Tiger is still the one to beat('cause there is no competition)
Every year there is a small handful of game titles i consider a must buy the first week of their release. Tiger Woods has always been one of those titles and this years version did not disappoint. It’s an improvement over last year’s version and it made a non online gamer into a huge fan of the Xbox live experience.
I think what has made this series so successful(besides no competition) is the game play. Last years version IMO missed the mark. The controls were just very unforgiving and so bad i didn't even finish the game. This year however EA has fixed those controls by adding a club tuner and they added a golf coach to help with your game. However with these new additions, there is not much difference in game play, or in the role-playing elements(upgrading wardrobe, equip, etc.) from previous versions. You will still have to grind out a lot of time to beat Tiger, and there is always the tour schedule with the new race for the fed ex cup.
The graphics and sound for TW09 are top notch. Game face, animations, the courses, trees blowing in the wind, waves crashing along Pebble beach, the sound of the crowd cheering or jeering are very impressive. When these two elements are set at a high level it helps create the atmosphere of playing in a golf match or tournament.
While the core single player IMO is great and is the best the series has offered it is the on line play that sets this version apart. EA has created an on line experience that is truly great. One of my biggest complaints thru the years for golf on line is the length it took to play. That is now a thing of the past with the addition of simultaneous game play. You play the round as if it were single player, but you will see flight paths of the other players. A foursome can usually finish 18 holes between 30-40 minutes depending on course difficulty. This new aspect of play istruly genius IMO, addictive, fun, and most of all fast.
All games are not perfect however and never will be(same goes for all those GTA4, and Fallout 3 fans). My complaints on the game are very few. I still am waiting on a course editor, the pre shot animations need to be omitted to speed up play, and the role playing elements should be expanded to include more than putting, power, accuracy and short game.
Those minor complaints aside this version of Tiger Woods is the best. Its single player campaign has a lot of depth, and the on line experience is truly amazing. If you are looking for a game worthy to add to your collection at great cost TW09 can’t be beat.