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Q4 2005



- Best console golf simulation around
- Rivals Mode provides an interesting “story” mode to complete



- Dual analog swinging and putting take a lot of practice to use effectively
- Gamebreaker Meter borrowed from other EA Sports titles seems out of place here



Review: Tiger Woods PGA Tour (DS)

Review: Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2003 (XB)

Review: Hot Shots Golf Fore! (PS2)



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Tiger Woods PGA Tour 06

Score: 8.7 / 10


tiger woods pga tour 06          tiger woods pga tour 06


Tiger Woods the golfer hasn’t pounced and trounced the rest of the PGA Tour the past few years with the same ferocity he did in his first few spectacular years touring, not winning tournaments with the same level of regularity. And he actually missed a cut this past PGA season. But look up at the PGA Tour rankings, and who’s on top? It’s Tiger Woods. Simply put, Tiger Woods might not be as conspicuously overpowering as earlier in his career, but he’s still the best all-around golfer on the planet.

The same goes for the Electronic Arts golf game bearing the Tiger Wood’s name. Tiger Wood PGA Tour 06 continues to be the best console golf video game, with an unrivalled level of golf simulation. Mario Golf, Hot Shots Golf, Outlaw Golf, and even the old Links 2004 provide an arcade-style gameplay, but none can match Tiger




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Woods PGA Tour as a true representation of the game of golf on a gaming console.

My personal choice for a golf game has been Microsoft’s Links 2004. But that’s simply because I like the easier-to-play, arcade-style golf game that focuses simply on hitting a ball into a hole over 18 greens. Tiger Woods PGA Tour 06 is anything but an easy, arcade-style golf game. Sticking to EA Sports tradition of “if it’s in the game, it’s in the game,” EA Sports


has created a golf game that requires you to practice, practice, and practice some more, really working on your game in all areas, from hitting the ball off the tee, to using the new dual analog shot mechanics to put spin on the ball when needed, to a putting game that requires using the right angles and amount of touch.

That’s not to say it isn’t a “fun” game, because it is, but know that you’re going to have to put in a lot of hard work to become a good Tiger Woods PGA Tour 06 golfer. And nothing will be more rewarding once you’ve honed your skills to going online on Xbox Live and playing winning golf in either a one-on-one or tournament setting. While there is some stuttering or delays online between shots, there isn’t any problem with lag during crucial moments such as when timing your tee shot or important putts.

Rivals mode is the newest mode to Tiger Woods PGA Tour 06. It’s more of a fantasy-style “story” mode than the straight-forward Season mode. In the Rivals mode, you will go back in time and forward again with Tiger Woods, taking on different fantasy characters and real golfers of the past and present alike (including Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus) in your attempt to become the all-time top golfer. The Season mode is Tiger Woods PGA Tour 06’s “dynasty” mode. Just like all other EA Sports titles, the Season mode lets you play an involved, lifelike 30-season career.


tiger woods pga tour 06           tiger woods pga tour 06

To become the best in any mode requires using the newest gameplay feature, the dual analog swing and putting shot mechanics. By using the left thumbstick to swing and the right thumbstick to put trajectory and spin on the ball, you can affect your shot to get closer to the green or hole. The new aiming mechanism allows you to also gauge the speed of your putt. It will take a lot of time to learn how to effectively use the backspin and topspin to finesse just the right shot by manipulating both thumbsticks at the same time. No doubt about it, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 06 will necessitate knowing how to shoot using proper dual analog techniques if you want any chance to develop a healthy handicap.

Gamebreaker is another newbie in Tiger Woods PGA Tour 06, borrowed from other EA Sports and Big titles. While the Gamebreaker, which is a meter that, once filled, can help you perform a “gamebreaking” move, feels right at place in a basketball or football game, it’s out of place like a hockey stick on the links in Tiger Woods PGA Tour 06 (although Happy Gilmore did pretty well with a hockey stick on the greens). You’re supposed to be able to affect a clutch shot, but it takes too much time to build up the meter, and when you finally do, it might not make much of a “gamebreaking” difference than the shot you would have hit without it.

New courses and an expanded golfer lineup are in Tiger Woods PGA Tour 06. There are 15 courses, with old mainstays such as St. Andrew’s joined by seven new ones including Doral, Cog Hill and TPC Sawgrass. The golfer lineup is naturally headlined by Tiger Woods, and his chief rival Vijay Singh is the other big, recognizable golf star amongst the 15 PGA Tour players. Four less-recognizable players are new, most notably Mike Weir.

Graphically, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 06 has done excellent work re-creating the various courses to exacting detail. These are beautifully rendered golf courses. The character modeling isn’t quite as good, but is within range of the quality of EA Sports games. While the announcing tandem of David Feherty and Gary McCord do an average job calling the course action, the environmental sound effects are really good. You’ll hear birds singing in the background and the sound of club meeting ball is done with an audibly realistic value

Tiger Woods PGA Tour 06 couples its unmatched golf simulation with a good “story” mode provided in the guise of the Rivals Mode, a spectacular visual rendering of the golf courses you’ll visit, and online play that includes tournament events. It won’t appeal as much to fans of the Mario Golf/Outlaw Golf/Hot Shots arcade-style golf game, but if you’re looking to play “real” golf on a console, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 06 clubs the competition off the tee.

- Lee Cieniawa

(November 23, 2005)


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