In the first two editions of “Mastering Wii Sports,” we took a look at delivering swift serves in Wii Tennis and hitting the ball a la Barry Bonds in Wii Baseball. This week, in the spirit of the recent Thanksgiving holiday and the coming Christmas season, we’ll take a look at bowling for turkeys in Wii Bowling and maybe, just maybe, bowling for that elusive 300 game.
Wii Bowling, from my experience, is the most popular option available on Wii Sports and understandably so. Who is going to deny the enjoyment one finds in bowling ten frames in real life? More importantly; who is going to deny the ridiculous investment necessary to enjoy the game on a true stage? Are you going to buy bowling shoes, or overpay for rented ones which smell vaguely of old chicken broth and Tough Actin Tinactin? How about those lane rentals? Are you going to be able to be content with one quick game?
I liken bowling to golf. Both are tremendous amounts of fun to play, but they both cost you. More importantly, they both take a tremendous amount of practice to become competitive in. With bowling, the only way you’re going to get that practice if not by enrolling in some sort of school-sponsored league as a youngster is by shelling out those mighty green bucks. How many casual fans are willing to do that on a consistent basis?
They’re out there, I’m sure. For the rest of us, however, Wii Bowling presents a fine second option. A solid simulation, the game offers a chance for people to bowl with their friends and families within the confines of their own home. But how successful can a game be at presenting an accurate simulation when the fifteen pound ball is replaced by a half-pound WiiMote? How successful can a game be at presenting an accurate simulation when that constant fear of being carried down the lane with the ball in hand is replaced with a fear of one’s WiiMote crashing through their nice new LCD TV?
Surprisingly, quite so.
Right off the bat it is important to note that a strategy which works for one person in this game may not work for all. This is the one “subgame” as a part of Wii Sports where the strategies seem to be dramatically different from person to person. I’ve seen some successfully roll the ball down the lane on a straight path from a sharp angle. I’ve seen some successfully roll the ball down the lane with a sharp spin from the far side. I’ve even seen some throw caution into the wind and do, quite literally, whatever they please (Think “Uncle Buck” where the little girl slowly rolls the ball down the lane from between her legs). My strategy is more calculated and just as effective.
As always, the wrist strap must be tightened. The WiiMote must be held face up in your hand, acting as the bowling ball. Those are the basics.
My approach to the game is based upon mastering “the spin.” In order to roll the ball, you must bring the WiiMote up to your face so that the top is facing the ceiling, parallel to your body. Hold in the B button then bring it down and simulate a rolling motion along with your onscreen Mii, letting go at the end to release the ball. If done in a straight motion, the ball should roll perfectly straight down the lane. To put spin on the ball is a similarly painless process.
All one must do is, toward the point of release, turn their wrist a bit. The degree of the spin is dependent upon how far your wrist is turned. After a small amount of practice, you will acquire a feel for the spin.
Now then, the ultimate goal is to bowl a perfect game (300). This is no small feat, but it can be done. Don’t get discouraged if you cannot achieve it; it will not be long before you will consistently be reaching 250 and eventually, perhaps, capture a perfect twelve strikes in a row.
My method of success is simple. As a right handed player (simply reverse this if you’re of the lefty breed), I use the directional pad on the WiiMote to move my Mii over to the right just a bit, using the markings on the lane to identify exactly where I want to be. There are two sets of markings on the lane itself. Using the first set, move your Mii to the right so that the red line representing the ball’s path is covering just a bit of the second tick-mark without covering it up entirely. This is where you’re going to be set, so now it is just a matter of finding the appropriate spin by twisting your wrist ever so slightly.
Doing so will allow you to put the ball at the ideal spot for obtaining a strike: right in between the front most pin and the pin a row behind it to the right (the one and three pins). If you are able to get the ball in between that wedge, you will achieve a strike every time.
In a perfect world, you’ll get a strike every time or, at the very least, leave one or two pins standing in close proximity. That is not going to happen, especially not in the beginning. Again, conquering difficult setups is all about the spin. It may even require you to go at it from the left which, for a right-handed person, may prove difficult but necessary.
Take, for example, a situation where the only two pins remaining are the five and the ten (the center pin and the pin in the back right corner). The best way to get both of these down in one shot is to move your Mii over to the left, a bit beyond the five pin itself, and put a light spin on the ball (this time twisting your wrist in the opposite direction as before) that will cause it to just caress the five pin at an angle. If the laws of physics hold true, that pin should send the ten pin crashing down in defeat.
If you put yourself in a hole with a seven-ten split…well…a hearty “good luck” is all that I can offer. It can be done, I’m sure, but I’ve yet to see it happen.
Check back next week for part four of Mastering Wii Sports with strategy involving the surprisingly intricate Wii Golf.