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Wasting My Summer: The Surprisingly Few Aliens and Monsters Edition

June 6, 2010

All summer long, I’m going to be taking a look at some of the games that set the Wii apart from the other platforms. Join me as I jump into the depths of the lowest of low budget games.

By Tom Price

So, since starting this series I’ve experienced a number of different emotions. Pain, grief and frustration are the norm when you play games where M&Ms are the main characters.  But this is the first time I’ve been disappointed. When you expect the worse it’s hard to be let down, but AMBL: Alien Monster Bowling League managed to pull it off. I wanted just one thing from this game: aliens competing against monsters at a good old fashioned bowling grudge match. That’s it. When your game is called Alien Monster Bowling League you should supply some aliens and monsters.

So with my expectations properly lowered, I eagerly select the campaign option from the main menu and am treated to the opening cut scene. So in the universe there is a Light Queen, and a Dark Queen. The two fight each other, because why wouldn’t they, the Light Queen has been on top but now the Dark Queen has a Death Star space ship that can destroy a planet, and is prepared to show earth the firepower of this fully armed and operational battle station. So earth is bowling to save itself. Honestly, I’m not 100% sure if that’s all correct; I was very confused by the end of the opening. But at least it explains why there are some aliens bowling. As for the monsters, well I have no idea.

Ah the majestic Elcor. They communicate by smell, isn't that fun.

But who cares, let’s see Bigfoot bowl against E.T. Here’s my most looked forward to moment, the character select screen. I’m desperately hoping for an Elcor from Mass Effect.  But when I look at my four options and all of them are human, I’m suddenly shocked that I managed to be let down. Surfer dude, Vietnam vet, hip-hop chick, and Marilyn Monroe look alike are the only options. Where are my aliens and monsters? Apparently you need to unlock them.

So in hopes of eventually getting to be the Wolf Man, I plunge into the first match, and promptly get my ass kicked by the Marilyn Monroe girl (That right I’m competing against humans too). After spending one whole game just trying to figure out how to throw the ball, and three more trying to throw it consistently, I still lost the first match a few more times. The controls are like Wii Sports bowling, if they stopped half way through developing it and decided it was good enough. I still don’t know how to spin the ball.

When you hit a pin without knocking it down you get the chance to shoot them down. Not as much fun as it sounds.

But with some perseverance, a little blood, sweat and tears, I make it to the second match. And that as far as I got. If this game has one problem it’s that the computer is way too difficult. How difficult you’re asking? Well I’m glad you’re so interested. The computer almost bowled a perfect game, on the second level. This hip-hop chick bowled 10 out of 12 potential strikes. And of the two that weren’t strikes, one was a spare. And in that one frame that wasn’t a strike or a spare, 9 pins were knocked down. On the second level, the computer only missed one pin in the whole match. That seems a little unfair to me. So because of this I never got to play as a chest burster from Aliens.

I expected I would be in trouble right after I lost the first game. It wasn’t just that I lost the game that tipped me off. Like I said, for that whole first match I couldn’t even throw the ball. After you lose a match, you’re treated to a bonus level. You get to shoot turkeys floating throw space with a laser. Sounds sweet, I thought so too. But again the computer destroyed me. I only managed to get around 8 turkeys. The computer got more than double that. It was pin-point accurate, often shooting multiple turkeys at the same time. Oh, and this was all on the normal difficulty by the way.

See this thing? I have know idea what it is, but I'd wager he can put some crazy english on the ball.

So that was the end of my time with Alien Monster Bowling League, stuck on the second level with some lame people. Not one was even slightly irradiated, or potentially lurking in a closet. But I guess that what I get for picking games based on their title.

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