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Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2005 (PlayStation 2) artwork

Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2005 (PlayStation 2) review


" Golf is boring. To me, watching the sport is about as entertaining as throwing money at a comatose stripper. So how can Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2005óa game that is more realistic and down-to-earth then any other golf game out thereóbe entertaining? Because even though there isnít much joy in watching the game, there is an insane amount of entertainment that comes from playing it; the elation of smashing balls down the fairway, the agony of pitching them into the sand. PGA tour has swayed from all ..."



Golf is boring. To me, watching the sport is about as entertaining as throwing money at a comatose stripper. So how can Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2005--a game that is more realistic and down-to-earth then any other golf game out there--be entertaining? Because even though there isnít much joy in watching the game, there is an insane amount of entertainment that comes from playing it; the elation of smashing balls down the fairway, the agony of pitching them into the sand. PGA tour has swayed from all the antics and cartoon-like aspects of its competitors and remained loyal to the stature and respectability golf has earned over the years without losing a sense of entertainment.

So with gimmicks ditched, the realism of the game has to be flawless. Graphics, character rendering, environment and mechanics all need to stand out. The first thing you need to grow accustomed to are the mechanics. Pushing the analog stick down leads you into your back swing where as launching it forward finishes the stroke. Timing and control is an integral part of the game, even though there is no bar moving back and forth and no button to be pushed at the right time. If you take too long in your back swing or donít go all the way back, you lose power.

Precision is another quality sought after if youíre going to play this game. Pushing the analog stick too far to the left or right is going to create a blue or yellow line in your back swing and likewise make your ball go the same direction you were leaning. Hitting a straight ball means moving the analog stick straight. Sounds a lot simpler then it actually is.

And who can forget the one thing every golfer must do: Guess. No, the game doesnít force you to try and determine how many yards lie between you and the pin; the amount of power needed to get there is a different story. By pushing circle on the controller, your view is pushed up to the end of the clubs length. A tiny arrow with a box above it tells you what club, how many yards and the percent of power needed. If you pull back on the directional button the percentage drops and at some point if you go too far you change clubs. Lining the arrow up with the hole may lead to a lesser club, or you may find yourself staring at a percentage. Pray for the first as the percentage tells you how much back swing you need and itís not going to stop you if you go over. It up to you to determine how much of your back swing is sayÖ75%.

The mechanics make this game what it is and instill the sense of realism needed. Along with mashing the L1 button for power and the L2 for spin, itís a far cry from taping x in the little yellow bar. They keep you drawn in, focused and--most importantly--entertained.

I donít mean to drone on about them, as there are an abundance of features that make this game just as entertaining. The Tiger proofing for one. Instead of feeling like a golfer, now I feel like a grounds keeper. Tiger proofing a course gives you the ability to change every aspect golfers look for: depth of sand traps, length of the rough and the upkeep of the fairway and greens. You can make your course harder by increasing the wind while you decrease the size of the fairway or you can take it easy on yourself and do just the opposite. Want to earn more prestige and make your course stand out? Tiger-proofing gives you the option of changing the raking patterns for the sand traps and the mowing patterns for the green/fairway as well as the colors for both. With patterns worthy of a stamping kit and colors like pink and purple this is the only part of PGA tour that can worm away from the mundane. Call me crazy but I rather enjoy shoving snooty Tiger onto a clown-colored course.

And where would realism be without character rendering and graphics? The recreation of every golfer is sparkling, enough so that I could pick any of them out of a lineup. The polygons are smooth and polished. Every movement, every animation is methodical and the lines are more binding then a prenuptial. The facial expressions--even those of created golfers--are worthy of an emmy. The backgrounds and environments leave little to be desired. The grass patterns are extremely distinguished and not just by color; every single blade of grass is used to determine the difference between fairway and rough. Manage to smack a ball into the sand and itís followed by a tiny eruption of dust. The sky itself can be wistful or looming, depending on the weather.

And if thatís not enough to make you feel like your actually striking the lynx, keep in mind veteran commentators Gary McCord and David Feherty are going to quip about every shot you make, be it good or bad. There commentary can be a bit of an annoyance, but itís a welcome change from the otherwise boring sound. Decent musicÖ well music is provided in the menu screen, but other then that aspect the game remains rather quiet, and rather simple.

The fun factor of this game--aside from the ego boost you get when smacking a perfect ball--lies in a massive amount of different challenges. The legend pursuit is a new addition to PGA Tour and it allows you to chase down different legends such as Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus. But youíre going to have to prove your worth and battle five lackeys each before any of these stars are going to take you seriously.

As if the legends werenít on a high enough horse and havenít done enough to bash the rookie, they have also provided their own challenges for you. Legend Scenarios take a different turn in the sense that you no longer hope to earn the right to battle them, but instead gain medals depending on your score. You may find yourself trying to tackle the hardest holes in the game, or trying to save par while buried in a sand trap. Impressing these icons earns you a gold, silver or bronze medal, a decent amount of cash and some legend coins you can use to buy new courses or upgrades.

Along with the overabundance of suitable games, the unlockable content is going to keep you playing this game long after the new one comes out. Clothes, Clubs, Courses and even hair dye can only be unlocked by achieving certain goals. Sometimes itís as simple as earning a sponsorship from a company, other times itís beating a certain player on their birthday.

Certain feats are also met with trophy balls. Slamming a ball over three hundred fifty yards, nailing a hole in one or sinking a fifty foot putt are just a few examples of the accomplishments that can be stamped to your resume. Youíre also gunning for Tiger, as proof with the Tracking Tiger Trophy balls. Smash any of his impressive stats--like landing six aces or getting thirteen under par in a tournament--and the game again gives you the recognition you deserve.

While nothing can capture the true essence of real golf, this prestigious sport couldnít ask for a better virtual counterpart then Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2005. Every aspect of golf is molded seamlessly into this quintessential game. The realism is nailed, the technique is unblemished and the quality is legendary, leaving PGA Tour to crush the rest of the competition right off the tee.

Rating: 8.0/10

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Community review by True (June 08, 2005)

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