Tiger Woods PGA Tour 06 Review
By Monica Bair |
Over the years, PC golfing and home console golfing has drifted ever closer. Despite the shared development processes, however, EA's team has managed to keep Tiger Woods PGA Tour 06 for PC completely tuned for the platform. It has all the structure of the console versions, only it's been tweaked to cater best to PC gamers. If you're more into simulating the golf experience, then you're going to love Tiger Woods 06. It is more true to the sport and packed with options than any golfing game out there.
The features list, modes and presentation is just awesome. It mirrors the consoles in design, but features 12 courses instead of 15, most official courses and some fantasy. It also comes complete with the new Rivals mode, which is more fleshed out than the console versions with presentation; you will have the ability to read golfing publications and newspaper reports on what's going on. Likewise, PGA Tour mode, is more complete than ever, where you can bring your amateur created golfer into it and work very hard to make your way to the top. You begin by hitting the course with your "buddies," and you'll see the AI duff shots into the tree line -- just like you probably will with lacking experience and novice attributes. As you earn more money, you will work your way up, get certified for PGA Tour play, and eventually take on the big boys. So, between these two huge career modes, there's a whopping amount of gameplay and it's presented wonderfully. In the PC version, for example, you'll have access to a stat-tracking device, a PDA with goals and challenges, the magazines, and much more.
A virtual Fran Mirabella in 10 minutes.
Game Face is also more robust and flexible on the PC than it is in any other Tiger. It's arguably one of the most advanced create-a-face modes out there, minus the fact that you can't actually scan your face in yet. But, all the options load fast and those with experience can create a virtual look-alike in just a short time. So, a lot can be said for the way Tiger is structured on the PC and how it's presented to you. It's not perfect, but it's certainly really good. There are some downfalls. Rivals mode takes you through different eras, and you'll be able to enjoy some vintage clubs and clothes at the pro shop, and playing against Nicklaus of old, but you won't actually be on old or altered courses. In PGA Tour mode, you play with your buds or the pros, but the golfers don't make too many sounds, so it takes you out of the experience a little. Nonetheless, it's a great setup and if it's a hint of things to come, EA is really on track for the future. But it needs to stick to its guns and flesh out all the modes completely, instead of going halfway and then coming up with something new next year. Taking a year off to make this kind of jump happen, we feel, would go a long way.
Where the PC version shines best is the same place it always has: the swing mechanics. You have the options to use good old-fashioned three-click swings, a gamepad, or TrueSwing with the mouse. The latter is really the way to play, as swinging the mouse down and up like a club (or, optionally, left to right) best simulates the stroke of the club. The range of motion and sensitivity dwarfs what the consoles offer, and this is why you get such an authentic experience from Tiger on the PC. You add draw/fade by swinging diagonally, poor shots are more frequent, and there's a TrueSwing Analyzer that tells you exactly how you hit and what you did. Like with the previous builds, it feels great. But, it seems as if EA did spend some time tuning the TrueSwing more this year to make it a little less erratic, and subsequently more forgiving. This forgiveness level changes as you improve your stats or use a player like Tiger Woods , though, so it's a pretty good balance. Still, it would have been nice to have a slider that would allow you to alter the sensitivity and difficulty.