Republished with permission of gamepeople.co.uk game reviews.
Tiger Woods on Wii has been circling perfection for three years without success. Although the improvement has been reasonably steady features and approach have varied in each of the yearly iterations since Tiger 07. The high fidelity gestures made possible by the MotionPlus add on combine with some positive response to feedback about last year’s putting to results in what looks to be (finally) the quality game we have all been hoping Tiger could be on Wii.
What Sort of Game is This?
Sports games recreate a wide variety of real life competitive games. Depending on the sport, these will either have an action or strategy focus. Popular sports games are often released on an annual basis, each year the game receives new player rosters and game improvements.
What Does This Game Add to the Genre?
Tiger Woods 10 brings a clutch of improvements to the table. MotionPlus is the most novel and now allows the game to take account of a one-to-one backwards and forwards stroke to calculate the resulting swing. It also perfectly captures the rotation of the controller which means fade and draw can now be consistently applied.
The game can be played without the MotionPlus add-on and some may opt for this cheaper option. The controls are still generally improved even without the new gizmo, but there is no denying that the full experience required the latest money making scheme from Nintendo.
Other additions have been included to add atmosphere, such as the visible crowd and improved visuals. Then there are new modes that broaden the experience for those after something a little more light hearted – Frisbee golf is in mind here.
There is a real sense that the team’s ongoing attention to feedback is finally paying off. Something you can track through the various incarnation on the Wii:
Tiger Woods 07:
- Driving: The best aspect of this iteration being the first full golf game to enable control of draw and fade by the motion of the swing. The game did suffer from phantom swings where a shot was triggered without the player’s intention, turning off vibration was supposed to help this issue for some, whilst other simply turned on mulligans to enable them to retake the shot.
- Irons: Consistency of Iron strength is often questioned which probably relates to the difficulty found when trying to hit a lower powered fairway shot. Unlike later versions the swing has to be one action, which makes achieving a short back-swing particularly difficult.
- Putting: Twitchy putting is often hard to trigger with the forward stroke, a problem shared with Wii-Sports Golf. Players with patience to
Tiger Woods 08:
- Driving: Solid and more consistent than previously, although some players find they always hit a draw or fade shot.
- Irons: Often found to be lacking in distance here and overly effected by wind.
- Chipping: Strength is notoriously hard to gauge accurately, so much so that many players aim to avoid the chipping game altogether.
- Putting: Full simulation of putting swing, pull back and follow through combine to result in the pace of the ball.
- General: Prolonged play can uncover the odd bug, such as sinking an eagle putt from the fringe result in an out of bounds, or adjustments during chipping resulting in the lie to jump back to 100%. The game offered a novel sit-down swing mode that enabled players to sit down and play the game.
Tiger Woods 09:
- Driving: Refined to enable you to adjust the vertical trajectory of the ball. A club tuning feature enables you refine your hitting style and has the option for the game to correct the draw or fade resulting from the players swing.
- Putting: Simplified to be a triggered action rather than a full swing simulation. Pace is set by pulling back the club then triggered by forward motion. You can also now set how much you roll the putter over the face of the ball upon striking – simply by holding B and pressing left/right on the D-pad.
- Chipping: Is roundly improved with a more controllable back swing that enables players to better estimate the power of shots. Players can take their time adjusting the point at which they want to start the forward swings.
- General: Prolonged play reveals that putting sometimes delivers unaccountably less power than is suggested by the slope and strength of the shot.Graphically this is the best looking Wii version of the game. There is an excellent training mode that takes you back to scenarios where shots were previously dropped and enables you to practice a correct shot.
Tiger Woods 10:
- Driving: Both follow through and backstroke can now be used to control how hard to hit the ball. Stabbed and pulled strokes can be used to caress the ball into position. Fade and draw are also perfectly detected by the MotionPlus plug in enhancement to the Wii-mote as shown in the real time graphical readout.
- Putting: Putting from Tiger 08 returns although now with accurate reading of pull back and follow through to result in the pace of the ball. For the first time the player is equipped with just one strength putter, something that simplifies calculating distances. The MotionPlus also enables the ability to push or pull the ball using the rotation of the club to counteract fade or draw of the green.
- Chipping: As with the fairway shots, chipping also takes advantage of an accurate reading of back swing and follow through, making lower power shots a consistent option.
- General: Added atmosphere comes from being able to see spectators rather than just hear them. Also the simulation of other golfers in tournaments means that you can overhear cheers resulting from their birdies on neighboring holes. The inclusion of 27 courses in the Wii game also compares favourably to the 16 out the box for the PS3/360 version.
What do People Play this Game To Experience?
A session on Tiger Woods leaves you with a real sense of having just played a genuine sport. Controlling the whole game with just gestures creates an experience that is as unusual as it is enjoyable in video games. The new level of control simply adds to this feeling of connection.
A round of Tiger Woods is as much about the psychology, strategy, and odds of real golf as it is about swinging the controller. The long game soon comes to the fore as the quibbles and difficulties of controls melt away leaving the player to face the wide expanse of (carefully landscaped) natural courses alone.
How Much Free Time is Required to Play It?
As in real life, a full round of golf with a few friend can take the best part of three or four hours. You can of course play a front or back nine, but this game is best served by longer sessions. The career mode lets you save midway through a round which helps those who want to jump in and out at opportune moments.
What Factors Impact on Suitability for Novice/Expert Young/Old Players?
Less is made of the anyone can play aspect of the game this year, although the All Play controls are still present. Unlike some of the other sports titles, these seem to suite the novice rather than younger player. Perhaps because of the sport in question here, a little more patience is required to get to grips with even the simplified All Play swing. Whilst previously the slightly fuzzy controls favoured intermediate players, the more nuanced and finely honed experience of Tiger 10 driving and putting opens the door to those who really want to invest in the sport.
Intermediates can still have a lot of fun, but it is experts who will most appreciate the improvements this year. Time will tell how consistent and transparent the mechanic is with prolonged play but on first impressions it seems far in advance of last year’s opaque experience (to put it politely).
Article reposted by permission of GAMEPEOPLE.CO.UK.
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