EA goes fore the hole.
Review written by
Winter is coming, which means that turning those golf scores in will be put on hold until Spring. Luckily, people can still enjoy a lifelike golfing by playing Tiger Woods PGA Tour 08. Not only does it deliver an innovative golf experience, but is also one of the most advantageous uses of the wii-mote. Even better, golfers are treated to familiar players and courses that most die-hard PGA fans will instantly recognize.
For many avid golfers (like myself), golf on Wii Sports was a major disappointment as it did not allow for full swings. Not only does Tiger Woods accommodate this, but the overall velocity and position of the wiimote-imitating-club are taken into account too. People with limited golf experience may struggle in this game, because it partly simulates real-life. My grandpa, who hardly ever plays video games, played decently as he's had golf training during the last few years.
Putting is also similar to putting in real golf, despite a few helpful tools that make the experience easier. While most games allow you to scan the slope of the putting green, Tiger Woods 08 includes a putt preview which gives you a practice shot at the hole with your current measurements. Although you're only given a limited period of time, it could be the difference when tabulating your scorecard.
The controls are very simplistic, since golf itself is also a very basic game. Players point the wii-mote toward the floor, hold B, and let it rip. In addition to swinging, players can choose from a sundry of golf clubs through the top button of the directional pad. Unfortunately, golfers can accidentally tap the directional pad and hit a pitch shot when teeing off. Pressing the A button will show you the approximate distance of the ball when hit, and allows you to shift your position to adapt in the courses' landscape. Once the ball is in midair, players even have the option of shaking the wii-mote in their preferred direction to put spin on the ball.
Tiger Woods 08 features many PGA players, however only a few are available from the start. While players like Chris Dimarco, Retief Goosen and the man himself can be played, many others have to be unlocked through challenge modes. I was disappointed that I could not play as my favorite player, Adam Scott (who has the best natural swing in the game), as it was requisite to play farther in the game. In addition to the PGA players, you can create a very in-depth, lifelike player model of yourself, originally found in the 2005 version of the game.
For user-created players, a confidence meter is attached to bring out the weaker areas in your player (or technically yourself). For example, continuous miscues at chipping will result in a descent in confidence when facing that area of your game. This causes your stats to drop and the trademark heart-beating sound to blare off. Elements like these put added pressure on the golfer to succeed.
The game also features numerous courses, such as Pebble Peach, St. Andrews and Harbour Town. However, newer courses come at the expense of past courses, as the exotic and unique Troon was removed. The courses are more realistic than those in Wii Sports, but the graphics are too similar in style to the PS2, as they were probably taken from the now defunct console.
Graphics are not the only component that seem the same. It still seems to have the redundant commentating and crowd sounds it had in the past. Amusingly, they occasionally give a quick jibe at you in your most miserable moments, such as proclaiming you didn't know which way the green was.
Many will argue whether Tiger Woods 08 can be considered a video game. The intricate and well rounded game mechanics manifest what the Nintendo Wii can do. It shows the potential Wii has for pushing the games closer to real life sports and experiences. All EA Sports has left to do is take the time to put in all features the other consoles are equipped with. If you are looking for a more in-depth experience than that in Wii Sports, Tiger Woods 08 is for you.
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