The Tiger Woods series returns for another year and finally gets the formula right.
The Tiger Woods series returns for another year and finally gets the formula right. It brings all the elements that are wanted in a golfing game and uses them in perfect balance.
The way the game plays itself has not really changed. The analog swing has been the norm for the series and allows the player to make more accurate shots. You can still control your ball spin and power boost which can be too forgiving at times (ever see a shot that spins directly left or right?). There are 30 golfers in total that consist of real life pros, EA generated characters, and even a guest appearance by Cedric the Entertainer. There is 19 courses in total and 12 of them are accesible from the very beggining. They also consist of some EA generated courses (like the headache inducing Wallaby Creek ) and classics (such as St. Andrews).
Two major game modes that were added this year were the Real-Time-Event calender and the Gameface mode. The RTE mode allows players to unlock certain items associated with certain holidays and events (Heart Pattern turtle neck anybody) This keeps a steady interest in the game to come back and play once and a while. However, when comparing the RTE mode to the new gameface mode, the RTE mode is nothing more than an afterthought. The gameface mode gives you the ability to create your own real life persona and basically every detail is included (18 customizable attributes for facial structure alone). After earning money and completing tasks, you can then purchase/unlock items to furthur customize your looks and equipment. The number of items is staggering and includes licences such as PING, Taylor Made and Adidas to name a few. Want platinum teeth? You got it. Want to wear knee high socks and sandles? You got it. There is also enough multi-player modes to have fun with your buddies and earning trophies makes you strive to become an expert player.
TW 2004 is not without its gripes however. There is a steep learning curve as to what shots to make, how to make them, and how to preform them correctly. One aspect that will turn off most casual floggers is the putting. While not as touchy as Mario Golf: TT, judging the break and power needed can be extremely fustrating at first and can result in many three putts in the beggining. But once you master the game, a whole new problem occurs: it is too easy. I hardly doubt that anyone can drop an -18 on St. Andrews on any given day (as I can time to time ) and that is with all the helping features off. Another Gripe is the music. It seems to me that EA doesn't know who they are targeting. To go from listening to rock n' roll to rap is just silly. You can have your choice of what you want to listen to or just don't listen to them at all. One other small gripe is the fact you have to have the GBA version of the game to unlock certain items.
Other than these niggling problems, TW 2004 is a must have for the golf enthusiast. EA may be digging themselves a hole with the latest version. WIth all the wonderful new goodies presented in this verison, there is not a whole lot of room for improvement for next years version. Only time will, but until then, keep on duffing away.