Looks like this is a 360 or PS2 purchase instead then. Nice review James.
We've been playing and enjoying Tiger Woods titles for quite a few years now. We never used to 'get' golf, but getting stuck in with EA's yearly updates has ignited a passion in us for this most sedate of sports. The Wii version sets out to promise something a bit different. Having enjoyed golf in Wii Sports we were expecting a similarly intuitive and excellent offering from this full-on golf title, but we regretfully inform you it is well under par.
EA start off by giving you a little tutorial. You have to hold the Wii Remote as if it were a golf club, holding down B and swinging through your shot to hit the ball. Lies. For one, the game never really works out what you're doing and is never sensitive enough for our liking. If you swing back and forwards too quickly, even if it would make sense in the real world of golf, your in game counterpart will get all confused and either shank the ball or simply not hit it at all. When you come into the game as a total beginner (perhaps for some multiplayer fun with friends) this is a massive handicap for anyone who hasn't 'worked out' the game.
Allow us to elaborate. What you do, and what the golfer on screen does, is vastly different. Once you press B, any movement you make, even if you just twitch, the game reads it as your back-swing having begun; this can mean that when you start your actual back-swing the game interprets this as being your forward swing to hit the ball and consequently plays an awful shot that normally ends up swimming with the fishes. Were the game to have proper motion sensing and to be clear on how it reads your swing it might be easier to play, as it is, Tiger Woods on Wii is a bit of a confusing experience.
And don't even get us started on putting. For some reason, the game tells you to flick your wrists quickly to perform deft putts. Oh really? Well, it doesn't actually pick up anything even vaguely 'quick' meaning you can stand there for ages like a total twit as the game obliviously ignores everything you do. Eventually you'll work out your best putting technique, but if you're anything like us, it won't look anything like putting.
What we find wonderfully amusing is this game plays better when you set up the swing control through the analogue stick. To do this, simply plug in the nun-chuck and change the control settings and you now have the PS2 version of Tiger ready and raring to go. Admittedly, this somewhat destroys the point of buying it on the Wii. So perhaps we've been a little harsh on this version of the title? It does excel in fun little areas like spin, fade and bounce. When the ball is in the air, to influence the spin on it and how it lands, you simply have to hit a direction on the D-Pad and then frantically wave about the Wii Remote like a crazed idiot. Fun!
Elsewhere, some nice touches to the Wii version include a power gauge that shows you how far the shot you've played is going (86% for example, out of a possible 100%) and the ability to do a practice swing. Simply press the minus button and then swing to your hearts content. You won't touch the ball but you can see how hard and straight you are hitting the ball in order to work out the perfect swing.
There are all the usual game modes thrown in along with some rather irritating mini-games and alternative challenge modes (hitting balls through hoops, etc) and with a total of 18 courses in the Wii version and a full version of the PGA Tour mode to enjoy, there is a lot to get to grips with. Graphically, the game is very disappointing. On some courses, the water looks like it is made of concrete, with the ducks that float on top of it seemingly levitating over a large shiny car park. Needless to say, we are not impressed. No sir.
What we find most infuriating is that this is quite obviously a very good game, but it is let down by an utterly baffling control system. It doesn't pick up your movements, it doesn't replicate the movements of golf and if you try to be subtle and clever it punishes you by not being able to work out what you're trying to do. In the end, we simply admitted defeat and played the game as it was forcing us to do. This can be done by sitting on a sofa and simply wafting your hands about...not very exciting at all. This is a game that takes forever to get used to and isn't in the least bit intuitive.
The game's biggest shortcoming. It doesn't play as well as the golf part of Wii Sports, and whilst it tries to be clever it fails spectacularly. It needs a lot of work to be as good as it should be, which is a real shame as we can see the potential.
Very disappointing. Some of the graphical effects are just plain awful, and whilst the presentation and look of the game is (on the whole) lovely, it doesn't look as good as it should.
They just keep on saying the same things. Very few voice-over clips and sound bites, which means that the game gets repetitive before you even shut it down for the first time. In the end we preferred to simply play it on mute.
Loads of gameplay modes, loads of extras and enough courses to keep you busy forever. EA have put a lot of hard work into this title and it has the potential to last you a very long time if you enjoy it enough. Great value for your money in our opinion.
What could have been one of the best Wii games released so far falls disappointingly short. We hoped this game would transform our Wii Remote into a golf club, but it simply doesn't. It adds motion sensing to a golf game that is at times confusing and certainly not helped by the most inaccurate instruction manual ever conceived. It looks awful and the sound is a bit pathetic really, which all added together leads to a very disappointing game. Fingers crossed EA work out the niggles for the 2008 offering...
Looks like this is a 360 or PS2 purchase instead then. Nice review James.
Damn! I was really looking forward to this and I really wanted an update in the Tiger Woods franchise, as the last one I got was 2004.
Tempo, is it worth buying if you haven't had a new version of the game in ages or isn't there enough improvement over the 04 version to warrent a purchase?
Good review James as well.
Marzy, I'd say 'yes', it is worth it (from what I've played and seen). Depends which systems you own, really. If it's just a Wii, then this game's far better than the small golf game included in Wii Sports and your only other choice is Pangya Golf, which is coming to Europe in a couple of months.
Well I own other consoles which this game appears on, which are the Xbox and Playstation 2, but buying it for the Wii would be easiest as it's always set up unlike the Xbox which I will have to keep moving around the house as other family members want to play it.
I actually have the Wii in my bedroom all the time that's really why I wanted it for the Wii.
I'm not too bothered about the control method as well because I don't mind using the analogue; I just really wanted an update in the franchise.
What do you think?
I honestly have to say I've become tired of endless Tiger Woods games on my PS2, so the Wii version came as a breath of fresh air. It's a little tricky when it comes to putting, but other than that it's quite a solid effort.
Are you more into serious golf or open to the more light-hearted approach? Because Pangya Golf has been receiving more positive reviews than this, it seems...if you're willing to wait like a month and a half.
I like both really, but Wii Sports has offered me my more simplistic golf experience. I want something a little more realistic and Tiger Woods games usually provide that.
If you haven't had the game in years and like realistic golf sims then yeah, I'd suggest giving it a look. You can always return it during the 10 day thing at GAME if you don't get on with it, no? I did enjoy it, but the controls are SO frustrating...
10 day thing at GAME doesn't apply anymore James, they changed that ages ago - now if you break their seal, you can't return it. That means not opening it at all...too many people used it as a rental service it seems, so they got rid of the option.
Nice review. Never really been interested in the Tiger Woods games, but this is still disappointing.
Shows how often I buy games then
Not a 'swing' in the wrong direction as the game has a lot of potential (lovely pun... but it isn't executed very well at all. Great shame that as it really should be so much better. Mr. T pities the fool who expects too much from this game. Respect your Mother.
Just to let you know, I just ordered it off Amazon UK.
I hope it turns out good.
Hope you enjoy it, I'm sure some people do :-D