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Tiger Woods PGA Tour 07 Box Art
GENRE
Sports
DEVELOPER
EA Redwood Studios
PUBLISHER
Electronic Arts
NUMBER OF PLAYERS
1-4
WI-FI ENHANCED
No
DS COMPATIBLE
No
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Tiger Woods PGA Tour 07

There are golf games galore on any given gaming system, and with good reason: they provide an inexpensive alternative to actually hitting the links, which coincidentally, isn't affected by drastic weather changes either. Chances are, you're also considerably better at video golf than you are at the more mundane version.

Buoyed by the most recognizable name in professional golf, EA's Tiger Woods PGA Tour 07 offers a huge selection of real-life courses, multiple playable pros, a lengthy career mode and some in-depth character development. The Wii version is virtually identical to its relatives on other consoles. What sets this version of Tiger apart is the motion-activated controls that make the game a truly unique experience.

visuals

By looking at any random screenshot from Tiger Woods PGA Tour 07, most observers would be hard-pressed to distinguish Tiger's Wii appearance from his current-gen game of the same year. Representations of professional golfers like Ernie "Big Ern" Els and Jim Furyk accurately reflect their real-live counterparts, but the graphics engine does not push the Wii's capabilities.

The GameFace feature again allows players to create their own original golfers who can look as much or as little like them as desired. While the range of outfits and accessories seems a bit larger than in years past, the variation of the character model somehow seems less than in previous installments. Still, there are far more opportunities for visual customization than with, for instance, a Mii, so it's hard to complain.

audio

Those flamboyantly brilliant golf announcers are as pleasant to listen to as ever. Of course, for those who don't enjoy scintillating expert commentary, they can be turned off. The EA licensed soundtrack is heard during menu screens, but no music is present during the traditional game modes. The Wii Remote gives a satisfying thwack each time the club makes contact with the ball.

gameplay

The familiar Tiger Woods golf staples are all intact. Creating a pro to travel the PGA circuit and win tournaments is just the beginning. In addition to going through years of professional golf events, players can also face off one-on-one with a series of pros in a quest to challenge Tiger himself. EA has also included a number of interesting side modes, such as Skills 18, which challenges golfers to hit through rings as well as hit par, and T-I-G-E-R, where players try to hit a difficult shot, then challenge an opponent to do the same (much like HORSE is to basketball).

While the trappings of Tiger Woods 07 match up favorably with any other version of the game, the real Wii difference is, as should be expected, in the controls. Pressing the B button while swinging the Wii remote makes the shot, and the game infers from the swinging position whether a shot will hook, slice or head straight up the fairway. This certainly makes for a more physically involving game, as 18-hole rounds, which often take over an hour to finish, will involve several dozen swings, likely without much of a break during single-player mode. Players who wish to can hook up a nunchuk to play with the traditional analog-based controls, although this kind of defeats the purpose of buying the Wii version.

While the change to motion control is welcome, there are still a few bugs for EA to iron out of the interface. The game often mistakes shifting during a golfing stance as backswing, meaning that the actual backswing motion will finish the stroke. Occasionally, accidentally shaking the remote while pressing B causes an entire stroke to occur, and the resulting shot is so poor that it affects a round's outcome.

In addition, the rumble feature could have been used more efficiently. The speaker makes an appropriate sound when the ball is struck, but no jostle accompanies the sound. This seems odd when considering that rumble is supported in many other ways throughout the title. Considering that Wii Golf does incorporate this feature, it seems odd that professional golf's flagship franchise does not.

multiplayer

Tiger Woods 07 supports up to four players; only one Wii Remote is required, but each player may use his or her own if desired. In addition to playing skins, stroke and match play, the game offers some creative alternatives to the standard multiplayer golf. Bloodsome pits two player teams against one another. Each player drives, then the opposing teams selects which drive will be played, and the players take turns from there. One Ball has each player alternating with the same golf ball; the player who puts the ball in the hole wins. The others try to sabotage the player afterward, although the ball must end up within the "Circle of Trust" or face a penalty.

overall

Tiger's first Wii showcase has a good foundation, but there's room for improvement. This is the complete and fully-featured Tiger Woods experience that golf fans have come to expect, complete with Wii controls. Tiger Woods PGA Tour 07 offers everything players should expect from the series, but the developers at EA Redwood Studios need to take the motion controls to the woodshed for next year's release.



final score 7.0/10





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Staff Avatar Aaron Roberts
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