03 Sep, 2009

Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10 Review

Wii Review | Eye of the tiger.
Golf! It's not the most riveting sport visually, but there's no denying that it is hugely popular all over the world, both as an enjoyable pastime and a professional pursuit. In the past, golf videogames were generally intended for fans of the sport, until titles like Everybody's Golf came along and opened it up to wider casual audiences. Then came a little thing called motion control – you might have heard of it – and it's made videogames about golf a drastically different proposition. In Wii Sports you could take your Mii for a few rounds not by pressing a button to fill a power meter, but by swinging your Wii remote as you would a golf club in real life. It was a simplistic version of golf, but a lot of fun. Now we have the MotionPlus, and consequently a far superior representation of the sport in the form of Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10.

Alongside Wii Sports Resort, PGA Tour 10 was intended as one of the main showcases of the Wii's new MotionPlus remote add-on, which offers heightened sensitivity and better interpretation of the movements you perform with the remote. Wii Sports Resort was a good demonstration of how the MotionPlus could better recognise subtle movements in the hands and wrist and replicate them on-screen. Tiger Woods takes it one step further in PGA Tour 10. Unlike Wii Sports Resort, the MotionPlus peripheral isn't vital in order to play, but it would be highly recommended that you use one in order to get the most out of the game, given that the boost in control it provides is significant.

Tiger Woods: He's really freaking good at golf.

Tiger Woods: He's really freaking good at golf.
As you might expect by now from an EA Sports game, the devotion to the details of the sport throughout the game is endless. It's also the first in the Tiger Woods series of golf titles to include the US Open. As you might also expect, it's incredibly dry in its approach, which means casual players will likely find the tone of the game to be bland, but this serious approach will definitely help legitimise the game to golf fans.

As a golf simulator, PGA Tour 10 is a winner. Swinging and hitting the ball with MotionPlus feels fluid and natural. Putting is especially fun because it genuinely feels as if how you swing is critical to the result, rather than the player merely performing an unrelated action to initiate the gameplay. The simple and pure enjoyment of being able to perform a golf swing that is reasonably replicated in game is the core of this title's appeal.

On any shot you can press A to zoom to the approximate area the ball will end up, and you can manually tweak your aim and distance. This works fairly well, the problem with it being that the d-pad simply isn't sensitive enough to make minute adjustments, which can be frustrating when you're trying to line up that perfect shot. The other issue with this is that you'll want to manually adjust your shot quite often, as the default arc is rarely ideal. Even putting two metres from the hole, the game will often have you set up to send the ball wide until you adjust it. The MotionPlus also allows for the ability to draw and fade manually (essentially swing it through the air to the left or right) by adjusting the Wii remote's angle. You can also try to get more distance in the air by giving the ball spin, which is done by pressing the remote's d-pad and waggling. The biggest fault to be found with the controls is that the velocity detection isn't always perfect,

There are plenty of things to do in PGA Tour 10. The meat of the game is found in the virtually endless Career mode. You can create your own golfer in what is a reasonable but fairly limited character builder, give them a starting set of statistics and adjust the clubs to your own preference. From here you can follow the calendar through the entire PGA Tour season, as well as the FedEx Cup. There's also a Tournament Challenge mode that sees you re-enacting historic moments from real life tournaments. Playing events earns you statistical boosts and cash. You'll earn cash not only for winning events, but also for pulling off different skills in-game, like strong approach shots or hitting the pin. Cash can go towards buying more items to customise your golfer, and more importantly to cover the entry fee of events. Of course there are also a range of professional golfers that can be used in the game which include Tiger himself, and Australians Michael Campbell and Adam Scott. One really neat little feature is that you can synchronise your Wii Weather Channel with the game, so that when you play a few holes on, for example, Hazeltine National, the weather on the course in-game will match whatever the weather happens to be on the real life Hazeltine National course at the time.

Frisbees! YAY!

Frisbees! YAY!
If you feel like something a little less dense than the career mode, there are also a several decent minigames on offer, the best of which by far is Disc Golf, which for those unfamiliar is pretty much golf with frisbees. Like Frisbee Golf on Wii Sports Resort, it's a fun distraction when you want a break from the very involving Career mode, and definitely the mode to bust out with friends over.

The online functionality reveals another array of features that will be mouth-watering for golf fans. Live Tournaments allow you to compete in regular online tournaments. You can also play against real life statistics generated by real life golf tournaments more or less as they happen, which is rather mind-blowing when you think about it. There's also a four-player online mode

Visually PGA Tour 10 is a mixed bag. The presentation is very strong, with clear, sensibly laid out menus. The 27 courses offered in the game would seem to be accurate representations of their real-life counterparts, and the golfers are reasonably well animated. There's a satisfying closeness between the actions of the golfer on screen and the movements of the remote. Unfortunately, PGA Tour 10 does suffer from the kind of visual drabness we've come to expect from most Wii games. It does a sufficient job, and the weather effects come across reasonably well, but one does sometimes dream of a world where the Wii's motion detection and the superior visuals on offer from its two big brothers could come together. Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2013 Super Natal Special perhaps?

Phallic imagery abounds.

Phallic imagery abounds.
The sound does a reasonable job, with some satisfying thwacks to be heard among the sound effects. The commentary is fairly droll and unexciting, but it does contribute suitably to the atmosphere. One slight annoyance is that commentators will more or less forecast the result of your shot as soon as you make it, which in a way spoils the surprise of where the ball will end up. If you swing and they immediately say 'This one is headed for the green' you know you're fine before the ball has even reached its apex in the air. As with all sports game commentary, it will become increasingly repetitive the more you play the game.

In the end, golf fans are going to adore this title. It's a strong representation of the sport and there's a huge amount of content to keep them going until the inevitable PGA Tour 11. For those less enamoured with golf, PGA Tour 10 still has a lot to offer, particularly in the level of tangible physical interaction it offers the player.
The Score
Casual players might prefer to stick to its Wii Sports equivalent, but PGA Tour 10 is undoubtedly the definitive golf videogame for fans of the sport, offering a level of control and nuance that hasn't been achieved before in sports games.
Looking to buy this game right now? PALGN recommends www.Play-Asia.com.

Related Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10 Content

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4 years ago
PALGN wrote
Unfortunately, PGA Tour 10 does suffer from the kind of visual drabness we've come to expect from most Wii games.
Visual drabness seems to be an understatement, based on that third screenshot. Is there an acceptable acronym or more sophisticated description involving the words 'bloody' and 'awful'?
4 years ago
I have enjoyed both PGA8 and 9 but it was for the multiplayer mode. Wii golfing while drunk with friends creates for a fun atmosphere. Is there more than the frisbee mode to get me into this one? Does it maintain the modes from the previous titles?

I would really like to try out the motionplus control and this is about the only game that has enticed me so far.
4 years ago
@GreyWolfJai, Its the highest rated game for Wii this year and that should indicate something about the quality of the game, and the motion tracking.
4 years ago
I got this game last week with two wii motion plusses but returned it...

The actual golf mechanics are pretty good - its basically one to one with your own wiimote swing.

Having said that the game's blandness in terms of creating atmosphere, graphics, repetitiveness of the golf swing creates a game that I can't see myself playing much... the career mode while deep requires heavy time investment playing through repetitive tournaments where you'll be off your couch the entire time - at least half an hour to an hour for 18 holes.

The problem is that the Wii control unsimplifies the already perfectly acceptable 3 click or 3 button presses system. Having to swing through an entire round of golf - repeatedly trying to perfect said movements with no tactile feedback is also slightly annoying.

Again this is why controllers are much better for gaming - simplifying the repetitive process.

also having to select clubs, figuring out the wind and playing an entire round of golf off the couch well... I may as well go to a real course.

Anyways - thats why i returned it... i prefer hitting awesome shots, having difficult greens and making long putts on something like Everybody's Golf as opposed to this. I may be in the minority but I think Tiger Woods on the PS3/360 would be a much more relaxing game.

Tiger Woods' swing mechanic is great and probably the most realistic thing - but does not translate well into a game for me.
4 years ago
For me, re-read arbok's comments as to why this game is utterly fantastic

curious how
PALGN wrote
PGA Tour 10 is undoubtedly the definitive golf videogame for fans of the sport, offering a level of control and nuance that hasn't been achieved before in sports games
means it's only 7 1/2 out of 10 though
4 years ago
Absolutely love this game. I'm the complete opposite to arbok. To me this shows how motion controls can completely elevate a game above the absract representation of a controller.

My brother and I bought Tiger 09 on the 360 last year because we knew MotionPlus wouldn't be available on Wii until this year. I got bored of the game in about two days. I'm still playing Tiger 10 Wii pretty much daily and I've nearly owned it for two months now. I can't possibly see myself going back to the archaic button press method or even the analog push method.

Best golf game I've ever played and up there with PES Wii as the best sports game I've ever played.
4 years ago
Wow. The three click method is acceptable? Really? REALLY? It's terribly unacceptable in my book. It trivialises the sport that is Golf, it takes away the challenge that is presented in a real golf course. It's pathetic. The problem is only ,magnified once you get onto the green. The analogue stick swing system is far superior, but not really sensitive enough. This game is brilliant in it's replication of a real golf swing. In real life, I generally slice the ball. In PGA10, I also tend to slice it. Both infuriating and great programming at the same time.

I guess you could say I love to hate this game.
4 years ago
arbok wrote
The problem is that the Wii control unsimplifies the already perfectly acceptable 3 click or 3 button presses system. Having to swing through an entire round of golf - repeatedly trying to perfect said movements with no tactile feedback is also slightly annoying.

Again this is why controllers are much better for gaming - simplifying the repetitive process.
Half the reason I hate most sport games, especially golf games, is for this reason; I don’t like using a control pad. I can play golf, and thus find using a control pad cheap and uninvolving. It’s, for me, quite simply extremely boring. Mashing buttons and using analogue sticks to swing my golfclub is a snore.

So, for people like me, something like Tiger Woods 10’ on the Wii is a godsend. It completely butchers the whole accessibility thing, but I don’t really give a shit about that. I want a game that as accurately as possible emulates the game of golf, including the physical actions of golf, and so far this game is the best on offer (unless you want to pay big bucks for your own golfing simulator).

What you’re calling a ‘problem’ isn’t a problem at all, it’s just a matter of taste. Some people don’t want the extra depth and immersion; they just want the simplistic casual formula. Good for them, but not good for some others. Its right up there with analogue sticks Vs. mouse for shooters. Some people don’t mind aiming with a stick, others (like myself) are so used to PC gaming it always feels that little bit too cumbersome.

Just preference, that’s all.
4 years ago
where to begin!

hmm... well I love the three click method... it focuses on the course itself, the wind, the bunkers, water, out of bounds areas, hitting it as far as you can and placing the ball where you want is complicated enough. I understand that once you perfect the button presses, there's a lack of challenge in the swing itself but the challenge for me is in the golf course. On the harder courses of Everybody's Golf having the perfect swing is only halfway to success, its all about reading the wind, reading the greens... at the same time Everybody's Golf IS still repetitive but i enjoy the challenge on the course.

With Tiger - I feel like having to swing the wiimote is a lot of effort - a) getting off the couch as i've said b) lack of tactile feedback (you are swinging a wiimote not a real club and there's no club/ball impact) c) having to get the swing right everytime. Its harsh of me to mark it down for increasing the realism over the three click method but having to repeatedly swing a wiimote which is the same action over and over again for me just isnt a very interesting game. It may as well be waggle - the same motion over and over again. There's a lot of fun to be had on a real driving range, there's something about hitting a ball really far and making impact with it that can't be matched by hitting thin air in Tiger.

So i ask how long is everyone going to play this for? The career mode is really deep and so many courses... if you dont think its repetitive then you will have tons of fun in career mode, but for me I couldnt see myself playing more than 4 or 5 rounds and then it would probably collect dust.

My mates also came round on the weekend - i think they liked it alot but at the same time four player golf made them a bit restless as it was too slow paced and the atmosphere is like a funeral.

If I think of anymore things to say - Ill definitely come back and write more - there's something about motion control that I find takes the fun out of games... I mean I really dont want to be playing street fighter IV in natal and having to punch and kick for every blow.
4 years ago
How is swinging a club any more repetitive than clicking buttons or using the analog stick?

I really don't get that argument.

Of course swinging a Wiimote isn't exactly like hitting a real golf ball. The point is that it's closer than pressing buttons. And it works. I've tried previous installments on the Wii and they didn't really work. This works. MotionPlus makes it work.

And in case you didn't realise, there IS wind and bunkers and everything else you find every other golf games.

Half your arguments don't make sense. I thought you were saying that you didn't enjoy the Wii version as much as the 360 version. Fair enough. But then you talk about it being slow paced, etc. That's exactly the same on every version. What do you expect? It's a golf simulation.

I really don't get what you're saying here. If you don't like Tiger Woods 10 Wii because you enjoy arcade offerings more, fair enough. But don't come up with illogical arguments like how annoying it is that you 'have to get the swing right every time'. What kind of argument is that? Oh, I hate Halo, I mean it makes me aim properly every time and shoot someone! How dare it!
4 years ago
Shouldn't have given it a 7.5. See what you have done?
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Australian Release Date:
  2/07/2009 (Confirmed)
  Electronic Arts
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