PGA Championship Golf Titanium Edition
by Vivendi UIP
Not so long ago the only way to play PC golf was to click your way around the virtual golf course. This was OK for some and the success of Links and EA's PGA series proved that it was popular. However with the arrival of Sierra Sports Golf that was all to change. This game give a debut to the mouse swing. The idea was that the back and forth motion of the mouse could simulate a true swing of the golf club. To a large extent it succeeded and other golf games tried (but as yet have not succeeded) to imitate this innovative method of control. The mouseswing was aptly named TrueSwing and with this version comes the third revision of TrueSwing.
PGA Championship Golf Titanium Edition is in essence a deluxe version of PGA Championship Golf 2000. The game is identical but has the added bonus of having 19 extra courses (making a total of 32) included on a special CD-ROM. The appealing feature of this version is the price. For just £19.99 you are getting the best golf game that there is. Even if you owned the previous version the additional 19 courses are worth the asking price on their own.
One of the biggest turn offs with PC golf games is the swing meter that most games employ. It is just stupid to think that 2 or 3 clicks of the mouse can make you feel like you are playing golf. With TrueSwing you simply place the mouse over the golfer until the cursor turns into a curved arrow then click the left mouse button. From this point on the mouse becomes your golf club. Bring the mouse back to simulate the backswing and push the mouse forward to strike the ball. Of course accuracy is the key and keeping the mouse straight is all important. Draw, fade, slice, hook, toe shot and heel shot can all be simulated by your control of the mouse. The real beauty of this control method is that it is intuitive and does not require you to interpret a silly swing gauge. After minutes of play you will learn how to perform subtle chips and long putts almost instinctively. All that you can do with a golf club can be replicated with TrueSwing. There is a triple click swing for those who prefer it but it really is redundant when the TrueSwing is this good. TrueSwing is helped further by the superb ball physics that this game has. Chips, drives and putts all seem to behave correctly and are superior to those found in other golf games.
Should the 32 courses that are on offer not be enough then don't worry, as there is a wonderful course architect included that makes designing a course really easy. I created a basic course within 10 minutes without having any prior knowledge of how to use the course architect. There are also several hundred courses that can be downloaded from the Internet so as you can see you'll never get bored with the choice of course.
There are several modes of play to choose from: Medal, Match, Skins and Best Ball Ryder Cup are just four of the many varieties that you can choose from. Unfortunately there is no way you can create custom game variations like you can in Links Championship Edition but to be honest with you, the game excels in so many departments that this will not be a big disappointment.
The game also features a season mode where you can create a golfer and take him through a series of competitions. There is a list for both Amateur and Professional golfers that can be included on the tour. Unlike Links you can actually choose to see the golfer with whom you share your round and this does wonders for creating that competitive atmosphere.
Unfortunately deaf gamers will have to do without the excellent match commentary that this game provides. No subtitles exist for the commentary or the course videos or the short clips that demonstrate the TrueSwing. To counter this though the game comes with an excellent manual and reference card that demonstrates how to perform the TrueSwing. While some of the games great atmosphere is lost the gameplay remains intact and PGA Titanium Edition is without doubt the finest golf game you can buy on any platform. At just £19.99 this game is a must have.
Overall Game Rating: 8.9/10 The superb TrueSwing gives this game an unbelievable amount of realism and confines click 'n' watch golf to gaming history. Easy to pick up and intuitive to use TrueSwing is more than capable of improving your real life golf game.
Deaf Gamers comment: There are no subtitles for the match commentary, course videos and TrueSwing instructions but this does not detract from the excellent golfing experience. Subtitles would have put the icing on the cake though.