John Daly was once asked… “Hey John, what’s your favorite club?” To which he replied… “Canadian.” If you’re too young to understand that joke just pretend to laugh.Anyway, so much for my preferred moment of golf lore.
Golf; a game of cigar smoking rich bastards networking on the back nine and getting hammered at the nineteenth hole on private courses with regal sounding names that wouldn’t allow any Europeans or non-Caucasians (e.g. Grant Fuhr when he played for the Sabres in Buffalo) onto their precious course unless it was to cut the grass or prepare the club house food. At least, that was the game of Golf before one extraordinary Tiger stepped onto the tee and captured the green jacket wearing a blood red shirt.
The game of Golf today; in the era of the Tiger, is a fun and exciting sport that has young, old, poor, rich and casual players alike on the practice tees at public courses around North America. Pass by any driving range and you’ll see a veritable cornucopia of folks taking hacks at their balls. This is the game of golf as I prefer it. There’s a lot less starch in its collar and I’m proud to say that I hated the sport until it became ‘refurbished’ and brought into this century in terms of youthfulness, athleticism and diversity. Just look at PGA tour player Phil Micklefat (sic. Jim Rome). Tubs won’t win at golf anymore. Today’s golf champions are cut athletes that are conditioned to hammer the ball as if it were a cheerleader at a Miami Hurricanes pep rally circa 1990’s.
It’s fitting then that Golf’s rejuvenator; Tiger Woods, has a video game that is so good it goes beyond the game of Golf. Just like Tiger transcended the boundary of the sport, his video Game is so incredibly good EVERYONE should play this game! Gone are the meters of power and accuracy and in is the smooth free wheeling feel of analog swing control. Tiger Woods dominates the video game golf circuit (with some minor help from the good folks at EA Sports of course!).
Sports fan? Buy this game. Not a sports fan? Buy this game.
Mario who? This is the ONLY golf game you should own on this system.
The animations are outstanding. Whether it’s looking at a line on a put, fist pumping after a birdie or the wave to the crowd after hitting an eagle on an approach shot; they all look great. What is more is that these animations give the game life. Unlike other golf titles with their sterile players and limited animations, Tiger’s game feels like Madden in that you have celebrations after good plays etc. Well done!
The camera work when you strike a ball properly is dynamic and captivating. The view will slow down ala bullet time and show some type of Maddenesque Ontario Vision multi-view camera angles that will just make you want to hit the ball perfectly again and again and again. In the same vein, the camera work when approaching a shot is excellent. You just tap X and the ball landing zone is there for you along with a fly by to the landing so you can see if any obstructions are in the way. If anything I wish there was an option to have a flight path indicator come up so you can just tap it and see if there any obstructions rather than having to tap X and go to the ball on a long drive. Also, double tap X and you get the hole fly by again. Simple, effective.
These menus are the best I’ve seen in any EA Sports game. Not only do they have the functionality and ease of use that I’ve come to expect from this years’ EA Sports titles but Tiger’s menus accomplish this with a style and elegance that is just superb. Take a look at the Game Modes screen where you have an overhead option, with left to right rolling options that fold down into sub options. It’s front-end perfection. After having to dig through so many games with poor menus, this is sweet work here.
Overall, the graphics breathe life into the game and look absolutely stunning.
Gary McCord plays funny man sidekick to David's excellent “straight man” play by play commentary. The commentary had me in absolute stitches at some points. It is also accurate in that they give you the goods before your ball even lands. Great work here.
The audioscape is filled with amazing little details and sound effects that just fill up the air perfectly for a game of golf. I’m very impressed with the work that EA Sports put into matching the quality of their visuals with an impressive audio package.
What the hell kind of Golf game is this?
One that has a “Goldeneye” quality that will appeal to everyone and anyone whether they like the genre or not. This game plays superbly and I have to say that it, along with Dirt to Daytona, Madden and NHL Hitz are the only sweet spots in the Cube line-up. That’s not to say that Tiger is strong on an otherwise weak Cube line up. This game is dynamite regardless of vehicle, and is destined to be a classic. It’s just that great.
First and foremost, for those of you that are unfamiliar with the controls in Tiger, the whole timing meter of traditional golf games is gone. EA Sports uses the analog stick in a revolutionary way here in that you swing simply by pulling back and pushing forward on the stick. It sounds easy but timing and the straightness of your “swing” play into the equation as well; it is just so deep. You can fade and draw by angling right across the axis of the analog stick from bottom left to top right and the opposite. Also, instead of using a meter to lay off when your in between clubs you just bring your backswing up to ¾ or as needed. Just like in REAL golf. Wicked. It’s easy to work with and much more involving then the meter system. Brilliant.
The Z button (unfortunately: thanks for nothing Miyamoto) plays a big part of gameplay too. You use it on the backswing to hit a power shot and during flight of the ball to add top spin. There’s one aspect where I think that Tiger should take a note from Mario Golf. You should be able to address where you wish to strike the ball in order to add spin (e.g. low on the ball for backspin etc.) rather than using the Z button. But in Tiger’s defense the Z button system works because you can dial in specific amounts of spin. You also use the B button to use different shots like the flop for stick landings, the pitch, punch etc.
The game plays amazingly well and the physics of the ball both in terms of landing and dealing with winds etc. works excellently. It feels like the Madden of Golf; uberdominant.
Add to this excellence the plethora of modes. You can learn your trade in the scenario mode which has all kinds of challenges, then there’s the wicked head to head games like skins, match and T.I.G.E.R. (like H.O.R.S.E.). Not to mention, there’s the tour mode where you play twenty seasons as a pro or a player you create, all the while buying equipment and attributes in the pro shop. You measure your development through earnings. There’s also a world tour mode where you visit all kinds of locals and even (check this out) a calendar play mode where you play events as they are in real time based on your GameCube’s calendar!!
The one complaint I have is that you need two Cube discs to play Tiger because the courses take up a lot of space and Nintendo’s format is too small (as I said years ago). I don’t think that’s the case with the other platforms. Once again, Nintendo sucks for sports. Having said that, switching discs is a worthwhile nuisance for you. This game is incredible. There is also GBA compatibility, but I don’t think it’s a viable replacement for online support.
This game is so good that it’s ridiculous! It has a billion game play modes. There’s a Tour mode where you can play through twenty seasons. The audio, visuals and gameplay are incredibly impressive. You can get into the game by using the gameface feature that’s not an add-on believe me, you can really make yourself in it! The only limitations are those imposed by Nintendo’s short sightedness in that you need to use up some memory on your card and the two discs. But who cares when you have a game this good. Last night I started the scenario mode at 9p.m. and lost myself in the game until about 3a.m. It’s been a long time since I got that excited about any video game. Whether you like Golf or not, this game is one of the few must own titles for the Cube. It’s brilliant.