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Friday | December 9, 2016
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Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09 (Wii)

Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09 (Wii)

Just what we need eh? another golf game! But fear not, this year Tiger Woods PGA tour has been handed over to Madden developer Tiburon, these guys are clearly at the top of their field as they have managed to apply a level of polish and entertainment unheard of in this series to date.

Previous Tiger Woods games on the Wii have been little more than enhanced Playstation 2 titles with unique Wii controls thrown into the mix. Not to say it looked that bad, but you knew this game wasn’t getting the full monty when it came to engine development. Sadly, this year’s version is only slightly improved with enhanced lighting and texture updates. I am hoping EA finally budget a total engine overhaul in next year’s version.

All Play comes with all the features you would expect from a Tiger Woods game. Single player has the brilliant My Career mode which is home to the long drawn out PGA Tour Season, FedExCup and Tiger Challenge. PGA Tour will keep gamers busy for a very considerable amount of time with 35 matches, all of which are 18 hole competitions surpassing even the 09 season.  Thankfully due to the length of these matches they let you quit mid match, save and then return when you next have time to play.

The MyCareer mode let you create a player using the inbuilt games "create a golfer" mode. This years character editor is more powerful than previous incarnations and it enables you to customise face structures, body types, clothing. The list is quite endless. As you win games and earn money you can tweak your skill settings, improving on various feature sets. You can modify characteristics such as power, spin, accuracy, putting and even concentration levels.

This year the game gets a new option called Club Tuner which is under the MyCoach section, this feature lets you tweak club configurations so they perform to their maximum for your given play style. There is great promise for this new option when the Wii MotionPlus comes into play, but right now it just seems a bit pointless considering that the default playset is perfectly fine for most people.

The biggest improvement this year and one which makes this the greatest Tiger Woods game yet are the new controls. They have always been great but developer Tiburon have nailed it. When you pull back slightly on the Wii remote this action is mirrored onscreen by your player. You can now even hold the club at various points in the swing arch, and the player will copy you. The game now even measures your speed of movement, so when you take a swing this is translated almost perfectly in game. This means you are rewarded for a smooth arch, rather than if your movement is clumsy and mechanical. I would also like to say this is extremely demanding physically!

To further enhance the wonderful control methodology there are now several more control options at the players disposal. All-Play is the beginners system as it shows the full trajectory of where the ball will land. Standard setting is the most common place option as it won’t highlight the trajectory of your ball but it will measure your swing arch. Also it allows you to add fade and draw to your shots by dragging the leans respectively with your Wii remote using the IR pointer. Lastly there is a somewhat unusable Advanced option which omits manual draw and fade for accelerometer based play, unfortunately this doesn’t work particularly well as it works somewhat unreliably. Adding draw is painful for example in this mode as you basically have to twist the Wii remote dramatically inward, keep it there and then take your backward and forward swing arch. Needless to say for the majority of people the standard setting will be the mode of choice.

This year’s game ships with all the courses from the 08 version as well as five new stages, these comprise Gary Player Country Club in South Africa and Wentworth Country Club in England. There are also a plethora of multiplayer games and a brilliant online mode. Under these game modes there are 19 various game types, such as Capture the flag, Battle Golf and Rings …. these are fun alternatives to the real game and are sure to appeal to gamers wanting a fun experience with friends.

The real winner with Tiger Woods 09 on the Wii however is the online mode. You can play against up to 3 players online at the same time. This plays in an addictive manner because you never have to wait for the other players, everyone plays simultaneously. As you play, you get to see the trajectories of all the players shots and how many swings they have taken, this ends up as a greatly addictive and immersive experience. Sometimes online golf can be killed waiting for people to take their turns. It is also worth mentioning that I never noticed any lag or slowdowns when playing online so it would be fair to say that this is a very polished aspect of the game.

This online mode thankfully works via EA Nation so you don’t waste time messing with the cumbersome friend codes system and if you already have the system numbers of your friends you can auto invite them to play the game with you. This is a diverse way to handle the online aspect and it means you have a huge amount of online options to play against people across the globe.

There are casual, competitive and social lobbies which means you are sure to find a player who thinks the same as yourself. You can also play in ranked matches which means that your wins and defeats all tally up to give your total online ranking, there is even world rank leaderboards which means everytime you play someone you get their full online history of victories and defeats.

Tiger Woods 09 is a fantastic game and probably one of the greatest golf games to hit Nintendo’s console. What the game lacks graphically when compared to its high definition counterparts, it more than makes up for with the new and fabulous control method. The swing mechanics are so good, that even real life golfers will enjoy this title. It is also packed with more content than ever before with such a huge plethora of game modes that the long term playability is almost guaranteed. Highly recommended.

Gameplay

90/100

brilliant game play and one of the most realistic control methods to date.

Graphics
74/100

It is a Wii game and we don’t expect lashings of 360 style content, but there is more potential with the Wii. Hopefully next year it gets and overhaul.

Sound
65/100

Absolutely nothing to write home about.

Value
88/100
This will comfortably keep you playing until next year’s release.
Overall
(not an average)
86/100

One of the finest sports games on the Wii.

About Author

Stuart Davidson

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