TIGER WOODS PGA TOUR
What a difference a fresh new console makes to a sports franchise. Just when we think we’ve seen everything and done everything games like Tiger Woods PGA Tour has to offer, here comes the PlayStation 3 with its inventive controller and amazing graphics capabilities. While the Xbox 360 launched with a Tiger Woods game with mixed results, it’s the PS3 that gets a golf game owners of Sony’s new console will definitely enjoy playing on launch day.
At first glance, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 07 looks a lot like the Xbox 360 version and that in itself is a surprising statement considering that when it comes to looks it is always Microsoft‘s title that outshines Sony‘s game machine. The PS3 version also gets the same treatment when it comes to the game modes, features and even the online multiplayer mode. In short, the PS3 is more than able to display a game with all the bells and whistles … but with the added bonus of a control scheme that’s quite revolutionary. This is, after all, the next-generation of gaming.
First, let us dive into the game modes. You’ll encounter the familiar PGA Tour Season mode complete with an events calendar and enough features to get you through a five-year PGA Tour career as you attempt to make a name for yourself as well as reach the FedEx Cup Playoffs. It’s a challenging mode, indeed, especially since it includes an impressive roster of pros including the likes of John Daly, Ian Poulter as well as Annika Sorenstam. There are also the various traditional game modes that include Stroke Play, Skins, Stableford, Best Ball and Alternate Shot. You can pick a player already available on the roster but the fun here is designing your own golfer thanks Game Face (that continues to get better and better each year).
There are also some fresh new game modes including Tiger Challenge. Tiger Challenge pretty much has you going up against the pros in an attempt to get to a chance to play against Tiger Woods himself. The best new addition this year is the Training Facility where you will be able to participate in a series of Training Challenges geared towards improving your skills RPG-style. Need to improve your swing? There’s a challenge that helps you swing as well as your shot power. There are also a Mini Games mode that offers ten arcade-styled mini-games that are actually fun to play. Aside from the Target to Target game, there’s a Capture the Flag game as well as T-I-G-E-R (a golf version of HORSE). There’s even an online multiplayer mode that has a lot to offer.
While all of these things are great, it all comes down to the game’s controls. There are still some control issues I still have a problem with, especially when it comes to putting. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to master the putting controls or the ability to read the green. Sure the Ideal Putt Cam is an ally but it still isn’t enough to effectively sink the putt. This is a small complaint seeing as the swing mechanic feels more flexible and easy to get into if you’re playing the game for the first time. Still, what sets this game apart from other versions is the Motion Sensor Spin Control feature that takes advantage of the SIXAXIS wireless controller. Just by tilting the controller you’re able to put a better spin on the ball during flight. It’s great stuff, indeed.
As I stated earlier, the game looks right up there with the Xbox 360 version only the textures are a bit sharper on the PS3 and the facial expressions are slightly more detailed. The pros are still the realistic-looking players in the game and they look amazing as they swing and react realistically to everything they do in the game. The only really cartoon-like characters in the game are your own, although they are nicely detailed thanks to all the Game Face options. It’s the incredibly detailed courses that will not fail to amaze. Sure, some courses stand out more than others do but all of them sport some gorgeous environmental details and golf fans that look real. The ESPN presentation style just gives the game that televised event feel that really works.
The game’s sound is handled well, although I must add that the commentary is starting to get drab and they’re never helpful. Really, they just serve to tell you how badly you managed to screw up a potential birdie or put you to shame for landing in a sand trap. Well, at least the soundtrack is pretty good and the collection of tunes isn’t bad at all. The rest of the sound is composed of environmental noise that sounds a lot like you’re actually outdoors. Really, the audible environmental noise goes well beyond the sound of chirping birds.
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 07 is not only a fun game of golf but also a great way to kick off the PlayStation 3. Really, there are enough game modes here to keep you busy and enough features to add your own personal touch to EA Sports’ brand of virtual golf. What sets this game apart from the Xbox 360 version is the unique PS3 control scheme and its sharp visuals that will not fail to impress the second you slide the game disc into your new console. If you like a good round of golf, this is the game you want to buy.
Review Scoring Details for Tiger Woods PGA Tour 07
The True Aiming System and enhanced dual stick analog swing work beautifully but it’s the Motion Sensor Spin Control feature that makes you feel like you’re playing a next-generation game. There are some great game modes and mini-games to keep you busy.
The pros, especially Tiger, look amazingly like the real thing. Even the courses seem to breathe with life but the created golfers are still too cartoon-like and they’re starting to look really out of place in the gorgeous environments.
The commentary is just as you expect it to be and the outdoorsy sounds make you feel like you’re playing out in the open. There’s some good music here but otherwise it’s stuff we heard before.
Playing against the pros is just as you expect it to be … hard but nicely challenging. Still, with ways to perfect your game via the Training Challenges mode and plenty of practice you’ll be able to give Tiger a hard time at the Riviera Country Club.
The new Training Facility is a wonderful addition as are the Training Challenges and ten mini-games. The Game Face feature just keeps getting better and better but the real treat here is the fact that this is Tiger Woods on the PS3. Rotating the SIXAXIS to control the spin is so much better than just pressing buttons so you have to love that.
The online multiplayer is great for up to 4-players and it runs smoothly without any lag or annoyances that get in the way of tournaments. Playing the online arcade modes like Battle Mode is worth sharing with a group of friends.
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 07 for the PS3 is not only a great launch title but it’s also a great addition to the franchise. With loads of extra content, great licensed courses and an inventive use of the SIXAXIS controller, this Tiger Woods feels right at home on Sony’s shiny new console. If you love golf, this is the game to buy on Day One.