Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09 Review
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Tiger Woods 2009 offers golfing gurus a near perfect round of golf.
- Tiger Challenge shines
- Real-time swing feedback
- Club Tuning
- Some noticeable bugs during online play
- Lackluster player models
When you’re as good as Tiger Woods is, does it really matter if there are other golfers on the course or not? The same approach can be taken with the Tiger Woods PGA Tour franchise. Year after year, EA Sports rolls out yet another improved entry in this venerable franchise, attracting legions of golfing enthusiasts in the face of very little competition. While that throws the whole “competition breeds excellence” argument out of the window, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09 steps up to the tee and delivers yet another championship season.
Much like Madden 09, you’re going to be greeted by another great coach when firing up Woods' latest outing for the first time, with the inclusion of the golfing sensation’s long-time coach, Hank Haney. As expected, Haney will be on hand to provide you with some useful advice on past mistakes, as well as some stale hints at what’s to come. You start your introduction into the world of PGA Tour ’09 by taking a couple of practice swings within different scenarios in which Haney will grade you before sending you off into your career akin to a baby bird leaving the comfort of its mothers nest.
In terms of actual game modes, the Tiger Challenge is back and provides a substantial portion of replay value as you battle your way against ten other golfers in hopes of squaring off against the cover athlete himself in an 18-hole showdown. Just like past iterations, the Challenge starts of easy enough yet becomes progressively difficult the further you advance. This mode is also littered with small challenges that you’ve come to expect including the famous Bingo-Bango-Bongo and match plays against specific golfers. Tiger Challenge is one of my personal favorites ever since it was first conceived, and though it does provide a lot of entertainment, the meat of the game will always lie within creating your own character and building him/her to greatness.
The character customization option borrows heavily from last year’s outing, which in this case is a favourable move considering the Tiger Woods franchise is often regarded as the upper echelon of customizable creation. Gamers have the option of putting their own face in the game or utilizing the facial construction features to bend and mold their physical facial features to their liking. The Pro Shop is also still intact and offers up a full range of products that you’ve come to expect. Golfers are capable of changing up shirts, pants, shoes, clubs, and more. All of these changes also can directly affect your attributes and therefore make you better or a bit more average on an overall scale.
Once you have your pro lined up for play, you’re more than likely going to head into the PGA Tour Season mode to build up your attributes to a respectable level. Unlike past instalments, however, you’re not going to be able to rely on balancing out those little yellow pips in order to increase your talent level. Instead, EA Sports has implemented a system in which your attributes will fluctuate dependent on how well your golfer is playing. This means if your short game (or putting game, for those unaware) is lacking, your attributes will tend to dip a tad. The same can be said for your approach shots, drives, and other various shot tactics.
Another refreshing idea that has crept its way into the title is the ability to finally see why you’re shanking shots. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has yelled out obscenities at the television after hooking a shot I know should have been perfect…right? The new real-time feedback meter displays on the lower left corner of the screen and gives you a complete representation of your backswing to show where you’re going astray. This not only helps tighten up your golf swing, but also prevents those hair-pulling moments of frustration that ultimately lead to the controller being slammed down onto the floor. However, this feature isn’t the only unique component that 09 has to offer - club tuning has made its way into the game as well.
Club tuning is new to the franchise and allows golfers to ... (continued on next page)
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