Tiger Woods PGA Tour 06 PlayStation 2
Published by EA Sports
Developed by EA Sports
Release Date: Out Now
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 06, an introduction.
Although the Tiger Woods PGA Tour golf games were initially mediocre games, over the last 3 years the series has really got its act together and now it's arguably one of the finest in the EA Sports range. If the series has an Achilles heel though, it's that it has always proved to be too easy. Even in career mode where you create your own players and take on the full PGA Tour Season it doesn't take long to take a player with little skill, increase their stats, and then win virtually every event. Can Tiger Woods PGA Tour 06 provide more of a challenge?
What's the game about?
Like other recent titles in the series, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 06 is chock full of features that will keep you busy for months to come. The modes include a PGA Tour Season mode, Skills 18, Battle Golf, the Real Time Event Calendar, Battle Golf, an online mode and a whole load of traditional golf modes such as stroke and match play games. You can, of course, just elect to take a practice round or jump into a quick round by choosing the Play Now mode. New features include an enhanced golfer creation program, an ideal putt camera, analogue putting and the new shape stick. The Gamebreaker feature from various other EA titles has also been added and once the meter is filled it can be used to enhance your shots. This feature can be disabled if you don't like it, which is a good thing.
What's good about the game?
If you've enjoyed the last few games in the Tiger Woods PGA Tour series, you'll enjoy Tiger Woods PGA Tour 06 because the bulk of the content remains practically the same. The new additions to the series are well worth a mention though. Rivals mode allows you to take on the great golfers of the past in a variety of challenges. For the most part this is good fun but the golfing legends of yesteryear are not as impressive as you would expect them to be and are capable of quite a few poor shots. One of the more interesting additions is the shape stick. You can use the right analogue stick to impart spin on the ball as well as performing draws and fades. It's a nice feature but it also reminds you that the console versions of the Tiger Woods PGA Tour series are arcade golf games that can't really be considered a simulation. It's great to finally see an analogue putting system in the series but for some reason putts are too easy to make. The ideal putt camera allows you to check the path the ball will travel and only serves to make the process of putting as simple as it could possibly be. Without a doubt the most improved feature of the game has to be the game face player creation tool. This player creator simply lets you create a golfer any which way you want to. The face sculpting tools are fantastic and every facial feature can be tweaked to look exactly how you want it to look.
What's not so good about the game?
Probably the biggest fault with the Tiger Woods PGA Tour series is that the game is not the most challenging. Once you're familiar with the controls and have reached a certain level of competency, you're not going to run into any difficulty. Sadly that is still the case with Tiger Woods PGA Tour 06. The putting especially, feels far too forgiving. Yes you can disable the gimmes and yes you can ignore the ideal putt camera, but even then it's still far too easy to sink long putts in this game. To gain extra power in your shots you can hammer away on the L1 button during your backswing but I have to say it's very difficult to bash on the L1 button and accurately swing the left analogue stick. This is a problem that can be worked around though as the analogue stick controls can be swapped and you can disable the power up feature altogether if you wish.
How does it look?
Most of the 06 EA Sports games have pushed the PlayStation 2 as far as it can possible go in terms of the quality of visuals. Tiger Woods PGA Tour 06 is no exception and the game looks as good as it can and indeed it looks very good. Golfer models and courses all look good. The official courses in the game are all instantly recognisable, as are all the official players that have been included. The presentation of the game is once again superb with the menus being particularly slick. Load times are not exactly quick but they are respectable for a PlayStation 2 game.
How deaf gamer friendly is the game?
Like most sports games, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 06 has a lot of verbal content that isn't subtitled, although all the important information is shown in text. Commentary, and the tips that it sometimes provides, are unsubtitled. Speech in the Rivals mode is also unsubtitled, which is perhaps more unfortunate. Caddy Tips appear in text and will provide you with helpful hints before you take a shot. You'll also see text hints on loading screens. Whilst you're on one of the game menus you can press the square button to read information about what a specific mode offers, which is a nice touch.
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 06 is another great addition to the most popular golf series out there. Once more it's an extremely polished title that's filled to busting with great modes and features. Unfortunately it's still suffers from being too easy, especially the putting, and it's only online or against your friends that you'll come up against a real challenge. Those of you who have enjoyed the recent titles in the series will undoubtedly enjoy the game though and despite the game not offering a long term challenge it's still a great deal of fun and the best analogue swing golf game you can buy on the PlayStation 2.
Overall Game Rating: 8.5/10
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Tiger Woods PGA Tour 06 is the most comprehensive golf game you'll find on the PlayStation. It's chock full of great modes and will keep you busy for months. Some may find the game is still a little easy, despite the addition of analogue putting.