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Intense Fire
Review Date: 21 November 2018

Reviewed by:
Storm/Roto Grip staffer John Brockland
Style: Stroker Rev Rate: 280-310
PAP: 5.50" over and 1" up

The original INTENSE featured an enhancement of the RAD4 core from the CODE series called the RAD-E core (E = Energy).   The difference was a new series of elliptical shapes around the pin in the weight block that increase the separation of mass throughout the core of the ball.  The intent was to increase entry angle into the pocket.  The coverstock on the INTENSE was R3S Pearl, same as the SNAP LOCK and a stronger cover than the R2S on the CODE series.
The INTENSE was earlier than the CODE series for me and cleaner than the SNAP LOCK.  For a polished pearl, I found that it dug into the lane pretty well and was more arcing off the spot than the CODE series.  Combined with its asymmetrical dynamics, that made it usable even on some medium length, medium-heavy patterns.
I begin here with that repeat of the essentials concerning the INTENSE because all the internal dynamics remain the same in the INTENSE FIRE, inasmuch as the core is exactly the same.  The difference here is the cover – R3S hybrid instead of R3S pearl.  What I find here is exactly what one would expect in the difference between the pearl and the hybrid of the same line --- less resistance to oil and smoother motion off the dry with the hybrid. 
The first test run with the INTENSE FIRE was in a four-game house shot league on pro-anvilane with pretty significant volume and the ball performed great.  I ran off the front 8 strikes the first game and the ball was turning the heads of those watching.   It was beautiful going through the pins.  It navigated the edge of the puddle in the middle of the lane without resistance and didn’t over react off the dry any more than any strong asymmetrical would.  The layout on mine is a pretty standard high pin layout for me (specs come to approximately 5.25 pin to pap, 55 degree drilling angle, and a 2.5 inch pin buffer). 
I started out the first two games with 539.  At that point, though, the house shot began to transition really quickly and it became just as quickly apparent that the INTENSE FIRE was now too much ball.  It increasingly burned up down lane when it saw too much friction too soon.  Conversely, its polished cover was not enough surface for me to move further into the puddle and get the reaction I needed.  Moreover, going deeper and getting steeper to navigate the wet/dry from deep inside the lane wasn’t something its asymmetrical characteristics would allow me to do with my low rev game.  I left a lot of weak-ish ring tens.
I have had no opportunity to try the INTENSE FIRE on flatter, more challenging patterns.  In the little bit of bowling I have done in that regard, I have tended more toward known entities for me like the HYPER CELL FUZED and the NO RULES PEARL.  I have seen straighter players like Liz Johnson use it effectively as well as bowlers with more hand like Chris Warren on recently PWBA and PBA50 livestreams.  That says that the INTENSE FIRE is pretty versatile and should be usable by a wide variety of player in the right circumstances.
For the league bowler, like the INTENSE the INTENSE FIRE would certainly be a very usable and reliable stronger category polished ball for anyone to have in their arsenal.  And like most strong asymmetrical balls, it will eventually tell you when it’s time to put it away in favor of more symmetrical ball motion as the lanes transition.

Lbs. RG Diff. PSA  Diff. 
16 2.49 0.050 0.018
15 2.49 0.050 0.017
14 2.53 0.050 0.014
13 2.57 0.032 0.010
12 2.59 0.029 0.000
11 N/A N/A N/A
10 N/A N/A N/A