Developer: Bethesda Softworks
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Max Players: 4
Server revived: August 11th, 2016
Shuouma | 18.104.22.168
Multiplayer, Text Chat
Manual | Server Status | Leaderboard
For all those who enjoy one of America’s most popular sports, PBA Tour Bowling 2001 is the ultimate bowling simulation sure to bring hours of enjoyment for the whole family. PBA 2001 incorporates a special full motion skeletal model for animating bowlers in full 3D, an endless array of gameplay options, and fully accurate ball, pin, and lane physics. You’ll feel just like you’re at the lanes on a Friday night.
Not only does PBA 2001 bring home the bowling experience, you’ll be able to do things you could never do at your local alley. Test your skills against realistic computer models based on actual pros!
- Full motion skeletal model for bowler animations.
- Accurate ball, lane, and pin physics.
- Fly-by camera replays let you see the action from every angle.
- Digitized sound effects.
- Full Control over your ball’s spin and the power of your throw.
- Customize your bowler’s appearance and your ball’s weight, color, and texture.
- Multiple gameplay modes including practice, solo and team games, and tournaments.
- Online multiplayer with up to 4 players.
A bit obtuse, but appreciated online bowling experience
PBA Tour fills a needed hole in the Dreamcast online line-up. It rides an interesting line between the harder-core competition offered by the Sega Sports 2K games and the more casual offerings of Maximum Pool. The game of bowling is itself paces by the players and requires little in the way of timed reaction, but the nuance of working with the oiled lanes and small adjustments to throwing reward the dedicated while making entry more difficult. Overall, I found the game enjoyable to play once I understood how to get started. It’s a slower paced, at-ease sort of competition that I appreciate some nights. I wish the interface was less obtuse, but having the game at all is appreciated.
To ease some of that I’ll quickly go over how to throw (sourced from the manual for the PC release).
You have a meter that requires 4 presses of the A button to execute a throw:
Press 1: Start. This press starts the needle moving clockwise on the meter.
Press 2: Power. This determines how hard you throw the ball. The harder you throw, the more difficult it is to bowl accurately. At 100% power (at about 2 o’clock on the meter) you have 1 second to correctly execute the next press (for accuracy). At 50% power (about 11 o’clock on the meter) you have 2 seconds to execute the next press.
Press 3: Accuracy. This determines how accurately you place your ball. The range for this uses the bottom third of the meter (from 4 o’clock to 8 o’clock). Your goal is to press the button when the needle strikes 6 o’clock for perfect accuracy. The farther from 6 o’clock you press (and therefore closer to 4 or 8 o’clock) the less accurate your placement will be either to the left or right.
Press 4: Spin. This determines how straight your throw will be. The range here is asymetrical between backspin and forward (regular) spin. If you press while the needle is on 6 o’clock, you will throw perfectly straight with no spin. Pressing anywhere between 6 o’clock and 4 o’clock will produce backspin. From 6 o’clock all the way around to the other end of the meter (about 2 o’clock) will produce regular spin (whose intensity increases as you get farther from the 6 o’clock position).
Lastly, while aiming your bowler you have an interface in the lower-left corner of the screen showing your marks on the lane, your bowler’s position (the circle at the bottom) and your throwing target (the arrow hanging our amongst the lane marks). Holding B and using your directional will move your target. Using the directional side-to-side by itself will change your bowler’s position.
To be successful in PBA, you must use your target and bowler’s position to set an initial trajectory for your throw, and use spin to curve the throw into the desired pocket of the pins. This is the true mastery of PBA Bowling.
Bob’s gonna hate me…
It’s an interesting curio as an unreleased game and there is fun to be had. However, the controls are incredibly hard to master and gameplay is clunky to say the least.
That all said, it is a bowling game and another great testament to the dedicated Dreamcast community for bringing it online. Take it for what it is and it can make for an enjoyable experience.
The Most Overlook Game, PBA 2001!
This game is overlooked. It is so much like Max Pool as it has the same casual approach and game play. Instead of pool balls, you are hitting pins. The scoreboard has some stats that pop up during gameplay. Even the music has some similarities.
Although the chat is brutal, it still a great underappreciated game.