previews\ May 13, 2004 at 8:00 pm

Tiger Woods PGA TOUR

E3 2004 PreviewsThe grass is always greener, particularly when it’s the greens of EA’s Tiger Woods golf franchise.  The most popular golf franchise on the market has added some new features, tweaked the old ones, and balanced gameplay for what looks to be the best Tiger Woods PGA Tour yet.    

The most impressive feature of last year’s version of EA’s links game was the Game Face feature.  Gamers could create the looks of just about anyone with a little time investment.  As thorough and enjoyable as it was (it was almost a game in itself), EA’s staff has beefed it up even more, leaving the possibilities of customizable players in the bazillions.  Last year’s thirty customizable sliders were seemingly plenty, but 2005 adds another forty, bringing the total number of feature sliders up to a whopping seventy.  Tattoos and scars are now optional (though most real life 9-iron swingers don’t have ‘em) for gamers who want to add a little edge to their golfer, and the normal features have been revamped and expanded as well.  Age is also easily definable thanks to their youth and elderly options, so get gramps on the links with little Timmy and let them play 18. 


The other great new feature added has been dubbed “Tiger Proofing.”  Just like the PGA, players can adjust parameters on the course.  Tees can be set way back to prevent big hitters from eagling every hole.  Fairways can be tightened to challenge even the most precise drivers.  The course undulation can be adjusted for more rolling courses.  Bunkers can go from easy sandboxes to frightening chasms with ease.  And to think about what you can do to the greens makes even the best putters of the world shudder.  Want soft courses?  Add some moisture to the course, or dry it out for some extra speed.  Fairways and greens can even be customized with mowing patterns, color schemes, and even logos.  It’s a great way to replay courses that you’ve mastered and add a little challenge back to the mix. 


A legends tour is the highlight addition to the game modes.  Get your created golfer through a career-type mode, earning money, clothing and equipment along the way.  Hall of Famers stand in your way to becoming a legend yourself, including Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, and Ben Hogan, all in the prime of their careers.  They even dress in their old school clothes for some authenticity. 


The usual additions have been made to make Tiger Woods a worthy purchase even for gamers who own last year’s version.  Fifteen PGA players including John Daly, Jesper Parnevik, and Vijay Singh are in the game alongside fourteen fantasy players.  Ten new courses join the list, eight of them real PGA courses and two of them fantasy, for a total of fourteen courses.  Gameplay has gotten a much needed overhaul, particularly in the putting and chipping areas to make the game more difficult. 


Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2005 will be online for PS2 and Xbox, and ship this September.   



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