IGN Review of AMF Bowling Pinbusters
AMF Bowling Pinbusters on the Wii was offensively bad when it shipped late last year. The Nintendo DS game that borrows its namesake isn't as bad. It's still pretty bad, but as a portable product the game doesn't stink nearly as much as the original game that bared the AMF Bowling: Pinbusters branding.
Just as the title suggests, this cartridge features bowling and only bowling. The same set of wacky characters that marched their way onto the Wii version of AMF Bowling World Tour – offensively stupid character stereotypes – along with their themed alleys are in this DS game, but now you have to earn all these extra guys and locations. It doesn't matter where you bowl, since the alleys are simply for aesthetics. Good for visual variety, but not so much good for much else beyond lengthening the list of unlockables in the game.
The developers went with a much more straightforward game of bowling. No gimmicky touch screen controls here: it's all just a basic, basic golf-like meter system where you time your backswing for power. The only accuracy you have to worry about is going too far beyond the power-shot, which results in a foul. Curving the ball is an unrealistic aftershot effect, pushing left and right to hook the ball into the pocket. And the pin physics, while somewhat accurate, are a bit too floaty to give you any sense of realistic bowling. I'm impressed to see online support in such a cheaply produced product, but considering the limited demographic don't expect anyone to be waiting around online for a random game of pick-up.
And that's about it. The core bowling tries to hold together an entire experience, but without much to do beyond standard and not all that exciting ten frame bowling, this full price cart isn't really worth the purchase. It's probably why most mini-game collections incorporate bowling as one of many options instead of trying to make it all one production. I will give credit to the developer for bringing in Duckpin bowling as an option, but it's a cheat: the pins are short and squat but they behave exactly like the full-sized ones do.
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