Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10 Xbox 360
Published by: EA Sports
Developed by: EA Sports
We always expect each iteration of a sports title to be significantly bigger and better than the last one. This isn't always possible however. Sports games that are released on a yearly cycle only have a fixed amount of time to be worked on and there are times when it makes more sense to only add a few new features and polish the existing features to make it a better overall experience for the gamer. Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10 isn't dramatically different from last year's game. The new features, whilst worthwhile, aren't exactly exciting but it's hard to argue that the game isn't a better experience overall.
What are the new features this time around then? Well the big new feature has to be the addition of Live Tournaments. You can compete in online tournaments against fellow gamers from around the globe in a variety of daily and weekly events. You can even compete against the pros real life scores with the same conditions being set for the challenge which is certainly a nice touch for golf aficionados. Whilst the online tournaments are welcome, it must be said that you'll be against some really challenging players getting ridiculously low scores. Of course you wouldn't mind the stiff challenge so much if you're playing against gamers who have developed their character through playing the game a lot but it's possible, with the aid of your credit card, to gain an unfair advantage and this can make for a frustrating time when playing online.
In fact it's easily possible to spend more money on additional items in the game than it is on the game itself. The game ships with around 16 courses, which is a good amount, but there are four "real" courses (Wolf Creek, Cog Hill, Banff Springs and Spyglass Hill) and one fantasy course (The Predator) that you can purchase. Additional courses are welcome of course but it's a bit sickening that gamers can pay out for a variety of additional items that can really help to boost your custom player's attributes. These items can be unlocked during the normal course of play but those who have the extra spending power can simply spend real money to purchase these items with MS points. It's also disappointing that you cannot bring over your player from last year's game but I daresay this would probably reduce the temptation to pay out for these stat boosting items.
Other new features include the ability to sync up with The Weather Channel and play your round of golf in real-world conditions. The US open has finally been included. You can take part in a practice round placing the ball where you want to in order to enhance your skills from any point on a course of your choice. A new precision putting option has been included. The idea behind this is that, just as in the real sport, you only have one putter and the power you apply to your shot will determine how far your ball travels. There's even a gauge to show you in detail how hard you're hitting the ball. Should you not like the precision putting, you can turn it off and return to the "classic" style of putting that's been present in these games for years.
The game has the usual glut of game modes that the series has traditionally contained. There are a variety of traditional game modes such as Stroke Play, Match Play and Skins etc. There are also mini-games including Target, Target to Target, T.I.G.E.R. and Capture the Flag. Tournament Challenge is a mode that allows you to play in a variety of scenarios from previous seasons. The career mode is just as impressive and time consuming as ever. Golf enthusiasts will appreciate the inclusion of the US Open this time around too. It is a shame that you can't import your player from last year's game however as it can feel like a real chore to have to begin from scratch once again. Your custom player's attributes, as in last year's game, are dynamic and will increase and decrease depending on how you perform on the course. After a competition you're given the chance to take some drills to give you a temporary boost for your next round of golf thus enabling you to compensate for some of the weaker areas of your game. Online play is present and this time around you won't have to wait for others to take their shots, thanks to the simultaneous play feature.
There's little to fault with the game's presentation although it could be a better experience for deaf gamers. Graphically the game hasn't changed much at all. This is hardly a surprise to be honest as it's doubtful that the graphics could be much better on this generation of consoles. I think some of the load times between holes are a little on the long side (and installing the game to the hard drive certainly doesn't seem to do too much to improve this) but there isn't much to find fault with in all honesty.
Whilst there are no real obstacles for deaf gamers, there are some aspects of the game that could have been better. The opening video that highlights the new features is not subtitled. Other videos in the game aren't subtitled either making them worthless for deaf gamers. The commentary, once again, isn't subtitled. To a certain extent this isn't a disappointment as it's by far the worst commentary in a Tiger Woods PGA Tour game for many years and a lot of the commentary is both out of sync with what's happening and very irritating too. Comments from the golf coach, given when you're taking the drills to give your stats a temporary boost for the next round, aren't subtitled either. There are some coach tips provided in text however. Despite these disappointments, you'll still be able to enjoy the game as all of the essential information is displayed visually, either through text or other means.
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10 is without a doubt the best golf game you can purchase on the Xbox 360 and it does manage to improve upon last year's Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09. Those with a interest in golf games who didn't pick up last year's game needn't think twice about purchasing the game as there is little to fault with it. If you did purchase Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09 the choice isn't so easy because the game isn't a major improvement over last year's game. Whilst the new features are certainly welcome, none are essential and that's a shame because, all things considered, it's definitely the best Tiger Woods PGA Tour game on the Xbox 360 so far.