getting your shots to go where you want them to go using the PSP
analog nub can be frustrating
- Disappointingly not much of a selection of mini-games
- Visuals a few steps below the PS2 offering
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Woods PGA Tour 07
8.5 / 10
ifs, ands or putts about it: Tiger Woods PGA Tour 07 is the best golf
game the PSP has to offer. It has a few in-the-rough edges, such as a
sometimes-frustrating control setup and an inexcusably weak selection
(only two) of mini-games for a handheld system that is designed and
cries out loudly from the gallery for an abundance of mini-games. But
otherwise, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 07 is a solid title, especially now that
it finally adds a career mode and all-new online play to go along with
an increased course-load of fields of golfing green.
Career mode is the biggest addition to Tiger Woods PGA Tour 07. Like its
console counterparts, now you can play through entire seasons on the
tour calendar competing for the FedEx Cup circuit crown as the best
golfer around. As with all of EAís sports games, there is ESPN
integration built into your gameplay experience using the PSPís
wireless Internet connectivity, so expect a healthy dose of the ESPN
ticker running across the bottom of your screen. It does add another
layer of realism to the game, however.
Youíll be able to play both the career mode and any other on a boosted
amount of courses from last year (now totaling 12), as EA has given
golfing gamers a whole new selection of choice greenery to tee off at,
including Pinehurst No. 2, Bethpage Black, St. Andrews and a Central
Park fantasy course. Thatís more than enough
types of courses, from forest-like, tree-lined fairways to ones filled
with water hazards, to get your golf groove on.
However, youíll have to groove to an uneven gameplay beat with
hard-to-grasp controls. Using the PSPís analog nub as the gameís
main swing mechanism parlays into a frustrating experience for the
casual PSP gamer thatís
accustomed to the excellent dual-analog controls of the console versions
of the game. It really was frustrating trying to play the Tiger Woods
PGA Tour 07 without really knowing if my shot was going to go where I
wanted it to go due to the too-sensitive nature of the analog nub.
Putting was even more difficult and exasperating, but by using the
tutorial, I was ultimately able to improve my handicap and get a much
better grasp on my virtual clubbing using the aforementioned analog nub.
There arenít only a wide variety of courses to select. You also have a
big field of real-life golfers to choose from besides Tiger Woods (in
two varieties: everyday Tiger and Sunday Tiger in his winning red Nike
shirt). Tiger Woods PGA Tour 07 features some of the world's best
players, including Vijay Singh, John Daly and Retief Goosen. You can
also create your own character using the gameís refined and deeper
GameFace character-creation tool.
If you donít want to delve into the more involved career mode, there
are a few other quick-play modes available, a key facet for gamers on
the go with their PSP. You can engage in stroke play, skins games, match
play or Stableford competitions on just nine or all 18 holes of your
selected course. You also have new online gameplay available.
Central Park mini-games are new, too. Both the Shooting Gallery and
Putting Frenzy (Putting Frenzyís more fun, Shooting Galleryís more
challenging) are good little diversions that sneakily help improve you
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 07 golfing skills. Itís too bad that a few more
arenít here, because these are the perfect style of mini-games for a
portable system. Just a handful more would have really fit perfectly into
the PSPís quick gaming-on-the-run (or bus or train) functionality.
Visually, the game isnít really outstanding, sitting somewhere a notch
below the PS2 version, but the courses, where the visuals really count,
are much better represented than the players themselves. Commentary comes
from David Feherty and Gary McCord, and aside from some really annoying
wisecracks when your game isnít going well, they provide a decent level
of observations where appropriate.
It certainly isnít a hole-in-one for the Tiger Woods PGA Tour series
gone portable, but with the career mode and enhanced online play more than
making up for lackluster graphics and a dearth of mini-games (although
thereís still a plethora of other golf-game modes), Tiger Woods PGA Tour
07 still makes the cut as the best PSP golfing game around.