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Strike Force Bowling
game: Strike Force Bowling
two star
posted by: GF! Back Catalogue 10/2004 => 1995
publisher: Crave
date posted: 12:00 AM Wed Aug 25th, 2004
last revision: 12:00 AM Wed Aug 25th, 2004

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By Eric Qualls

Bowling games are pretty much pointless. A lot of so-called hardcore gamers bash sports games because they can go into their backyard and play the same games pretty much whenever they want. That is sort of a good point, but when was the last time Randy Moss or David Beckham showed up back there fellas? Most sports games offer the chance to step into someone else's shoes and perform like a superstar, which is why so many of us find them fun to play despite what those elitist arses have to say. Anyway, back to bowling. Bowling games offer no such thrills. The professional circuit is a tiny, tiny zit on the face of the NFL, NHL, NBA, MLB, MLS, PCP, WD40, and BVD leagues. Bowling games give you no reason to want to play them. Oh, not to mention that bowling in real life is about a million times more fun than any bowling game could ever hope to be. Strike Force Bowling is the latest pathetic attempt at creating a bowling videogame and, as expected, your money is better spent elsewhere. Spend it on a game or three of actual bowling or put another $15 into your Halo 2 preorder, because Strike Force is junk.

There are several modes in Strike Force Bowling, but all of them are pretty much the same. You throw a ball at some pins and try to knock them all down. Standard, skins, tournament, challenge, golf, and the challenging (according to the back of the box) practice mode. Seriously, I rolled ball after ball and couldn't beat it. The different modes like skins and golf just use different scoring systems, but they aren't worth bothering with because they play like every other mode in every other lame bowling game.

Strike Force uses the three-click system that is most commonly found in golf games. Once you line up your shot, you press X once to get going, again to set the power, and a third time to set the accuracy. Once you figure out the right position to be in and get your timing down, it is so easy to make strikes that even Roy Munson looks like a champ. You can use different balls and oil patterns on the lanes, but it doesn't seem to make any difference. You just roll the ball at the same spot every time and you get a strike. At least in real life you have the added excitement of possibly falling down or dropping the ball on your foot. Strike Force is straightforward easy-as-pie bowling and it isn't a whole lot of fun. Another annoyance is that when playing against the computer you have to sit and watch them slowly roll their ball during their turn. Sure, you have to do it in real life, but in Strike Force you don't have a cool beverage to occupy yourself with, so you just have to wait around for five minutes with nothing to do.

Graphically, Strike Force Bowling is about what you should expect from a budget game. There are lots of different places to bowl, including a pirate ship and the moon, but they don't look very good and don't have any effect on how the game plays. There are several characters to choose from, but it is absolutely pathetic when the schoolgirl, alien, and robot all animate exactly the same way. There is just a severe lack of detail in everything, and pumped up graphics would have helped add some, uh, non-crappiness to the title.

The sound is also pretty much worthless. The soundtrack consists of elevator music that was deemed too boring by the Elevator Music Association of America (you know, the EMAA) twenty years ago. Developer Lab Rats dug it out of the same landfill where they put all of the old Atari ET games and, more recently, Brock Lesnar's football career. The sounds of bowling are all right, except that no matter where you are bowling or what the pins are made out of, it always sounds the same.

Strike Force Bowling is a bad game. Simple as that. Weak graphics, sound, and gameplay don't usually form good results, and Strike Force is no exception. If you are desperate for a bowling videogame, and I'm sure there are at most two of you out there, give Strike Force a rent. I would suggest actually going bowling instead. You'll have a lot more fun.