Black Market Bowling 2005 PS2 Review

June 1, 2010 by Chris Wigham  
Filed under PS2, Retro Content, Retro Reviews

There’s not many bowling games hitting the shelves these days, and we’re not surprised with the fact that they probably only sell a handful of copies – if that. The sport is also rather limited, resulting in games that quickly become dull and tedious after a few ball tosses. We prefer the more stimulating titles, but Black Market Bowling 2005 isn’t a complete disaster, as any failings are simply related to the nature of the sport.

We could argue this same point towards Snooker or Cricket titles, but there is a lot more to these sports than rolling a ball along a floor to knock as many pins down as possible. These limitations quickly conspire to ruin the game, even the most hardened of bowling fans will most probably agree that it’s much more enjoyable down the local bowling alley.

We’re not saying that finding enjoyment with Black Market Bowling is like attempting to draw blood out of a stone, as the game does manage to provide some limited fun in little half an hour spells. The characters also provide some light entertainment to distil the dullness, or at least the little hunchback old lady does, who – as you could imagine – looks hilarious and out of place as she tosses the ball.

The game couldn’t be much simpler to play, although lets be honest now, making a bowling game difficult to play would be quite impossible. You line your shot up and then measure the power and accuracy via a meter not too dissimilar from those seen in many golf games over the years. Spin can also be applied to the ball to make it travel in different directions at various speeds, which is ideal for knocking any split pins down. So as you’ll be able to gather from the previous sentence, it’s not exclusively about rolling a ball down a lane, as in the real sport, there is some genuine skill required.

There are various modes and unlockable characters in the game; this does extend the lifespan considerably if you do decide to stick with it, although many would most probably have to be pushed to see it all. There’s just no way of taking away the limitations of bowling, without an outlandish take on the sport perhaps.

Black Market Bowling 2005 is a solid virtual recreation, but we still found ourselves losing interest, as bowling simply isn’t the most engaging of sports in the world. Don’t get us wrong, we have nothing against bowling or this virtual simulation; it’s just all far too limited for our liking. For the inexpensive price there is some mild fun to be had, just not enough of it, even the hardcore bowling fan would probably agree.

5/10

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