Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10 Review: Par 5
If you follow TrueGameHeadz, then you watched last year as we gave you a backstage pass to the “Tiger Woods 09” launch event in NYC. We interviewed stars, developers, and wannabe video game golfers alike and got impressions of last year’s effort. Well another year has passed, and along with that, more expectations for the clear-cut video game golfing champ. Enter “Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10.”
I said enter “Tiger Woods 10,” but wait, why does “Tiger Woods 10,” feel like a patched version of “Tiger Woods 09”? Possibly even “Tiger Woods 08.” Now, just to be clear, to the true loyalists of the series, and the kind folks at EA Sports, in no way am I making this comparison in a bad way. Everything you would expect from a golf game, you will find in Tiger’s newest release. In fact, I have been playing the TWG series since it first came out, but someone has to shit in EA Sports’ breakfast and give them the wakeup call they deserve! TAKE US OUT OF MEDIOCRITY. Everyone always says, “that with great power comes great responsibility.” Well you have a great Tiger Woods game that could be so much more, but you have seemed so pleased with yourself as of late EA, and the new features you have included feel very much like something that could have added with a patch.
Some of the new features that have been included this time around are live weather effects, online tournaments, brand new tournament challenge, increased presentation, a new putting system, and new commentary. But there really isn’t anything groundbreaking this year that makes me want to play this title anymore then I wanted to play Tiger Woods 09.
First things first, there’s the increased presentation. “Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10″ features an up-to-date leader board that changes while you are playing. Action from other golfers can be seen across the top of the screen (ex: Tiger Woods Birdies 11th hole to pull into second place), which is a nice effect, but it doesn’t really add to the tension of playing, whether it be catch up or just maintaining that lead you’ve built up. Again, most of the new presentation features feel like separate entities - the commentary, the HUD, the HO-HUM “larger crowd” all feel like layers placed on top of layers. The developers have also added just a smidgen more of emotion to the gollfers. But why stop at just a smidgen? There are so many things that can be done to beef up the atmosphere and player reaction, and I mean keeping with the sim nature of the game. This is “Tiger Woods PGA Tour Golf,” after all. This isn’t “HOT SHOTS” or “Mario Golf.” Why I need to see my character galloping around like a horsey on his golf club is beyond me. Granted you can choose your animations for celebrations, but this is about as realistic as playing a new “Madden” game, scoring a touchdown, and having Eli Manning start doing the Roger Rabbit. It just doesn’t happen. I loved Happy Gilmore, but I have never seen a real PGA golfer act like that. And, in a way, I would like EA Sports to make up their mind here… are you a serious golf title or are you a “Mario Golf” title? I want realism. I want to know that the $60 I spend on your games is going towards features and additions that make it worth the wait, and I don’t feel like they’ve done that here.
And then there’s the online tournaments. The first time I checked out “PGA Tour 10″’s Xbox Live features, and what do I see? A guy who has already posted a -91. And then, on the stroke play online tournament, someone posted a -18 FOR A ROUND! I know there’s nothing EA Sports can do about this. No matter what you do, there will always be someone who finds the glitches in the game, or who is insanely good. But seeing scores like that doesn’t inspire me, your slightly above average user, to participate one bit.
Finally, I’m allowed to dream, right? I dream of a day when I can create a golfer, and go through an online career mode with my friends as the other golfers. (It took “Madden” close to 10 years to do this with their franchise mode, and even that’s incomplete - it’s still missing contracts and player trades). A gamer where, much like the online leagues in “NCAA Football 09,” I can do exactly what I do offline, online. Imagine how intense it would be to have five of your friends all vying for a spot in the Fed Ex Cup. A game where advancing tournament to tournament actually meant something. Perhaps next time around, EA could even add something as simple as BE A GOLF PRO mode, where there’s a storyline behind my rise to glory. Perhaps, in this mode, they could start me out as a touted phenom much like Tiger was, with newspapers flashing across the screen, and an ESPN broadcast showing highlights of my amateur career. Maybe they could expand on my life off the golf course - add cut scenes, press conferences, and doubles tournaments with other pros. How about anything to break the monotony of playing tournament after tournament, with nothing to do but buy clothes, look at stats, or train my golfer in between matches. OOHHH, maybe you could even include caddies. I’ll even settle for some cut scenes of golf carts. Here’s an idea; if I hit the ball in the water, show me going in the water to retrieve it. GIVE THIS CAREER MODE SOME LIFE, SOME PERSONALITY. PLEASE.
All in all, I know this rant may seem to have been nothing but negative, and reading this may result in you thinking that I disliked this game. However, I do not. “Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10″ is a fantastic game through and through. However, I have played this same fantastic game for the last 3 years, and it’s time for a much needed overhaul to inject some personality into this game, much like “Madden 10″ appears to be getting ready to do, in regards to its presentation this year. Put in the effort EA. The fans will appreciate it. I will appreciate it. I promise you.
“Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10″ was developed by EA Tiburon, and published by Electronic Arts on June 8, 2009 for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Sony PSP, and PlayStation 2. This review is based on the Xbox 360 version.