Crazy Strike Bowling EX review for PS4

Platform: PS4
Publisher: Corecell
Developer: Corecell
Medium: Digital
Players: 1-4
Online: No
ESRB: E10+

I’m not entirely sure why Crazy Strike Bowling EX exists. I don’t think that the original PS3 version was such a massive hit that people were clamouring for a slightly nicer-looking version on PS4. Likewise, there’s nothing about the port that suggests it needed to be brought over to the PS4 in order for it to fully achieve its developer’s vision. Near as I can tell, it’s just here for the heck of it.

In fact, even that’s probably giving this game far more credit than it deserves. When you check out the tutorial, it spends a shocking amount of time going over the PlayStation Move controls, which either a) marks the first time anyone has even remembered that PlayStation Move still exists in a non-VR context, or b) tells you pretty much all you need to know about how much effort was put into bringing this game over from the PS3.

Crazy Strike Bowling EX 1

Of course, it’s not like Crazy Strike Bowling was some massively complex game to begin with. We’re talking about a game that features six playable characters, all of whom are basically interchangeable. This is due to the fact that the controls are super simple: one button press for your throw’s power, one button press to release, and as long as you get the timing right in the middle on the latter — which, admittedly, is harder than it sounds, because of some pretty severe input lag — you’re pretty much guaranteed a strike every time. Things are a little more varied when it comes to the environments, but even that has a pretty hard limit in terms of creativity, seeing as we’re talking about bowling lanes.

The twist — that is, the whole reason this game is “crazy” — is that you also have the option of playing the game with power-ups and obstacles and such. These don’t add to the game in any way. In fact, they generally make everything worse to the point of unplayability, and you’d be wise to avoid them.

Crazy Strike Bowling EX 2

Then again, take that away, and what you’re left with is a boringly straightforward bowling game that never really justifies its existence, so it’s kind of a quandary. Or not. I don’t know. In fact, I barely care. So let’s be real: if you want a bowling game, Crazy Strike Bowling EX is one. If you’ve been desperate for an excuse to bust out those Move controllers, Crazy Strike Bowling EX gives you that. If you don’t fit into either of those two categories, there’s literally no reason whatsoever why you should be interested in this game.

Grade: C