Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11
Xbox 360, PS3, Wii
ESRB rating: E for Everyone
System reviewed on: Wii
There are few things in life that I’m as committed to as buying the Wii version of Tiger Woods every year. Since I took my first virtual swing with Wii Sports back in late 2006, I remember thinking “Tiger Woods golf will be just like this but a million times better.” We’ve had our ups and downs over the years, but the general progression has been something like this:
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 07: “Holy crap, this is the best way to play golf in the history of video gaming. Even though it’s rough around the edges, it’s still light years ahead of every other golf game on every other console.”
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 08: “I have now reached gaming nirvana. They’ve worked out most of the kinks and made improvements all around. There are still some rough spots but it’s an overall improvement from the last version.”
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09: “What… the… hell? This new putting system is beyond awful and you got rid of McCord and Feherty as the announcers? I don’t care if this is the first year there’s been online multiplayer, all the good stuff’s been taken out and replaced with poo-like substitutes.”
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10: “Whew, that was close. Now we’re almost back on track. Putting’s been fixed, there’s still online play, and the Wii MotionPlus compatibility has done wonders for the swing mechanics.”
Which brings us to Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11. EA Sports has now had five versions to iron out all the kinks and continue its ascent toward virtual golf greatness. Is Tiger Woods on the Wii still the best way to play video game golf short of installing a full-blown golf simulator in your basement? Yes. Has this year’s version made improvements over previous years? Yes. Are there still little quirks and annoyances here and there? Yes.
Let’s get the bad stuff out of the way first. For starters, the developers seem to have given up on doing anything more with the in-game audio. You’ll hear the same canned shouts from the cardboard cutout-looking crowds that you’ve been hearing for years and the mediocre dialogue between the Golf Channel’s Kelly Tilghman and ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt, again, didn’t last an entire round before I disabled it. The series still doesn’t do a great job of portraying a TV-style presentation, which I’m hoping will finally get addressed one of these years.
The graphics still border on a strange mish-mash of cartoon-y realism but we’re dealing with the Wii here. If you bought the console for its graphical prowess, you chose… poorly.
But let’s focus on what’s really important: Hitting a little white ball with a stick towards a 4.25-inch hole way, way off in the distance.
(More on Techland: Browser Based Tiger Woods PGA Tour Online Goes Live)