Wii Sports Bowling is back in the latest entry to the Wii Sports series with Wii Sports Clubs on the Nintendo Wii U. Back during the 2006 launch of the original Nintendo Wii system, bowling was among five games that were included as part of a package called Wii Sports that helped to show off how the Wiimote might be revolutionary. The bowling game was among my personal favorites. Now that the game is back, does it live up to the hype it once got back in the day? Do the new HD graphics, modes, and online ability make it more enjoyable?
One of the bigger changes to the Wii Sports series, other than online play, is the now required use of Wiimote Plus with all the new games in Wii Sports Club. Upon playing my first game, I immediately noticed an improvement in how the game responded to my throws. This became apparent when it became much easier for me to control my spin bowls. I’m very impressed by the way the Wiimote Plus controls respond to my every movement.
Of course, the main aspect of bowling is the classic 10-pin game sets, but this upgrade features a few brand-new modes. Among my favorite to play is the 100-pin game set. This was a mini-game featured in the original Wii Sports, but now it’s back in a full-feature, 10-round game set. Spin Control Bowling is another new mode where you have to conquer obstacles set up on a normal 10-pin bowling set.
The main objective of this Spin Control Bowling mode is to be tricky and curve the ball around the obstacles. How easy or how hard each lane is depends on how you are doing overall. If you are not doing so well, you will get mostly easy lanes where the obstacles are stationary and are positioned for easy strikes. If you are doing well, it gets far more challenging. Obstacles are now moving and trying to make it very hard to hit the pins. I also found this mode to be very fun. Unfortunately, I was never able to find a full four-person game online to play this with.
One of the big features of Wii Sports Club is the new online option. Each of the main three gameplay modes allows you to play them online with up to four people. You have the option of who you are matched up with, ranging from anyone to friends to those in your clubs. It could be that bowling online isn’t as intense as tennis, but I never really noticed much lag.
Unfortunately, the way online is set up is makes it really hard to play with your friends. The different modes are segregated from each other, requiring you to select the mode first and then search for users. This can be problematic if you want to see if any of your friends are currently playing and be required to check each mode instead. Once you get past this little inconvenience, online play is quite fun and enjoyable.
Clubs are a new social aspect for the online ability of Wii Sports Club as well. When you first turn on the game, you are asked to choose a club that you would like to belong to. These are region clubs and, since I am living in Georgia, I chose Georgia as my club. Each time you play with someone online, you will see what club they belong to. The game also changes up each week who it considers to be your club’s rival, which add a neat competitive nature to the game.
Though the game looks to have been given the HD treatment, it does feel like the developers could have spent some more time working on the game’s simple look. I say this because a good portion of the screen seemed fuzzy and pixelated. It’s not the end of the world, but it is something I wish they would fix and improve.
Overall, Bowling for Wii Sports Club is pretty fun. If you are a fan of the original Bowling in Wii Sports, you will enjoy this version. The classic mode, as well as the newer modes, helps to add some spice to the game. Online play helps to take the boredom of playing alone and will keep you coming back for more.
Low Score: 6 / 10
- Low quality graphics
- Seperated online modes makes searching and playing with each other difficult
High Score: 9 / 10
- Fun as ever
- Improved controls
- New bowling modes
- Online mode