I have fond memories of playing Tekken Bowl when I was younger.
Fighting may be Tekken’s main course, but I had more than my fair share of sides throwing balls down a lane at a bunch of unsuspecting pins. There may have been more in-depth bowling games released over the years, but Tekken Bowl had all it needed to keep you hooked, and it wasn’t dull and dreary like the rest.
You could choose from the complete roster of fighters, each with their own stats. And with its two button throwing system, both novices and experts alike could apply spin to the ball before setting the power of their shot, making last-minute adjustments to your character’s position to try and negate any mishaps. It was simple but fun, and now you can play Tekken Bowl in Tekken 7 too. Although you have to pay for it.
By selecting the ULTIMATE TEKKEN BOWL option in the menu (I don’t know why it needs shouting) you can play a traditional game of bowling by yourself or with another player locally, using standard pins or snazzy looking Heihachi ones. The standard rules apply and the pin physics seem realistic, making it an enjoyable way to spend some downtime between bouts of violence.
The Ultimate Tekken Bowl DLC also adds a new bowling option into the mix called Striker. In this single player only mode you start out with a set number of balls and your aim is to set a high score. If you get a strike you gain an extra ball as a reward, and if you get a strike when the pins laid out in front of you are Heihachi themed then you gain an additional extra ball. Tricky split shots are also thrown into the mix from time to time, and whilst they’ll mostly be the cause of a lost ball, they also award you an extra one if you manage to get them. Those with skill then can string out a game of Striker for quite awhile before all their balls are depleted.
It’s just a shame that the ULTIMATE TEKKEN BOWL (again, I don’t why they have to shout it) mode feels so barebones. There are no online leaderboards for Striker which would have been a nice addition and created more incentive to play. There’s no online play for standard bowling matches. And while it would be great way to spend some time with a group of friends, the maximum player limit of two soon puts a stop to the notion. Oh, and there’s also no new achievements/trophies for those who care. ULTIMATE TEKKEN BOWL is simply good for having a laugh, though you do get fight money for partaking in it. Quite a lot if you’re good at Striker in fact.
Priced at £11.59, the Ultimate Tekken Bowl DLC for Tekken 7 is perhaps a little bit pricey for what it offers, though it does also come with some additional costumes. If you’re a fan of the game and want a nice diversion from time to time it’s certainly worth considering, though it’s not quite as developed as you’d probably hoped it would be. As part of the £19.99 season pass, it may be worth seeing what other DLC arrives and simply buying that rather than forking out for it by itself.