Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 06
Golf on the console, it sounds even more boring than the real thing. My colleague Zwan was horrified with the thought that he would be obliged to play yet another title of the Tiger Woods Series. To him, all that games should be about is sex, violence and karaoke. But Tiger Woods proves that it is equally exciting to see your little golf ball hit the pin and roll in, as it is to kill a lot of German soldiers in Stalingrad.
Just as with all the other games in the EA Sports series you can expect to see a successor of Tiger Woods PGA Tour XXXX (fill in a year at your own choice) in the shelves this year too. With – how unexpected – slightly improved graphics, slightly different gameplay and some new options that will make you buy the more or less same game you already have over and over again. In this case one of the brand new options is the Rivals Mode, which is basically the single player campaign in Tiger Woods 2006. In here you have to challenge Tiger Woods with a self created golfer to become the all time world champion of golf. Which you can take quite literally because after a short initiation, you will have to prove yourself to all known and lesser known golf champions in a hundred year lasting journey across golf courses all over the world. Creating your own golfer can easily take more than 30 minutes due to the immense amount of options (length of your nose hair didn’t make it into the game though) which makes you feel more like a stylist that a soon-to-be professional golfer. But hey, it is always more fun to see your slightly better looking digital self winning hole after hole. By successfully completing challenges and games you can earn money and experience points, the money you can use to buy new clubs and new clothes while the experience points can be used to improve your statistics to prepare for the ultimate golf battle against Tiger. You can try to get more dough out of a hole by making wages before taking a shot, which will – if successful – make you leave the green as a very rich man.
This is a lot of fun of course, but the key point should be the golfing aspect and that is where this game scores. Although I never played a single hole in real life and I therefore can not judge the level of realism in this game, I can assure you that this game makes golf a very attractive sport, to say the least. With the joysticks on your controller you define your swing and the point of impact on the golf ball and from there on you can only hope that the ball drops close to the marker. But you will also find out from there on that the gameplay goes a lot deeper than just hitting the ball, watch it fly and then hit the ball again. It’ll become more and more important to choose the right clubs and the right shot type for each occasion to get that eagle and fill that gamebreaker. And prepare for an ego boost when you score your first hole in one (although on some holes it’s very easy to score one). When you are not that successful however, it will be made painfully clear to you by two hilarious commentators who accompany you at every hole but apart from some vicious remarks they can have also very useful tips; so my advice is to listen and not skip the intro of the golf courses the first time.
The technical aspects of the game are well crafted too. You can enjoy a really cool and mellow soundtrack while playing and the graphics department did a very nice job indeed (Look at the water! Look at those reflections!). Although I must admit that I noticed some texture gaps which resulted in white lines on the green. This is only noticeable though while putting and in certain points of view. It can occasionally get on your nerves but it is never really irritating.
You have to stand open for it and I can understand that this particular kind of game just doesn’t do it for some people but it surely knew how to keep me and my friends busy. Apart from a solid single player, Tiger Woods 2006 has a very – and I mean very – good multiplayer aspect – both on and offline. Getting deadlines for college papers was a lot harder this month than ever before. Bashing EA and criticize the EA Sports series is very easy and hip but Tiger Woods 2006 is a very cool game that surely deserves a test run. You will be pleasantly surprised…