Author Topic: [Video Game] Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10  (Read 1278 times)

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Offline setrataeso

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[Video Game] Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10
« on: July 03, 2009, 11:10:53 AM »
Name: Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10
Publisher: Electronic Arts/EA Sports
Developer: Tiburon/EA Sports
Genre: Sports (Golf)

It's always a joy to review EA Sports games. Since Peter Moore took up the helm of the misguided company, EA Sports has been headed in a much more positive direction. Moore felt that focusing more on innovation is where EA Sports could be improved. Since then, most yearly installments of EA's sports titles have been gradually improving. Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10 is the first EA Sports game released for all platforms in 2009 (NASCAR Kart Racing was released exclusively for the Wii in February). I am a Xbox 360 owner, so that will be the console that I will be talking about in this review. That being said, if you are a Wii owner looking for good games, I recommend you do more research on PGA 10 for the Wii, as it is a completely different experience from the other consoles. Does Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10 score a birdie or a bogey? Read on to find out...

EA Sports rarely disappoints when it comes to visuals, and PGA 10 is no exception. The character models get more lifelike each year. Woods and Singh and Weir look more like their real-life counterparts this year, simply due to some tweaking of animation and face modeling. Speaking of which, you can now make a character as lifelike as Tiger Woods. The character creation is one of the most robust on the market right now. You can literally spend hours working on a perfect-looking character. The Xbox and PS3 versions provide the ability to use the Vision Camera or Eyetoy to take a picture of your face and the game will model it surprisingly accurately. The courses are all rendered beautifully, with more actual PGA courses this year. Another update is the real-time weather updates provided by The Weather Channel. With it you can play on the course with the weather doing live updates from the actual location. In practice, it doesn't affect the gameplay much, but the effects look nice. Another solid visual outing from EA Sports.

The PGA series has always gone for the minimalist approach to audio. There isn't any licensed tracks from various artists that you would find on the Madden, NHL, or FIFA series. There is some lounge music for the menus, but it doesn't carry the game's intensity. And to keep the theme flowing, all other aspects of sound are just as dry. The PGA games have usually put the focus on the commentary in terms of audio. The commentary has sounded good in the previous years, but the new team of Scott Van Pel and Kelly Tilghman don't improve the experience at all. They rarely provide useful comments and almost always sound bored with the in-game events. One bizarre thing I noticed was the reactions from the crowd of onlookers. I hit the ball on the green: the audience cheers. The ball starts rolling downhill, off the green: crowd still cheers. The moment the ball edges off the green the crowd turns from cheers to disspointed "aww"s. Reading this, it doesn't sound so bad, but in action the timing is very bizarre; enough to bring me out of the experience. The audio department could use a smack in the head and start rejiggering the audio for next year.

There isn't much to say about the AI since you never directly face them as you would in other sports games. Instead, I'm left seeing how much better they are doing than me. They all score as you would expect in real-life, maybe a bit better in the game, actually. You will almost always see the same 4-5 guys in the top spots, and they are all scoring ridiculously low scores. I finished a round with +23 score, while Tiger finished with -17. Ouch. The AI is fine, but they could be toned down a bit.

For a game that is centered on hitting a ball into a hole with a stick, I am always shocked at how much side stuff you can do with this mechanic. There are an absurd amount of mini-games, all of them entertaining for at least a little while. There are tournaments of all kinds, with special emphasis put on the online tournaments this year, and the work clearly shows. The robust modes only lengthen the game's life, which is long enough with just the career mode. The gameplay itself doesn't blow you away with variety, but it's golf. There isn't really much more to add to the tried-and-true method of playing golf. Still the modes hold up the variety once again this year.

It seems like the PGA series is always behind in the times. The big enhancement this year was the online tournaments, which is great. But, the NHL and FIFA series have already been doing that for years now. Why did the PGA series have to wait until now to include a fully-fleshed out online tournament? And why are there so many enhancements I don't care about? Real-time weather, more official courses, new commentators; all neat additions in theory, but in practice they don't really mean a thing. None of these additions affect the game to the point where I feel like I'm getting a different experience than last year's. The Wii gets the advantage, as the WiiMotionPlus attachment is the big reason to get this game, and the innovation this year seems to have gone into making the Wii version the better game.

At this point, it feels silly talking about an EA Sports game's value. Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10 offers up pretty much the same value as the other installments. Actually, with the online modes and mini-games the value this year has really increased. Depending on your love of the sport, you could be playing this game for several years. There really isn't much to complain about here, PGA Tour 10 delivers a lot of game.

Dry. Dry and clean. Those seem to be the two visual themes in Tiger Woods games. There is always a lot of polish on the menus and interface, so everything looks clean and readable. But, there is no life to the game. No personality. Maybe it's the lack of music, or just the blandness of everything outside of the actual gameplay, but PGA 10 feels like it lacks any excitement. If that's what you like, then you'll appreciate the clean approach, but others may feel cheated when they discover the game is hiding behind boring menus and bland loading screens.

The trickyness of the game can be taken two ways. For golf gaming veterans, its another installment to challenge them and they'll be satisfied. For casual golf gamers, the difficulty will catch you off guard. Even on the easiest setting, I was getting schooled. I haven't played a game that pwned me time after time since Grid. Well, lets not go that far. PGA 10 is no Grid. It relies quite a bit on the skill of the player, but it caters to the n00bs as well. For instance, you can change to the old three-button press mechanic that they used back in the day if you aren't comfortable swinging with the thumbstick. As much as I feel like I should knock down the game for being too difficult, it also does all it can to assist, so I'll be nice.

EA Sports rarely gets these things wrong, especially with PGA games. Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10 keeps the tried-and-true method of driving, chipping, and putting going. There are too many intricacies to get into in this review, but the putting I will talk about, as it is one of the changes for this game. The new Precision Putter means that there is one putter for all circumstances, so you need not worry about choosing the right putter for a particular situation. This is very useful as you can focus your attention on nailing the angle and power of your shot. Really, there is a lot to talk about, and yet it can all be summed up easily: solid. The gameplay here is rock-solid. No major errors in execution, no major innovations in theory.

What was fun:
+ rock-solid gameplay
+ mini-games
+ character creation (it actually is pretty entertaining)

What was lame:
- lifeless game
- no sound excitement
- lack of innovation


At no point in my review did I mention that I'm not a huge golf game fan. I play the series, but I'm not a hardcore golfer who's going to be on the tournament boards every day. I enjoy the games casually, but I still feel like I need to be hard on EA Sports right now. They are at a point where they can't compromise sales for anything else, and yet that exactly what we don't want. I want new experiences every year, not the same game that I know will sell millions of copies. So I'm beating up Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10 because this is the game that I don't want to see right now: minimal innovation shouldn't equal big sales. The game is fine, but it's making me cautious for the rest of the year. With Fight Night Round 4 and NCAA Football 10 on my summer playlist, I'm expecting bigger things than this kind of game. Good is good, but great is want gamers need right now. Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10 is good, but not what I want.

« Last Edit: July 03, 2009, 09:59:00 PM by setrataeso »
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Setra, I think that is the best statement I have read on this forum.  Very well said.

Offline ZachyDou

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Re: [Video Game] Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2009, 08:34:28 PM »
way to put golf games in their place

Offline emindead

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Re: [Video Game] Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10
« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2009, 04:54:41 PM »
Good review. I would've ranked it lower. This game really sucks. It has too many variables! Want me to sit 2 hours calibrating my player. I mean, it's just a game. Cool that you can play through a real calendar, but the amount of variables just make it unbearable for a first time player like me.