EA Games Tiger Woods PGA Tour 08
- Nice control refinements; Confidence factor and new putting scheme up the challenge
- Accuracy with analogue stick swing is hard to gauge; animations slow gameplay
No doubt about it Tiger Woods 08 offers up an excellent round of 360 golf. The game-play upgrades are right on and GamesNet promises unlimited potential for online action. If you're any kind of video game golf fan, tee this sucker up!
Price$ 99.95 (AUD)
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The Tiger Woods franchise has been rolling along on auto-pilot for several seasons now, but the '08 offering is prepared to up the ante for new-gen golfers. EA's Tiburon studio, fortress stronghold for Madden Football, NCAA Football, and NASCAR among others, has taken on the challenge of revitalizing Tiger's namesake and they're hitting all the greens.
As expected there are cosmetic upgrades all around. Photo Game Face enables you to map photos from a digital camera to your created golfer's noggin. There are seventeen courses including five new ones, eight new golfers, and a load of fresh animations--maybe a few too many. As good as they look, after a while you consistently find yourself punching buttons to get through to the action. But where the new Tiger really shines is with some fresh game-play improvements.
Improving Your Swing
Some key control changes really smooth out your golf game. For one, the three-click swing returns as an easy-to-access option. This is a nice complement to the game's standard analogue stick swing technique. Breaking your swing into button presses is more accurate than the hard-to-gauge stick, particularly when you're trying to save par from the rough or from out of the bunkers.
When you get your basics in gear, Tiger 08 enables you to work on your confidence to improve your game. The A.I. analyses how well you're playing for each shot you take and records this data for all future matches. This stat, measured as Confidence, affects the size of the True Aiming targeting circle (from last year), which covers the approximate area where you're aiming your shot. The more confident you are the better your odds of making that shot.
On the green the game ups the challenge level. Vets might roll their eyes at yet another adjustment to the putting game, but this one's a welcome nudge. You're still working with the familiar putting grid system, but the new Putt Line View gives you only one look at the actual path of your putt. Then you're on your own. You'll be loving the return of three-click putting here.
Online Tiger is introducing GamerNet for a major focus on community-building. This is basically a collection of video channels where you can upload your best shots, best rounds, or goofy golf hijinks using the game's excellent replay feature. GamerNet will also display its own challenges, which you can try to beat, such as longest drives or best course scores. Players can also upload challenges of their creation with stipulating factors, too. The mind reels at the possibilities (hit two bystanders, stay on the fairway).
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First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
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