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Nester's Funky Bowling

Where there are sports videogames, like Madden, that litter each console every year, there will also be extreme sports games, like Excitebike and Pilotwings. Yet even further, there will also be weird sports games. Virtual Boy never had any real extreme sports titles, but Mario Tennis called for something weird and sporty as an alternative: Nester's Funky Bowling.


NFB's graphics are actually what I expected from a bowling title. The menus are nothing special, the sprites for Nester and his female companion are reasonable, just like the bowling ball, the pins, the lane... nothing really stands out. The game looks like it relied on its gameplay, which was a pretty bad move.

The only real good parts to this game's looks are the varying animations for the player's character when they hit some pins. Like when I missed a pin, a giant bowling pin crushed Nester. If Nester misses one pin, he'll rip his hair out, or get angry (Nester, calm down!). When I got a spare, it showed a truck driving away, and its back tire fell off. The tire bounced up to the screen and read, "Spare." I'm not saying these animations are really pretty; I'm just highlighting the sheer number of them. Now that I think of it, there's not even that many, but the lackluster effects in NFB had me thirsting for anything to write home about. Damned letters home, can never find enough content.


Three tracks, three entire music tracks. Not too long, but pleasing to the ears. Simple, but good. You can choose which to bowl to in the first menu, a la Dr. Mario.

The sound effects are plentiful-- for a bowling game. There's the ball rolling down the lane, the pins being hit, the pins hitting other pins, and that's it. Really, that's it. The only other sound is in the little animations, and even those don't all have sound.


Pretty simple really. When the first menu comes up, you select one or two player, Bowl, Practice, or Challenge, and then the music. Under practice, there are 30 different pin settings for you to hone your skills. Bowl is the standard game, and Challenge sees you going through a game with various pin settings. There are 10, to be precise.

What really kills this game is... well, A) the system, but B) there's zero replay value, unless you're showing a friend. There is absolutely no reason to keep playing this game unless you're a huge bowling fanatic. New characters, bigger balls (hehe), or even some more music would've really helped in this category... But, alas.




The game is fun, for the one time you'll play it. Enjoyable, no slowdown... but no replay value! I'd actually turn it back on if there were even one more musical track to be earned. Oh well, if I ever decide to commit suicide through the eyes, there's always Mario Clash and Red Alarm.

final score