Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10 PSP
Published by: EA Sports
Developed by: EA Sports
As with the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions of Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10, the PSP version is more of a refinement rather than a version which brings us a load of new features. As a handheld golf game it's certainly enjoyable but it's probably not the leap forward that most will be hoping for. There's plenty here to keep you busy however as the one thing it has in common with all of the other versions of Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10 is that it's practically bursting at the seams with modes and game variants. The game also have a few unique features of its own too.
In Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10 you have a choice of control systems. You can either use the analogue stick to simulate a golf swing, or you can opt for button pressing with the game offering a 2 and 3 click swing option. Whilst all of the control methods work as well as could be expected, it is strange that the game is significantly more difficult if you choose to use the analogue swing method. That said, the game isn't overly difficult using the analogue swing method and with a bit of practice you'll be getting decent scores. Using the 2 or 3 click swing method is significantly easier however. For my first round of golf on the game I used the default analogue swing method on the default difficulty setting and finished a couple over par. Playing another round using the 2 and 3 click swing methods I found the eagles and birdies literally flying in and my total score for the round being much lower that I could have hoped for.
The PSP version takes onboard the idea of a player's confidence and how it can affect his/her performance. The basic idea is that bad shots will harm your confidence, and cause the meter to empty, whilst good shots will improve your confidence and help to fill your confidence meter. Once the confidence meter has been filled your golfer's abilities will receive a temporary boost emulating the notion of being high in confidence and playing above your natural level. Should things not go well and your confidence meter empty, you'll be given the chance to compete in a Mental Game (a mini-game that involves such tasks as picking up rubbish from around the hole within the given time) to recover some of the confidence you've lost. It's an idea that was first seen in Outlaw Golf on the Xbox (where you could beat up your caddie to recover composure). On the whole the confidence system works quite well and doesn't do anything to disturb the flow of the game unless you're constantly engaging in Mental Games.
Another difference you'll notice with the PSP version is the inclusion of a risk meter. The risk meter essentially indicates when there is risk of your proposed shot ending up in the bunker or some other such undesirable addition. This is quite a handy feature for beginners as it can make them aware of shots that don't always appear to be potentially hazardous. Repositioning where you intend to shoot can lower the risk of the shot going awry meaning for a less frustrating time. However there are big confidence boosts for taking and pulling off risky shots so you may want to attempt them from time to time.
As we mentioned earlier, there are modes and game variations aplenty in Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10 for the PSP. You can jump into a quick round of golf with the aptly titled Quick Play mode. The heart of the single-player experience is undoubtedly the PGA Tour Career mode. Here you'll start as a rookie and it's your job to build up your reputation competing in a variety of events. Eventually of course you'll be aiming to get your hands on the FedExCup but there's a lot of virtual golf to be played before then. The game also offers an assortment of Mini-Games (Shooting Gallery, Putting Frenzy and Mental Games) to enjoy. Multiplayer is also covered with support for Ad Hoc and Infrastructure play (for two players). However, it is a shame you can't play a round with a friend using a single PSP. Finally there's the Tournament Challenge mode which offers you a generous amount of scenarios, from recent golfing history, to try your hand at.
Graphically the game hasn't changed much at all which is a little disappointing, if not completely surprising, given the technological limitations of the PSP. The addition of dynamic weather may initially seem like a plus point but it doesn't really add anything to the experience in all honesty. Load times are never too long although it can be a little testing having to endure them between holes during a round of golf. The frame rate is absolutely fine however and remains fairly smooth throughout.
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10 isn't a bad experience for deaf gamers but there are several aspects of the game you won't be able to fully appreciate. The various video clips in the game are not subtitled. The same is true for the flyover and game commentary. Tutorial speech is not subtitled but you do get text messages to convey the general meaning so deaf gamers will still be able to benefit from them. During a round of golf you'll receive text caddy info tips which will alert you to risky shots. Thankfully all of the essential information is displayed visually, either through text, numbers or icons.
If you're currently after a golf game for your PSP it basically boils down to a choice of two series. You can either opt for the arcade style Everybody's Golf series or the more realistic Tiger Woods PGA Tour series of which Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10 is the best to date. In terms of content and game modes this is definitely the game to go for. Some aspects of the game could have been better; it would have been good to have had the ability to have played with a friend or two with just a single PSP for instance, but on the whole it's an enjoyable game that offers more than most would have imagined a handheld golf game could.