Reviewed: July 15, 2010
Released: June 8, 2010
When I was first given the opportunity to review Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11 I took it because I havenít played a gold game since the old Macs in middle school. I had played some mini-golf games on Xbox Live Arcade, but nothing yet that used Wii controls.|
Speaking of Wii Controls, this yearís version of Tiger only comes in a software pack, no Wii Motion Plus bundle this time around. The game has some features that make the game almost 100 percent like youíre playing with a real club, but these features require a Wii Motion Plus. The game has four levels of swing difficulty. The easiest, All-Play, works like other EA Sports games with this feature. The game shows you an arc where the ball is most likely to land. Then there is a normal difficulty that has ways to manipulate the swing with visible settings or by adjusting your swing. The next higher difficulty is similar to the normal, but you have the change to miss the ball if your swing is really off.
The highest level of difficulty also provides the most realistic golfing experience on any console and requires a Wii Motion Plus where everything you do is controlled with how you twist and swing the remote. A real golfer might do better on this difficulty because it mimics real golfing so well. The new True View feature allows you to view the course from any angle before and during you shot from a first-person perspective, which really sells the realism when combined with the MotionPlus Controls.
The game features several modes of gameplay. The career mode allows you to play many courses throughout the PGA Tour and build up your character stats. New for 2011, you can also play for the Ryder Cup or test your skills by trying different situations golfers have been pitted against, similar to what Madden 10 offered in recreating difficult situations. If you want, you can just play a round of golf without being tied into the tour. The courses are the same, but you donít have the crowd giving you feedback after every shot.
The party mode in the game is rather fun but difficult at the same time. Disc Golf has returned but I found it to be difficult at times. Using the same throw, sometimes the disc would go a lot farther the second throw than the first totally missing the pole. The courses were nice and rather simple, but the unpredictability of the disc took some of the fun away. Mini-golf, on the other hand, was quite fun. It takes the putting from the full game and gives you four 18-hole courses to choose from. They even have racing and ice themed courses to go along with two traditional courses. There is also a mode that combines a little bit of everything from the party modes and some other challenges aimed at 2-4 players.
The graphics in the game are kind of disappointing compared to what I have seen from other games on the Wii. The grass and obstacles on the course look very good but the trees are built with very simple shapes so they look good at ground level but shots from above donít look the greatest. The golfers also have some inconsistencies in appearance. On the course they look rather nice but in the very deep character editor they have some choppy outlines and strange hairstyles. The character editor takes at least a couple of minutes to go through because of all of the features you can change. You get to manipulate almost every visible feature of your golfer, which many people may just keep the defaults on many of the options, but the fact that they are offered is pretty neat.
The sound in the game is good and bad at the same time. The ambiance while golfing is relaxing and adds to the experience. The crowds on the other hand seem to have an opinion after every shot you make. The crowd is something I would expect to hear if I were in the PGA tour because they actually stand around and cheer at real golf outings. The announcers start to get annoying quickly because they have something to say after every shot and before most shots. The announcers arenít a huge drawback, but you know if youíre doing bad or not, you donít need to be told twice.
Overall I enjoyed Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11 after some practice rounds and I especially enjoyed the mini-golf offering in the game. I think the loading screens could be improved upon some since you have around a 5 second loading time from one hole to the next on tour mode or any mode that doesnít pan all the holes at the start. The Wii should have enough memory to load the next hole while playing on the current hole. The gameplay feels pretty well rounded after getting used to using the Wii remote and how the rules of the game work. If you have played any previous Tiger Woods games or play real golf and want something to play in the winter I would recommend this installment.