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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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