Now is an exciting time for fans of games and golf. Not only is Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10 out, the Wii version also ships with the new MotionPlus controller. It’s supposed to make your gaming experience much more precise.
So does the bundle, which costs $60, live up to the hype? Does it make your golfing experience more real and fun?
|Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10
Electronic Arts for Wii
Replay Value: 10.0
Overall Score: 9.0
Pros: Wii MotionPlus; real-time weather effects; many modes, including online.
Cons: Wii MotionPlus; graphics could be better; no miniature golf.
LOTS OF STUFF WITH LOTS OF HELP
The box reads, “Feel The Drama.” Tiger is looking to the sky, making a fist and shouting in victory. It all makes you want to play.
Tiger games are simulations, not arcade games. That means they play like actual golf. And sports games from Electronic Arts have more bells and whistles than any other type of game. With 27 courses, there’s a lot here.
Don’t worry: There’s a pretty deep tutorial that tells you what you need to know, and it’s the first thing you see when you power up the game. It tells you how to hit the ball and how to include draw and fade with your shot by pressing left or right on the D-pad. Basic swinging is very simple. You just hold the Wii remote down, press the B button and whack the ball as hard as you can from the tee.
MOTIONPLUS IN MOTION
As far as MotionPlus goes, just click it onto the bottom of the Wii remote, lock it on with a button and slip on the plastic sleeve. It lengthens the remote for a better grip. But it makes it a bit heavier, too.
Even with the tutorial and MotionPlus, you’ll probably end up hitting the ball too hard when you’re putting. If it’s your first time, expect to be frustrated at least a little on your first 18 holes. After maybe two more rounds, you’ll get the feel of how hard to hit your ball.
Tiger has one of the finest visual experiences you can find on the Wii. Still, even though the wind is blowing, you won’t see the trees move when you’re putting. And sometimes Tiger seems pasted onto the scene as opposed to being part of it. But the trees, mountains, water hazards and white-water river on the majestic Banff course in Canada were really impressive. It made me want to play there for real.
This year, the game adds real-time weather to the courses (if you’re connected online). If it’s raining in Augusta, it’s drizzling when you play, too.
If you’re really brave, play against the pros in real time. Want to challenge Tiger at an actual tourney? Now you can if you have a broadband connection. I was best off playing with friends; even in the amateur level, there are a lot of hustlers at the pro level who won’t be easy on you.
To play online, register to take advantage of all the modes. You can bring your Mii with you, too. But since you have to add an e-mail address and password, ask your parents if it’s O.K.
There are neat history lessons within the Tournament Challenge mode. You’re plunked down in various scenarios from the days of yore. While Tiger’s caddy helps you in most of the game, Tiger himself tells you how the strategy he used helped him win some of golf’s most maddening challenges. Win here, and the character you’ve created will level up and become a better player.
In any mode when you’re playing tourneys, the crowd and announcers will be with you if you’re doing well. But everyone will be hard on you if you end up with a triple bogey on a tough hole — especially the play-by-play folks.
You’ll find some decent mini games, too. The best lets you toss a Frisbee-type disc into a basket hanging on the putting green’s flag instead of hitting balls into a hole. It’s pretty addictive. But I’d love to have seen some miniature golf included.
MOTIONPLUS OR NOT?
So should you buy the game only or the version with Wii MotionPlus? The device takes into account both the arc of your backswing and the power of your stroke.
I found that I didn’t really need the controller add-on for this game. While it adds accuracy, it made putting harder (and I often hit the ball too hard). Remove MotionPlus for an easier time of it, and try All-Play mode. MotionPlus did help a good deal in making the Frisbee-like game more exact, though.
In online games, you have an edge if you’ve mastered MotionPlus. That’s because the online games don’t separate people who have the device from those who don’t.
It’s clear that other games will also make use of the little device. I played Wii Sports Resort at E3 — the big video game convention — and MotionPlus definitely made the archery mini game more challenging.
So if you plan to get more games that use it, I’d say go for the bundle that includes the game and Wii MotionPlus.