Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Money Wasted on this Horrible Game #2: Championship Bowling

There are moments in life when the stars align and everything just works out perfectly. It is such a rare thing to view and even rarer to have occur in your own life, yet every once in a great while, it happens and it is magical. A moment of absolute bliss. Then, there is the exact, polar opposite, or, as I like to call it, my day-to-day life. Not one damn thing works out right and all you have is a tremendous clusterf*ck of incoherent pieces. That sums up Romstar's Championship Bowling.

Championship Bowling was obviously one of many games created quickly, on a minimal budget, to try to take advantage of the NES' popularity. There were a lot of games created in a short period of time with people hoping to cash in on video games (probably the same leeches who got into "the Internet" in the 90's and into giving out mortgages to anyone who has ID in the 2000's). It was the fault of these individuals that there were a lot of bad games that came out for the NES.

Now, to be fair, bowling games have a history of sucking. What really can you do with a bowling game? Thinking about it, only the trackball arcade bowling games and Wii Resort's bowling games are the only ones that come to mind as being even remotely playable and entertaining. I suppose if you really think about it, playing bowling IRL is fun but if you ever watched bowling at 2:30 on a Saturday afternoon when college football season is over - not really entertaining. However, just because it is a limited subject matter doesn't give the developers an excuse to make a shitty game just in hopes of making a few dollars.

Let's start simple, the game itself. There is nothing to it. I think of the children in the late 80's who would have gotten this as a gift to find out, "hey, I can play...myself or my friends but that is it." Why would they not build some sort of tournament function in to make the game at least interesting? Oh yeah, because that would require time and the NES may have plunged in popularity by then, they needed to get their $29.95 now (actually I don't know if it cost $29.95 in 1989 but sounds about right, if my slowly degenerating memory serves).

As I was saying, your game modes are limited to just playing a quick ten frames (and I use the word quick loosely) or play your friends. You get to choose your player from four different ones even though I saw no difference in the players. Then you can choose your ball weight (tee hee), again it makes very little difference.

When the game started, I thought, "wow, this looks like a whole lot of yellowish, brown waste. And, why do the pins look like wine bottles? Oh, because those are wine bottles and I need to stop drinking at lunch. And, why does the bowler animated so slowly?"

The system of play is the standard tap the button on multiple meters to try to get the perfect throw for the given situation. It is identical to most of the golf and football games (kicking portions) of the time. Boring as hell.

Sound. Ugly. I can't even describe it from the introductory Double Dragon-esque opening NES drums to the repetitive, boring, Bugs Bunny music that doesn't stop. It is like listening to Suzanne Vega sing "Tom's Diner" on repeat, by the tenth time you hear her sing, "da-da-da-da, da-da-da-da, da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da" you will be ready to take hostages.

Click here only if you want this damn song to be in your head the rest of the day.

Final analysis. Graphics: yellowish, brown discharge. Audio: my Suzanne Vega nightmare. Playability: only if you enjoyed playing it the first time. Controls: there are none. Realism: who the hell watches bowling, I don't know. Worth $1.78 on eBay: not as long as I can get a Big Gulp from 7-11.

...and for the painful, "don't believe me moment"...

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