reviews\ Nov 17, 2002 at 7:00 pm

Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2003 - PC - Review

As 2002 comes to a close, its time for the Christmas rush of games and the newest installments for 2003.  Every year sport titles come out with their new yearly titles.  NHL 2003, Madden 2003, and the list goes on.  TW2003 is no different.  As technology grows we usually see a better quality product and EA has just given us that.

This year we get 8 pro courses including St Andrews Golf Links, Pebble Beach Sahalee CC, Torrey Pines, TPC Scottsdale, Royal Birkdale, TPC Sawgrass, Colonial CC, Spyglass Hill, Poppy Hills, and Bay Hill club & Lodge.

Play as or against Tiger, or many other PGA Tour professional such as Brad Faxon, Justin Leonard, Vijay Singh, Mark Calcavecchia, and many others.  With the new career mode you can hone your skills, purchase equipment and lessons, and manage your career growth.

There are 18 game modes to practice competitive situations including a Skills competition, a shoot out, and more.

First things first, the graphics and sound effects were quite excellent.  The animations, the birds chirping in the trees, the splash of your ball finding some water, all were nicely done.  Player bios are accompanied by a short movie and commentary that was like watching the tour on TV.  The gameplay interface is a breeze to navigate through and Trueswing gives you a feel of control during play.

Trueswing closely resembles the ball from the arcade hit Golden Tee.  You bring the mouse back to facilitate your back swing then move the mouse forward to follow through.  This does take practice other wise you can push or pull your shot, but this is where the realism comes into play.  I'm a big advocate of this technology and I'm sure most true golfers will feel the same.

Online play is free for the first 60 days once you login your first time or set up your online account.  It is hosted by EA, which is a big plus if you don't like using outside vendors such as Gamespy.  Nothing against Gamespy but the less software you need to install, the better.  This game takes a lot for the maximum install, about 1.4GHZ of space.

Online play is quite simple to get going and is free for 60 days.  After that you can take some surveys for some additional free time but the end result is $5.99 a month for unlimited play.  I have problem paying a monthly fee for a title that is going to fetch about 50 bucks just to play the game online, and yet have to buy TW2004 next fall.  Serious Golf fans may not see this as a big deal, but I do.  There are so many other companies that provide this as part of the overall price for the game.  I guess if there is a market for it, why not. 

With the holidays coming up I can't see a better gift for the golf enthusiast who likes to hit the links in the off-season.  The game is beautifully done and the courses are top notch.  For a price tag that one would easily pay for a round of golf with a cart, this would make a great stocking stuffer.

Reviewer's Scoring Details

Gameplay: 9
Nice interface and smooth play.   

Graphics: 9 
Simply beautiful.  I really liked the some of the movies on the player's bios. The animations of leaves in the trees, moving clouds, players, etc where all excellent.

Sound: 9
The sound effects were quite good, especially the birds.  Really had me feeling like I was at the course. 

Difficulty: Medium
As far as just getting into the game is quite simple.  Your hardest competitions will probably just mastering all those tough shots.  If you feel you are good enough you can take your skills online and play against some real competition.

Concept 8 
A couple of new additions, but closely resembles TW2002

Multiplayer: 8

After an easy registration process, a snap to get going, but here is the kicker.  You only get 60 days of free play.  After that there will be a monthly fee for online play. 

Overall: 9
If you have to keep up with the latest and greatest, or this might be your first TW title, its definitely a lot of fun. The monthly fee for online play after the 60 days is really my only gripe.  


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