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Rocketbowl is not a title to just brush off. It has a lot of features to it that are fun and exciting. Getting your friends online to have an online tournament and show off your skills you honed from the single player.
Earn cash and unlock courses in Freeplay or enter high-stakes Tournaments and compete with up to four of your friends online (or locally) for big payouts. You’ll need to win $10K of in-game cash to lay your hands on the holy grail, the Eight Ball, so dust off those bowling shoes and get downloading.
Rocket Bowl manages to be a spectacularly fun game and the 1950s-inspired/futuristic cartoonish art style and music is both suitable and awesome. The wackiness of boosting bowling balls left or right with blasts of fire keeps the game fresh, and being able to hop in and do an entire round in five to ten minutes makes this a great addition to Xbox Live Arcade. It’s far from perfect, but the simplicity of bowling is mixed up with fresh ideas, crazily constructed courses and a quick clip at which to play. The accessibility of the controls is also great for playing with family and friends who both love and don’t really play games.
Indeed, there’s a lot to keep you going in Rocket Bowl, but it’s sort of a one-trick pony. There are a lot of courses, but not much overall variety from one to the next. There is some promise in the thought that D3 will release new, downloadable courses, but I think it’ll need some exciting courses to keep the activity level up. As it was for me, I enjoyed it, but it definitely had the feel of a game that’d be a fall back if you got bored of your main game—a “Hey, I haven’t played Rocket Bowl in a while…you want to do it?” type of contest, even for only 800 Microsoft Points (about $10).
It seems that the vast majority of the development time went into the core gameplay of RocketBowl, but the trimmings were left mostly unexplored. While there is some occasionally noteworthy level design, RocketBowl hits the gutter more often than it strikes. The initial interest sparked by the unique concept quickly fades into a mildly entertaining but ultimately unremarkable Xbox Live Arcade experiment unworthy of an actual purchase.
In some ways, Rocket Bowl is an interesting idea, but any potential for fun with the concept is completely destroyed by the level design. It's surprising how many frames provide you with little challenge beyond dealing with a slight slope. And as I noted before, the levels are far too large, so most of the time your ball just rolls around and around doing nothing. The game grows boring quickly, which may be why all of the achievements in the game are designed to take hours and hours of play to unlock . Save those hours for a game you'll actually enjoy playing.
You can sort of see how the concept for Rocket Bowl must have seemed like a good idea, and for a few minutes it's certainly interesting to play around and enjoy the admittedly good physics. Getting a strike by hitting half the pins, then knocking the others over after doubling back on a ramp, is certainly amusing. It's a shallow amusement, however, and it doesn't sustain itself over ten courses.
RocketBowl is a middling mashup of bowling and minigolf, and as such it doesn’t excel at either. Without the technical nuance of simulation bowling, you’re left with the zany courses, whose novelty wears thin quickly. It’s a nice idea and it’s fun for a few rounds, but it’s boring as heck after that.
In that respect there aren't really any constructive criticisms I could suggest for this game. Admittedly it's not inherently bad or broken, but your mileage will depend almost entirely on how much you like bowling, mini-golf and/or if you have either of the other two systems' bowling games. Making the game even harder to recommend is the aforementioned cornucopia of awesome digitally distributed games being released at the moment. Sure, Rocket Bowl is only 800 MS points ($10), but so is Duke 3D and Mega Man 9 as well… Of course different strikes --err, strokes-- for different folks, but in my opinion your MS points are better spent elsewhere.
That said, Rocket Bowl can still be fun in online multiplayer -- if you can find attentive opponents. You can even play a "standard" game of bowling (with loads of aftertouch on the ball), which is OK. All told, Rocket Bowl can be a brief and pleasant diversion for minigolf fans or those who enjoy the idea of fantasy bowling with a new set of rules, but others may want to ball outta control elsewhere.
At the end of the day bowling is more fun in person and zany miniature golf has already been done on the Live Arcade service (3D Ultra Minigolf). Forcing the two concepts together is entertaining for a game or two, but you probably won't be back for more.
RocketBowl autorise, en outre, à la boule de continuer sa course au cas où vous auriez raté votre coup et de tenter de la diriger vers une autre série de quilles en essayant de ramasser au passage quelques bonus qui traînent. Malheureusement, malgré ces quelques efforts pour étoffer le gameplay de base, RocketBowl manque de pêche, de fun, du petit truc qui vous fera vraiment accrocher au jeu. L'idée de départ était bonne, mais, mal exécutée, elle reste à la fois ternie par un gameplay trop mou et des graphismes bien basiques qui participent à l'apathie ambiante et accélère l'arrivée de la lassitude. Le multi saura éventuellement faire décoller légèrement le niveau, mais on reste quand même en-dessous de ce que le jeu pourrait faire. Comme quoi, il ne suffit pas d'avoir de bonnes idées pour faire un bon jeu.
All in all RocketBowl has a great idea of what a bowling game can do to appeal to someone who isn’t a big fan of the sport, but fails to use it at any level. The game really doesn’t have a lasting appeal and never left me wanting to play again. You might as well go out and buy a Wii and play Wii Bowling or if you have a one already I would suggest sticking with that for now.