Tiger Woods PGA Tour 08 PlayStation 2
Published by: EA Sports
Developed by: EA Sports
Release Date: Out Now
Out of all the different versions of Tiger Woods PGA Tour 08 we've been fortunate to see this year, the PlayStation 2 version has to be the most disappointing. In many ways it's hardly any different from last year's game and in some respects it's actually poorer. Whilst the Xbox 360 version had several new features and improved on what was in the previous version of the game, the PlayStation 2 version feels like it takes one step forward and two steps back. Only the most loyal fans of the Tiger Woods PGA Tour series will be interested in what Tiger Woods PGA Tour 08 has to offer.
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 08 features six new courses, twenty-three professional golfers, a new putt preview feature and a new confidence mechanic. It also features a slightly reworked championship format. Essentially that's about it for the new features, which at first glance is only slightly disappointing. On closer inspection however, you'll realise that the situation is slightly worse than you initially thought because whilst there have been additions, there have also been subtractions. Last year there were twenty-one courses, this year there are only eighteen so the fact that there are six new courses (which incidentally include Cog Hill, TPC Boston and East Lake) isn't anything to be pleased about. New golfers, such as Camilo Villegas and Morgan Pressel have been added but several have been take out.
The game modes are identical to those found in last year's game. The career mode has been altered slightly but it essentially offers the same experience. Unlike the 360 version, the PlayStation 2 version doesn't offer the three button press golf swing method unfortunately. There is no GamerNet feature, which is disappointing seeing as it's one of the better features in the 360 version. The Photo Game Face feature, which allows you to import your face using a camera or digital photo, is also missing. The putt preview feature has been included although it's different from the 360 version. Here you press the X button and take practice swings until you are happy with the line the ball is taking. The catch is that you only have a limited amount of time to use the putt preview for the whole round. Once you've used the time up, you won't be able to use the putt preview again for that round.
The game now models confidence for every shot and every shot type you take on every hole. Essentially the game remembers how well you hit certain shots and which holes you've hit them on. If you hit a specific shot well you'll gain confidence (causing the confidence meter to fill) and this will give you a better chance of hitting that type of shot well next time. Of course hitting a bad shot does the opposite and makes things a little more difficult. Confidence affects the size of the targeting circle. The bigger the targeting circle, the more room for error. Playing well and gaining confidence will decrease the size of the circle. Attempting risky shots can also decrease your confidence. Confidence is carried over from round to round, essentially adding a level of realism to your virtual golfer.
Hardly anything has changed when it comes to the game's presentation. Whilst the game's menus may have received an overhaul, the same can't be said for the game's graphics which remain practically identical to the previous versions. There does seem to be more frame rate problems in this year's version which seems a little strange. The commentary isn't subtitled. The tutorials aren't subtitled which makes them absolutely pointless for deaf gamers. The player comments aren't subtitled. In fact none of the speech in the game is subtitled. Fortunately, all of the essential information is provided in text so whilst there is plenty of information that isn't subtitled, it's still possible for deaf gamers to enjoy what's on offer.
All things considered then, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 08 is the most disappointing version in the series to date on the PlayStation 2. It actually takes the series backwards to a certain degree and if you own either the 06 or 07 versions you'd be better off sticking with them. There are fewer courses than in 07. The putt preview feature just isn't as good as the one found in the 360 version. Thankfully the confidence mechanic has been included which does something extra to the experience. It's clear that the developers are going to be channelling their efforts on the Wii, 360 and PlayStation 3 from now on. The PlayStation 2 version of Tiger Woods PGA Tour 08 certainly isn't a bad game but it feels as though it hasn't had a lot of effort put into it and there's not a lot here to make it a worthwhile purchase for all but the most enthusiastic fans of the series.
There is no denying that Tiger Woods PGA Tour 08 is a good golf game but you can't help feel that the series has taken a step backward this year.