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Tiger Woods PGA Tour is a golf game by Electronic Arts. $9.99
Once again Electronic Arts has brought a well known name onto the iDevice. With Let's Golf being so popular and controlling the golf genre on the App Store, it was interesting to see how it would compare to Tiger Woods. As I soon found out, there is really nothing to compare. Let's Golf brings more or an arcade type Golf game like Everybody's Golf on the PSP while Tiger Woods brings a more simulation golf game, like the console versions. While Tiger Woods doesn't have the most courses on the iPhone, being held by GL Golf Deluxe with I believe 23, they are seven well known real-life courses that have been greatly represented on the iDevice. Electronic Arts has gone for a gameplay over graphics approach on this game, with graphics that could seem a little bit more realistic but excellent frame rates. The game has been really extended from the simple 3 click swing that is used in so many golf games, really utilising what can be done with the touch screen. The gaming experience has really been pushed out past a simple quick play and career mode. To even compete in tournaments you have to have made enough money to enter, as well as to upgrade your equipment to compete. The whole golf experience is easily the best on the App Store to date.
While I said that Electronic Arts had substituted great graphics for frame rates, that doesn't mean that Tiger Woods is a stickman with his name above his head. There are over 120 detailed holes in Tiger Woods and each are very detailed, along with the golfers on them. While the trees, golfers and different scenery is not up to Need for Speed standards, it isn't as important in a game like this. I certainly didn't pay $10 just so I could look at pretty trees. The character animation, such as the golfing aspect of the game is very realistic. With excellent frame rates the animation is smooth and provides a true golfing experience, something Let's Golf couldn't do. Yes the graphics aren't 'superb' but they are great for what is needed in this game.
The controls in Tiger Woods PGA Tour are very unique to any golf game I have seen before. I am used to the 3 point swing system, but the touch screen provides for a brand new way to play golf. On the right hand side of the screen is the golf ball and an area to drag it into. Depending on how you drag the ball will depend on how you will hit the ball. The basic way this works if that your drag the golf ball with your finger down and back up to its original position. The way to hit different shots depends on how you drag your finger. To have a clean shot it it best to try and keep the line where the ball is dragged as straight as possible. That doesn't mean in the middle but instead the lines overlapping each other on the way up and down. To get an extra boost out of your shot holding onto your swing down the bottom until the bar turns red will give you a few metres. The ball doesn't have to be dragged all the way down or straight down the middle. Dragging the ball halfway will only let you hit the ball around the distance stated on the right of the bar at that point. Dragging the ball to the left will let you slice the ball and same to the right. Before choosing a shot, pressing the button with rings around a circle lets you choose where to aim the ball. Waiting a few seconds will also tell you what percentage of power you should use to his the ball. Putting works the same as normal shots, except you have the option of previewing what your shot will turn out like. The controls, while very unique are a thrilling way to play golf, keeping you more involved in the actual gameplay.
Tiger Woods PGA Tour is one of the two Electronic Arts games that I have played that have great sound effects. What I like about Tiger Woods is that they haven't taken the easy option with sound hitting the ball effects with music in the background. There is play-by-play commentary by two well known people in the golfing community. The commentary is by retired pro golfer Sam Torrance and Kelly Tilghman from the The Golf Channel. I enjoy the commentary, which I prefer alot more than some simple sound effects. Some may find it irritating but there is always the option to play without sound or your own music.
As said before, Tiger Woods has been set out to require many hours playing golf. For those who have no idea how to play golf, your aim is to get the ball in the hole in the least shots possible. Of course every golf game takes this concept further, and Tiger Woods has extended further than any other game on the App Store. There are two game modes, quick play and PGA Tour. Electronic Arts has done a great job to include quick play so it doesn't just become another option like happens in other games with career modes. To participate in the PGA Tour you are required to pay an entry fee. This isn't cheap and usually around $15,000-$18,000. Joining the Tour straight away is a silly tactic that I soon found out, as I got absolutely walloped. Your hard earned cash can also be spent upgrading your equipment. Money is earned by doing certain achievements in every game you play. Landing so many metres on the green after a drive, getting a birdie, getting par after being in the bunker and landing near the hole are some examples of how to earn money. The PGA Tour is set out just like in real life, playing on different courses through many rounds. After two rounds the competition is cut to 48 competitors then down again. The winner gets a hefty prize while some people get nothing.
Tiger Woods PGA Tour is a great golf game, that is well worth the premium price of $10. There is a heap of replayability in this game, with the incentive to make more money to not only participate in the PGA Tour but also to upgrade your items. The graphics are quite good for the game, but obviously not up to the standard of the console version counterparts. I would recommend you buying this game if you enjoy golf games or are looking for a real golf game, as Tiger Woods delivers. I found the game quite challenging, even if some others didn't. Superb game. Well done Electronic Arts.
I would recommend this game if you enjoyed- Let's Golf
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