by participating in the local multiplayer modes. Utilizing one Sixaxis controller in the pass along mode or by using multiple controllers, you and your buddies will be able to share in bowling fun around your TV. It may not be quite as fun as online multiplayer but it will add a lot of replay value until the online add-on pack is available for purchase.
The area shown to us at Sony's Gamer's Day event put the player inside a small room with two lanes. High Velocity Bowling showcases more realistic graphics than what Sony is using inside of the PlayStation Home bowling game. It is also a drastic improvement over what Nintendo gave us in Wii Sports Bowling. To play, players hold the controller by grasping the Sixaxis in their hand. After this is done, they line up their shot and hit the X button. Once that is done, you move the cursor right or left to determine where you will throw the ball. A simple press of the X button will then take you to the actual shot. Players must then hold down the X button, for a straight shot, or the L2/R2 button for a shot with hook. Also, depending on the speed at which you swing your arm will determine how well you throw the ball. If you over-swing the ball, you will lose accuracy and potentially ruin your shot.
HVB is still being tweaked and the developers were watching closely to see how players were handling the game. I was told that they were going to add several markers to the User Interface to assist the player in lining up their shot easier and hitting the "sweet spot" of power.
High Velocity Bowling will be rolling its way on the PlayStation Network by the end of June for a retail price of $9.99. Besides the $4.99 price point of the upcoming online multiplayer add-on, any other add-on packs have yet to be given a price. We should also expect a demo to hit the Online Store shortly after release. High Velocity Bowling is looking like it will be an excellent addition to the PSN and a title worthy of purchase.