Tiger Woods PGA Tour 07 Xbox 360
Published by EA Sports
Developed by EA Sports
Release Date: Out Now
When the Xbox 360 launched, almost a year ago now, Electronic Arts released a fair few of their games for the console. One of the better EA Sports games was Tiger Woods PGA Tour 06. That said, we did have some complaints about the game. The biggest disappointments were the lack of courses (there were only six in total) and game modes, which made the game feel like a diluted Tiger Woods PGA Tour experience. Despite these omissions it was still an enjoyable game and unlike the other versions of Tiger Woods PGA Tour 06 actually provided a decent challenge.
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 07 tackles the main problem areas of the first Xbox 360 Tiger Woods PGA Tour game head on and feels much more substantial. To begin with there are 12 courses with the likes of Bandon Dunes, Glen Abbey and Firestone Country Club being added. There are now a whole load of game modes, which is a big improvement on what the 06 version offered. There’s a new Tiger Challenge mode where you’ll take on the world’s best golfers before finally taking Tiger on. A fully featured PGA Tour Season is also included. Add to this a collection of mini-games (Target, Capture the Flag Long Drive Contest etc.), traditional games (Stroke play, Skins etc.) and two arcade modes (Battle Golf and One Ball) and there’s plenty to do in when playing offline. Of course you can also play over Xbox Live in daily tournaments and take part in ranked and unranked games when the mood suits.
For the last few years now the Tiger Woods PGA Tour series has been of a high standard and the 07 version on the Xbox 360 is no exception. This year’s game adds a few new ingredients to the mix which help to keep things interesting. There are four custom difficulty levels to allow everyone whatever their ability to truly enjoy themselves with the game. If you don’t want the bother of setting a difficulty level, you can opt for the new reactive difficulty setting that basically suggests the difficulty level to suit your ability, which is a nice touch. In recent times the various EA Sports titles have been attempting to make the most of the right analogue stick and in TWPGA Tour 07, the right analogue stick becomes the Loft Stick. Basically you can dictate the loft of your shot before the swing by pressing the right analogue stick forward to keep the flight of the ball low and pushing the stick backward to gain extra loft allowing you to clear trees etc. It’s a simple addition but one that works well and I personally hope the Loft Stick is here to stay. The game also has a new ESPN on Demand feature. It doesn’t really add anything to the game but it allows you to keep in touch with American sports, which some might appreciate.
The quality of the presentation has definitely gone up a notch or two since last year’s game. The menus are better laid out and they generally look much better. The golfers also look great. The facial expressions on the golfers look much more realistic and it’s clear the developers have spent a lot of effort trying to make the golfers look and animate more realistically. The courses look impressive too. There are still some rough edges though. The spectators don’t look like cardboard cut-outs (for once) but they are about as responsive as them. Should a wayward shot end up amongst them they don’t react as they should and when they do react they are far too slow. It’s quite comical to see a spectator get hit on the head with a golf ball because nobody moved when the ball was heading for their direction. Of course this is a minor complaint and has no bearing on the quality of the game but still we demand more responsive spectators.
Whilst this year’s game represents an improvement on last year’s Tiger Woods Xbox 360 debut in a variety of ways, it’s a shame that it’s no more deaf gamer friendly this year. Commentary is still unsubtitled. The Tutorial and What’s New movie clips are also unsubtitled. Thankfully there are text instructions for the tutorial movies which you can read before watching the movie. The ESPN on Demand features are a bit of a mixed bag for deaf gamers. As you might expect the radio news isn’t subtitled, although there are text summaries for various news items. Essentially though, you aren’t purchasing the game for sports news and it’s not much of a loss (especially when reading the sports news on ESPN’s website is a better solution anyway).
What it boils down to of course is whether Tiger Woods PGA Tour 07 is worth the asking price and the answer has to be a resounding yes. The large increase in the number of courses and modes more than makes this worth the asking price. The new features also enhance the experience and when you factor in the improved graphics and animations it’s fair to say that this year it feels like a fully fledged next generation golf game. Of course there are some disappointments such as the fact that the Xbox 360 version has fewer courses than the PC and PlayStation 2 versions of the game but still this is a minor complaint and Tiger Woods PGA Tour 07 is a must for anyone fancying a game of virtual golf on their Xbox 360.
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 07 represents a good improvement on last year's game and a necessary purchase if you're a fan of golf games. It would still be nice to see more courses included though.