Tiger Woods PGA Golf Tour 2003
PGA Tour 2003
| The Final Say!|
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2003
- reviewed by Alex Gowan
Review Date: 20 December 2002
Are you frustrated with your golf in the
real world but still love the game. Well finally, here is a game that is sure
to satisfy all those budding or not-so budding golfers out there. Tiger Woods
PGA Tour Golf is a game where you can leave your worries behind and take to
the links of the world’s most prestigious courses. There is PBC Pebblegrass,
St Andrews just to name a few. Along with the more well known courses there
are a few fantasy courses to spice things up. These range from courses in
front of a castle, to playing in front of a waterfall.
Tiger Woods PGA
- Enhanced graphics and physics
- 17 PGA Tour pros
Total Precision Swing
- World Wide
Leaderboard (XBox Live)
If you want to see
what the graphics chip can do on the Xbox put this into the drive and I am
sure to you will be pleasantly surprised as this is one sweet looking
game. The visuals are crisp and clear which is a rarity for games for
this console (for any console for that matter). The character models look
incredibly life like. Of the 116 million polygons that the Xbox can handle
I would say 99.9 per cent of this power is put into the characters models.
The way this is
deduced is the spectators, squirrels and birds look very blocky up close.
This is a result of not having enough power left over to accommodate a more
realistic polygon models. Luckily these parts are rarely seen up close and
do not seem to interfere with the look of the game. The characters that
you play with and against are quite consistently of a high standard.
A good example of
the animation using these models can be seen at the title screen. Which
act as a good primer for what lies ahead. Some of the animation on the
ladies rival even Dead or Alive Beach volleyball lusty visuals. In this
reviewers opinion though, if you get a kick out of cyber ladies its
probably time you took a shower (preferably a cold one).
There are a range of
special effects as well. Like when you hit a long drive, the camera will
zoom around the player to dramatise the stroke. Other ones to mention are
snap shots of the start, middle and end of your shot. All these effects
are extremely cool and add to the excitement of playing. The in game
graphics are even better than the FMV scenes that you will see when you
first begin a tournament. Having played the same game on the PC I can say
the graphics, while not being as crisp as what a monitor can produce, are
of an even higher standard.
When the game is loaded up
there are a variety of options that can be chosen to play the game. There is
the “play now” option where you are put straight into the game with a default
course namely being PBC Pebblegrass. You will only play a few holes in this
option. Once finished you will be put straight back to the main menu. To
actually play a proper tournament you will have to go through a very enjoyable
tutorial where tiger is used as demonstration for each shot. Basic controls are
shown first until the more specialised shots are previewed.
The other play modes on
offer are also of high quality and these include: Match play, Skillzone, Speed
golf and Scenario. Match play is the standard where you will play to unlock
golfers and Tiger’s dream 18. There are a variety of golfers to witness, these
include all the stock standard golf pros including Tiger Woods, Charles Howlle
the 3rd and our very own David Appleby.
Other than the more famous line-up there are fictional characters to keep things
interesting. Such as a retired Sumo wrestler, the odd female femme fatale and a
few other comical stereotypes. Skillzone is to hone your skills in aiming the
ball. Targets are placed on the ground in different areas, where you must aim
to get the ball in the centre for maximum points. For players with beefed up
power meters there is also the odd moving target for extra points. These are a
bit of a Lottery as the only way to hit these is with a driver and the shot has
to be timed perfectly to hit any of these. Speed golf can be played with a
computer opponent or a friend. This is a race to sink the ball in a number of
different holes in the quickest time possible. The screen is divided in two and
extra points are awarded for accuracy, speed, closest to pin and lowest amount
The player has to run to his/her ball as soon as the shot is made which makes
for a tighter game. This is a great way to make enemies or create hilarity
depending on your disposition. The final option is Scenario where you are
placed in tight spots and put under pressure to perform. For example you are
placed in a tournament where the first 9 holes were played poorly and you will
have to work hard to regain the lead.
Other scenarios include playing in windy conditions and trying to score birdies
on a set of par threes. These options are good fun and add variety to what
could end up just a white-knuckle tournament after tournament. To add to the
already long list of features there is the opportunity to win cash, which you
can use to spend on upgrading your skills. Skills that can be improved are
power, accuracy, spin, approach, recovery, putting and last but not least luck.
Money is also awarded to you when you first switch on the machine. This happens
if you have played other Electronic Arts titles. The more you have played these
games the more cash you will be designated at the beginning. This is yet
another bonus for hard-core gamers.
The way the shots are executed are unique for this sort of game. Gone are the
power metres and swing bars of yesteryear and now the path is made clear for the
method of using the analogue stick for swinging the club. Put simply, pull back
for the backswing and push forward for the downswing. Draw and fade are
executed by giving the swing a slight left and right deviation. The strength of
the shot is determined by how much backswing is used to hit the ball and how
long the club is held in its uppermost position. This is crucial for the longer
drives but not so much for the approaching shots. There is the added bonus
facility in the control method to tapping the white button on the backswing for
an extra power boost and pressing the black button after striking the ball to
increment spin to the shot.
Other parts that are included in this game such as sound are done extremely well
if not a bit repetitive. There are birds chirping, airplanes flying above,
spectators reacting to every shot that you make and even commentary to enrich
your playing experience. There is even the sound of the Loch Ness monster in
one of the fantasy courses. These sound effects add a great ambience and really
come together well to synthesise the real-life experience. The commentary is
funny and is a welcome addition to the next generation of Golf games. Comments
such as when the ball hits a bunker “Did you bring your sunscreen” come to mind
as one of the more witty remarks.
With this many play modes and future enhancements to be downloaded from Xbox
live. There is not much to say to fault this game. If there is one gripe it
would be the putting which luck has to be relied on to make an accurate stroke.
At the beginning of these shots there is a guide to show where the ball will
roll if the ball is aimed straight at the hole. This guide is in the form of a
broken white line prevailing the ball. It is up to you where you will aim the
putt keeping in mind where the guide was on the default setting. The type of
gamer that would get the most out of this game would obviously be golf
enthusiasts but there is enough here to recommend to any gamer. With so many
excellent features and with the pre-imminent Xbox Live looming in the distance
there is not a lot to fault this title.
- Alex Gowan
Copyright ©2002 www.impulsegamer.com