[Review] Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10<br><br> What makes my Dad and Tiger Woods awesome

Infendo

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I never thought I’d ask for my father’s help in a video game, but I was at my wits end – I was 12 over, behind a tree, in the deep rough, and my hand hurt. Tiger Woods PGA 10 had bested me, I needed someone who knew golf – time to ask Dad.

“How do you hold your golf club?” I asked him, “My left hand keeps cramping up and I can’t get the ball to go straight.” He shot me a funny look as I handed him the motion-plus equipped Wii Remote, “first,” his look said, “you need a real golf club.”  My father drew back and swung, TONK! The ball flew straight as an arrow and landed right on the green.  I had to know how he did it, and what he showed me illustrates exactly what makes Tiger Woods PGA 10 for Wii such an amazing game.

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“Keep your eye on the ball,” he said, telling me not to look at the screen, but where the ball would be on the floor if I were holding a real club.  As I stared at the imaginary ball my father corrected my posture and my grip on the remote – bend your knees, he said, interlock your fingers, keep your arm straight, keep your eye on the ball – swing! TONK! After following through, I finally looked up again. Straight as an arrow.  Real golfing tips and proper form made all the difference – Tiger Woods PGA 10 and motion plus and built a bridge between video game golf and real golf by creating the first sports game where skills learned in reality effect gameplay.  Dad and I played a few more holes until he decided he was done.  “It seems like a good game,” he said, as he casually walked away.  “You’re saying that as a real golfer?” I asked him, “Yup.”

The more I played it, the more I agreed – the gameplay is amazing, and not just the advanced motion-plus mode my father tried – Tiger Woods PGA 10 is fully playable without the 1:1 motion peripheral, and while non-motion plus play is less “realistic,” it’s quite fun and a lot easier to pick up.  Before trying “Advanced” mode and seeking my father’s advice, my bad swing form, poor posture, and sloppy grip on the club were more than adequate for the more casual swing difficulties.  Motion-Plus may require the player to adequately simulate real golfing to perform well, but regular swing modes allow the player to perform well while still remaining completely useless on a real fairway.

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Although, as stated, the controls are amazing, there’s more to this Tiger than motion-plus – PGA 10 also boasts a full career mode, of course playing through the PGA tour and FedEx cup, and a well put together online mode, complete with daily and weekly tournaments, simultaneous head to head competition, leader boards, and best of all a live “play the pros” mode that pits you against professional golfers during real tournaments. Watching the US open?  Hop on the Wii and play along, at the same time, under the same weather conditions, with professional scores updated in real time in the game.

The presentation is also quite nice – despite a low-poly and somewhat robotic crowd, the golfers and courses look fantastic.  In career mode, the player can customize their swing, victory and failure animations, clothing, clubs, accessories – and more.  The mixture of great visuals, good animation, excellent controls, and a fairly diverse commentary track really suck the player into the game. PGA 10 gives you an authentic rush when you sink a birdie, and very real frustration when you misjudge a putt or hit a tree.

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PGA 10 also features a fair amount of extra content, the most notable of which is the Wii Exclusive “disc golf” mode.  It’s not bad, but this frisbee mini-game is a far cry from the main game, and certainly couldn’t stand on it’s own.  Still, it’s fun – and perhaps a better example of Motion-Plus technology than the main game – but without cheering crowds, cocky commentary, and a strong spirit of competition, Disc Golf feels a little lonely.  There are also a handful of multiplayer mini-games, and while they aren’t bad, they too are greatly overshadowed by the main event.

All is not perfect on the golf circuit however – much as in real golf, putting is probably the hardest part of the game, and it’s not all control. True, not being able to feel the weight of the ball and club make putting difficult, but it’s the green itself that makes it difficult.  It’s not for lack of trying on EA’s part, but no amount of color coordinated graphs, arrows, or lines accurately replace just eyeballing terrain – something you just can’t do looking at TV screen. Aside from putting difficulty, I found little else to complain about – although my Father didn’t like having to hold down the B button to swing, as his finger would occasionally slip off before he made contact.

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Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10 probably has the best use of motion control I’ve seen all year, and by the account of an experienced golfer, seems to be a pretty darn good golf game to boot. If you’re a true golf fan, you’ll want to buy this title – if you aren’t huge on golf, but could get behind some of the best 1:1 gaming you’ve ever experienced, you won’t be disappointed.  Even if you’ve never tried a golf game before, you might want to give this one a look – you might find you have a new appreciation for motion control, sports video games, and an old Scottish pastime.  To summarize, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10 with Wii Motion-Plus is the most definitive golf game ever made.

4 Comments

  1. Great review. I haven’t had to ask my Dad for hints yet but I am getting pretty good at the game. I did make the mistake of going online for a round of simultaneous play and, needless to say, I need to have more than 50% of my stats. You need them maxed out, otherwise you will go head-to-head against someone in the top 10 that birdies, eagles, holes-in-ones every hole. You have to be prepared. 1-1 now but will get to the top…

  2. I did Big Bros Big Sisters for a while, and when my ‘little bro’ got into them we finally connected on music. Although he doesn’t play guitar, he could understand some of the complexity of the music.

    Similarly I love how guitar hero has gotten people to actually pick up guitars. I personally can’t play the game very long before I quit to go online and look up tabs.

    Hopefully this game will encourage people to similarly take up golf. (although I have many reservations about the form and swing people are learning- as seen in the EA demonstration videos which suggest to me that a true golf swing isn’t necessary or even desireable in this game. the gamespy reviewer, for instance, admitted to now knowing a thing about golf, but finding himself aping golf posture. generally, i’d hate to ‘learn’ such poor form and have to correct it then in real life. golf is frustrating enough when you don’t approach it with preprogrammed bad habits!)

  3. *correction: when my ‘little bro’ got into guitar hero

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