Tiger Woods PGA Tour 07 PlayStation 3
Published by: EA Sports
Developed by: EA Sports
Release Date: Out Now
Just as they did for the launch of the Xbox 360, EA Sports have provided us with a Tiger Woods PGA Tour game for the PlayStation 3 launch day. Whilst the version that arrived for the launch of the Xbox 360 was a dramatically cut-down version of the other Tiger Woods PGA Tour games that arrived in 2005, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 07 on the PlayStation 3 is practically identical to the very enjoyable, and much more satisfying Tiger Woods PGA Tour 07 that appeared on the Xbox 360 late last year. In short then PlayStation 3 owners get the chance to own a top quality golf game from day one.
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 07 on the PlayStation 3 offers 12 licensed courses with the likes of Bandon Dunes, Glen Abbey, St. Andrew's and Firestone Country Club. There are a whole load of game modes. There’s a 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 when playing offline. Of course you can also play online using the PlayStation Network (PSN) in daily tournaments and take part in ranked and unranked games when the mood suits.
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 07 adds a few new ingredients to the mix which help to keep things interesting for longstanding fans of the series. 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.
How does the game compare with the Xbox 360 version? From a technical standpoint we are talking about a game that's practically identical and there's no reason why anyone who owns the Xbox 360 version of the game should purchase the PlayStation 3 version if they have purchased Sony's new console. I did miss the force feedback in the controller (on the 360 version it vibrated whenever you had a pressure shot and on the PlayStation 3 version you have a sound which deaf gamers will be unaware of). Whilst the analogue sticks on the PlayStation 3 controller are superior to those on the PlayStation 2 controller they still aren't as good as those on the 360 controller and on the whole the control didn't feel as good. However, this is a personal preference rather than a problem and I daresay there will be those who have opposing opinions. I was disappointed to find there was no option to install the game to the PlayStation 3 HDD as this would have really speeded up the load times. Don't get me wrong, the load times aren't bad but when there's a hard drive available to every PlayStation 3 owner, why not use it?
The quality of the presentation is pretty much identical to the Xbox 360 version which means you're getting a game that looks better than on the previous round of consoles but you're not getting a game that makes the most of the PlayStation 3 hardware (indeed the Xbox 360 version could have looked better too). The golfers 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 it's a shame the problem hasn't been fixed for this PlayStation 3 version.
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 07 may be a 'next-generation' sports title but sadly deaf gamers have the same problems that they have had with previous generation sports titles. The commentary is still not subtitled but hopefully this is something that will change with future releases of not just the Tiger Woods PGA Tour series but all sports games. The Tutorial movie clips are also not subtitled. 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).
Whilst the series still has a way to go before we have the ultimate video golf game experience, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 07 on the PlayStation 3 is certainly a great golf game that fans of the series should definitely pick up with their PlayStation 3. Unlike the series' debut on the Xbox 360 this doesn't feel like a cut down version although it would have been nice to have had more than the 12 official courses and with every PlayStation 3 having a hard drive you would have thought a course editor (offering the ability to create your own courses from scratch) would have been included. It's recently been announced that the series is now in the hands of different developers and it's going to be interesting to see the direction the series will take. For now though Tiger Woods PGA Tour 07 is a great first golf game for the PlayStation 3 and it's certainly going to keep fans of the series busy for many months to come.
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 07 is a great debut title for the series on the PlayStation 3. If you own a PlayStation 3 and enjoy golf games (and didn't pick up the 360 version) then this has to be regarded as a must own title.