Black Market Bowling

Going into this, I was expecting an extreme version of the sport much like what the Outlaw series of games had done in the past. The potential was there: a wild cast of characters and some interesting locations for them to compete in. The end product however leaves much to be desired.
The first thing you’ll notice about the game is the beautiful job they did with the bowling venues. The reflections off the wax polished floor and lanes are some of the best I can remember seeing in a game, but that’s about it as far as the graphics go.
The characters look like rejects from The Sims or something like that, and while some of the characters are interesting, they mostly lack any personality. Where the characters in the Outlaw series had multiple win/loss poses and sound bites to use, they only gave each character here ONE. And while there are a few interesting characters to choose from, they sort of dropped the ball here as well as far as character development goes. This is supposed to be BLACK MARKET bowling, so you’d expect a wild and rebellious cast characters like what the Outlaw series have, but instead they put in some BORING characters that some people will probably NEVER use, like the old granny who bowls as slow as she looks and an annoying school girl who sounds like she forgot to take her medication today or something.
Audio-wise, each bowling alley has it’s own music to match the background, which isn’t so bad. Uptown and more posh locales have classical music in the background, where as the more beaten down places have more grungier tunes. And the character voices need A LOT of help as they sound really bad and unincouraging.
Gameplay wise, it’s simple to pick up, but it’s just not involving enough. Align you shot, set the spin, then press a button to control your power and release. Yawn. They could have benefited from using the analog stick to toss the ball so you feel more in control. And it just doesn’t feel like there’s any impact when your ball hits the pins.
Overall: The guys that do the Outlaw franchise should do a bowling game once Outlaw Tennis is released later this year, then they can show these Black Market people how to do an unorthodox extreme sport game the right way.

Graphics – 5
Sound – 6
Gameplay – 4
Lifespan – 2
Overall – 2


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