reviews\ Oct 17, 2004 at 8:00 pm

Tiger Woods PGA TOUR

There are two kinds of golf games: the good ones and the bad ones.  It's true that the arcade-style golf games differ from the simulation titles.  If you asked me which I'd prefer to play right now, NFL Street Vol. 2 or Madden 2006, I'd choose Street.  But if you asked me which I'd rather play, Mario Golf or Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2005, I'd say give me both!

This year's edition of the Tiger Woods PGA Tour series comes equipped with refined gameplay and few new features.  One of those is Tiger Proofing.  Electronic Arts has been touting it for a while, but what exactly does that mean?  Is it what felines do in the wild to determine whether or not you are one of their own?  Or is it a complex process that National Geographic created to decide which photos to use?

In Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2005, Tiger Proofing is a way of changing (perfecting) a course.  Once the course is perfected, it has essentially been Tiger Proofed.  You can do this by upkeep and foliage density of a course, as well as the amount of water the sprinklers use (wet courses are slower and more difficult to play on).


Edit courses to perfection.

One of the new multiplayer additions is the ability to join a PGA Tour Season.  Up to four players can go through ten full seasons together.  One of the four players is the season owner, while the others are labeled as guests.  Guests can cash and stat upgrades, but they can't transfer their success to their own tournament.  In other words, if you lose three tournaments as an owner, winning three tourneys as a guest will not help you there.

Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2005's gameplay is better than ever.  The game's control style is a couple years old now, but it still feels new to me.  Prepare to spend a serious amount of time getting used to the controls if you've never played the series before.  In this game the analog stick becomes your golf club.  Every push, no matter how slight or severe, affects how the ball will be hit.

Here's how it works: pull back (push down) on the analog stick to begin your backswing.  Let go and watch what happens – nothing.  The goal is not merely to pull back on the stick and let it go.  You have to guide the stick as if it were a real club.  When your backswing is as far back as it can go (or as far back as you'd like to make it), push forward to complete the swing.  The golfer will downswing, hitting the ball, hopefully moving it closer to the hole.

Few gamers will get it right on the first try.  I played last year's edition and it still took me a few moments to adjust to the game.  Most golf games use power meters to gauge your swing power; Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2005 uses a system that requires actual skill.  It'll take some time, but if you give it your all this game will give you hours of fun.

Creating your own homemade player is normally a boring task with few redeeming reasons to do so, especially in a sports game.  Statistics aside, the create-a-player features in most games are just barely above mediocre.

Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2005 makes the creation process fun.  You won't believe how many tiny (and almost unnecessary) options there are.  The golfer's face and body can be altered in ways that would make a graphic artist smile.  Cheek size, head height, eye shape and position, wrinkle detail – the complete list is staggering.


Tiger Woods before and after the Subway diet.  Clearly it has improved his life – just look at how much shadow he lost!

Tons of new features have been added to further tweak the golfer, all of which can be accessed by pressing the circle button from the main edit menus.  It's menus within menus!  Edit your golfer's stance to correspond with his age.  Stand up straight, says gramps.  But today he's the one who will be slouching.  Let's worsen his posture even more by bending his swing position.

Lots of time could be spent creating new characters.  I pushed my first golfer to 80 years (they can be as young as age 8), and before I knew it he started looking like a zombie.  This encouraged me to add more scars, wrinkles, blemishes, and other marks to make him look more rugged.  Skin color and tone can be altered in several different ways; light gray turned out to be the perfect choice for my aged zombie.

Tiger Woods fans and golf enthusiasts alike are going to go nuts fore this one.  The new Legend Tour is just what the player ordered: it's a mode where you can take on golf legends like Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer.  I love the Tiger Vision feature – it allows you to pinpoint your shot with great accuracy.  There's lots to love about this game and only one reason not to get this title.  If you have absolutely no interest in golf, clearly Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2005 is not for you.  Otherwise, join the PGA Tour show Tiger Woods what you're made of.

Review Scoring Details for Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2005

Gameplay: 8.5
Want the most realistic golf game you can find?  Stop searching – EA has it for you right here.  Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2005 combines your favorite features with a few new additions that make the game more fun and challenging.  As if it weren't challenging enough, the TOUR Difficulty increases the game's restrictions.  Golf enthusiasts will love every ounce of it.  If you're like me and you love great golf games, you'll love this one too.

Graphics: 7
Disappointing.  Maybe it's unfair to compare a golf game to Def Jam Fight For NY, but both feature characters based on real people.  Tiger Woods's character model is close to the real thing, but Def Jam's models are much more realistic.  Mario Golf has superior background detail – Tiger Woods's backgrounds look slightly washed out.

Sound: 7
Music from BT and a host of typical golf sounds.  Nothing to jump through hoops for.

Difficulty: Medium/Hard

Concept: 8
A more advanced and more polished version of last year's game.

Multiplayer: 8
For me, golf is a single-player game.  The problem I have with multiplay is the waiting period.  You take a turn, then your friend goes.  Then your other friend goes and so on.  The online features mean you'll never have to worry about finding new competition, but this will only be appealing to those who have a lot of patience.  Golf lovers, this means you.

Overall: 8.5
Gamers wanting the most realistic golf experience need not continue their search – they'll find exactly what they're looking for (and things they didn't even know they wanted) in Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2005.


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