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March 29, 2011



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Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12: The Masters

Score: 6.5 / 10


tiger woods pga tour 12          tiger woods pga tour 12


In the classic Simpsons episode “Marge Be Not Proud”, Bart learned an important lesson about choosing his mother over a videogame, redeeming his failed attempt to steal a copy of Bonestorm from the Try N’ Save, and receiving a Christmas gift of “Lee Carvallo's Putting Challenge”, a gesture he accepted gracefully but also shelved after one play session.


The reason for opening with that trip down memory lane was to prepare you for the following review; Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12: The Masters is, simply put, a




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- Games Published by Electronic Arts

golf game, as accurately portrayed as the fictional game seen in that Simpsons episode. If you’re not a fan of the sport or EA’s annual adaption of said sport, then feel free to stop reading here; there will be plenty of more relevant reviews to look forward to in the coming weeks. For the rest of you, read on…


Despite his fall from fame due to his affairs, Tiger Woods is the primary focus of this latest game; don’t let


his absence on the cover fool you into thinking his role was diminished, as players are put into the role of the infamous putter immediately upon starting up the game. While players relive one of Woods’ landmark victories, the game also takes this moment to provide a basic tutorial on the simulated mechanics.


On paper, the gameplay sounds incredibly simple; after creating a custom golfer, players are given a caddie that will offer a number of suggested plays in order to complete each course with the fewest number of swings. Each of the plays are listed with a percentage of success, so it’s only a matter of following the caddie’s advice and lining up each shot with the right stick.


Putting the putting to practice, however, requires a steady aim and a precise swing. Mess up, and the ball could land right into a sand trap or even smack a pedestrian right in the elbow. The most difficult moments come from when the ball is mere inches from the hole, requiring the most gentle of stick presses.


That is basically the gist of the game; From an opinionated standpoint, golf is one of the duller sports to recreate in videogame form, with an analog stick lacking the level of accuracy needed to fully appreciate the pastime. Truth be told, this is one genre that seems tailor made for motion controls, which is why a Kinect-enabled option would have done wonders for bringing in gamers who aren’t quite as enthused about the sport. However, for those who follow it to a tee (sorry), there’s a lot to look forward to regarding content.


tiger woods pga tour 12 masters          tiger woods pga tour 12 the masters


In addition to the Road to the Masters campaign, there are several other game modes to choose from, such as Tiger in the Masters (which allows you to relive Woods’ most famous victories from 1997 to today), Inside The Augusta National (a series of courses that take place during The Masters tournament), and The Presidents Cup (play with an AI group to compete against an opposing team).


But the most exciting feature of The Masters lies in the presentation; nearly every menu and mode is filled with extensive real-life trivia about the courses, the different types of matches, and several other facts, while the matches themselves are all narrated by professional golf commentators Jim Nantz and David Feherty. There are even video interviews by Woods himself, along with several other unlockable footage. Graphically, the character models hold up well enough, though the plain textures in the courses don’t quite mesh up with the golfers.


There is also a robust list of clothing, putters, and other accessories players can unlock with the Sponsor system, which features unlockable apparel for fulfilling certain conditions (such as gaining levels through experience, finishing certain courses, etc). And because EA is always in the habit of making money, players can bypass these challenges altogether and spend real money to unlock the stuff instantly. Players can also link their Twitter accounts as well as invite friends to join in, even if they don’t own the game (they will instead download the demo, while the host reaps the rewards with extra XP).


In the end, The Masters is, in the purest sense, a golf simulator. It does not require extensive practice, nor does it have enough to entice people who have no interest in the sport. For those that do, however, your devotion will be greatly rewarded.


- Jorge Fernandez

(July 15, 2011)


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