|System: X360, PS3, Wii||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Tiburon||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: EA SPORTS||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Jun. 8, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-4; 2-4 (Online)||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Jonathan Marx
One of my favorite sporting franchises of all time has to be EAs PGA Tour. I cant tell you how much money Ive won and lost, since middle school, while playing against my buddies. Even after the emergence of Tiger Woods and his subsequent sponsoring of the game, this series has consistently provided my friends and me with countless hours of fun.
That being said, the past couple of titles, while great games in their own right, didnt seem to advance the series very much. Graciously, PGA Tour 10 has abandoned cruise control, innovating in substantive ways. Indeed, the game has found the sweet spot, still providing players with a familiar experience, but also employing a glut of improvements that make this a superior addition to previous next-gen installments. The eternal EA SPORTS question still remains, however: are the changes enough to warrant yet another purchase?
As always, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10 incorporates a plethora of traditional and mini-game golf modes for single and multiple players. In fact, the list of traditional game modes and mini-games is identical to what was featured the last few years. Also, players will still be able to create their own golfing profile/character to take on the tour. Likewise, also returning is that of Dynamic Attributes as gamers play and accrue cash, they also increase (or decrease) their skills according to their overall performance and result of individual shots.
Players should know that significant changes to the look and gameplay of Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 10 have not been made. Consequently, if you hated what was on offer previously (though Im not sure how), you wont find anything new to cheer about this year in terms of production and game-changing elements. Truly, PGA Tour 10 has essentially the same graphics and animations with a different menu interface. Likewise, analog stick and three-click swing mechanics are still available playing identically to what was on offer last year. The one marked change to gameplay this year is that of the all-new Precision Putting mechanic. Rather than selecting a putter from your bag that is suited to the appropriate distance, players will bust out just one Billy Barou, having to judge putt speed much more organically on a unified, non-scaling meter. While some players will undoubtedly buck this new putting mechanic in favor of the familiar, it is a feature that makes a lot more sense, feels much more natural, and will doubtless be carried over into next year.
A standout portion of PGA Tour 10 has to be that of the incorporation of the gaming community through extensive online features. Right off the bat, players connected to the internet will be able to see which gamers top the virtual leaderboards. For the Xbox 360, youll even see players avatars next to their results on the main menu. Also, EA GamerNet clips (a replay of your best shots) can be saved and uploaded to the servers quickly and efficiently. The best shots of the day from around the globe, known as Instant Challenges, are subsequently demarcated on the course for other players to try and best.
Additionally, players will also be able to join in on Live Tournaments. This new format allows gamers from around the world to compete for leaderboard glory in both daily and weekly events. Even more interesting, the Play the Pros feature lets you take on the professional field currently playing in a real-life tournament. Important touches such as the days weather and course conditions (more on that later) and actual professional player performances go a long way toward making gamers feel like their actually competing on the PGA Tour. Of course, the inclusion of last years simultaneous play keeps online tournament pacing speedy and engaging. EA SPORTS and Tiburon have done a masterful job of creating truly compelling, online community features.