IGN Review of Tiger Woods PGA Tour 07
While setting up my second shot on the 18th at Pebble, the cold virtual surf pounding the virtual Monterey coast below me, I can't help but feel I've done this all before. For more three years now I've tested my luck over the Pacific from the black tees. Then, my controller-rumbling as I go for the green in two, I drop the ball next to the pin, inches away from an eagle.
Tiger 2003, 04, 05, 06 and now 07. And you know something? It never gets old.
Tiger 07 on the PSP, while a slimmed-down version of the console and PC versions, is an impressive golf title that improves slightly upon 06 and throws in a few little extras.
The biggest addition is the PGA Season mode in which you create a character using the excellent Game Face create-a-golfer feature and guide him or her to the FedEx Cup, the PGA's new season format in 2007. Basically, PGA Season is a bunch of random events thrown on a calendar, including a number of mini-games, par-3 challenges and the like, as well as a few traditional golf events. In the end it's just a way to build up the stats of your created golfer and you can skip any event you like.
Personally, I would have liked to see the good old Tiger Challenge or the Team Tour mode thrown in from the consoles, but all we get is season mode, quick play options, multiplayer via WiFi and ad hoc, and a few minigames. That's not to say that there isn't a lot to do in the season mode -- there's just a ton to do on the consoles. You will get plenty of enjoyment tweaking your golfer, earning cash and buying licensed golf equipment in the pro shop, which, along with winning, helps improve the skills of your golfer.
In terms of content, Tiger 07 is fairly light for a Tiger game, but you never feel that the 12 courses and 11 players are not enough, thankfully. New this year we have John Daly, Luke Donald and Ian Poulter, as well as Bethpage Black, Cog Hill, Pinehurst No. 2, Pasatiempo and Fancourt Links, although some of these have been featured in other Tigers on other platforms.
On the links, Tiger plays fairly well, although the analog nub is nowhere near as comfortable or intuitive as the analog sticks on the consoles. But for a handheld, it holds its own thanks to the swing indicator from 06 that tells you exactly where you are in terms of power percentage as you swing. Starting out with your created golfer, with little-to-no skill on the links, you may think the system is too difficult, unforgiving and just plain off. That's your golfer. Boot up with Tiger and you'll be shooting in the 50s in no time, at least on TPC Scottsdale, the easiest course in the history of golf.
Putting uses the familiar grid system, and the stroke is actually much more forgiving than in 06. If you don't have the percentage exactly at 73 percent, for example, you still have a nice shot of going in if you aim past the hole -- 98 percent of short puts don't go in the hole, you know. So if you hit the cup at 83 percent, you won't fly by into fringe; you may actually sink it. EA was kind to us this year knowing that we have to play golf with an analog nub.
Visually, Tiger looks sharp. The photorealistic loading screens make me want to dust off the spikes and book a tee-time. On the course, the characters can look a bit blocky at times but still are recognizable. Tiger uses the same arcade-presentation as on the consoles, and when you hit it stiff you are likely to trigger a nifty fire-balling cutscene. The sound of the crowd, the effects and the commentary of David Feherty and Gary McCord seem identical to the console version, which is a good thing.
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