EA came out of the gate swinging for the Xbox360 with a few launch titles. Here we take a look into the latest installment of their golf franchise, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 06. Back for 2006 is create a player that any Tiger Woods PGA Tour fan has come to love. I mean who doesnt love trying to make their golfer look like themselves, someone they know, or a celebrity, its just plain fun. Looking further however, there is a real letdown, as many of the game modes have been stripped down. In addition to that, theyve also reduced the number of pro golfers you can choose from and the number of courses that are available. All totaled, there are 10 licensed golfers, and 6 different courses to choose from. My question is, what were you thinking EA? I mean seriously, heres an entry into the market that has been un-contended for 2 years. EA has the golf market at their beck and call and they release, to a brand spanking new console, a scaled down version of a game it has been recycling for like 5 years.
The game-play is really focused on the career mode and brings back the same challenges that weve all played before in order to build up your character and unlock content. The controls are familiar, except for the addition of the shoulder buttons on the Xbox360 controller, which now makes it very difficult to add boost to your swing. There is still that Arcady feel to the game, which I dont think theyll ever shake, but I suppose it serves the title well as it gives it universal appeal. Play as Tiger, and you can pretty much do anything on the golf course and score well, and well, I suppose thats somewhat true to life.
The graphics in this game are what really surprised me, as they are extremely unimpressive. Compared with what Ive become accustomed to from the other launch titles for the Xbox360 this seems completely flat. The trees and sky are really well done - even the ocean, but the grass doesnt really feel like it has texture and some of the greens look like they were colored by my 6 year old; it really just doesnt look and feel like an Xbox360 game. Its like they ported it, tried to pretty a few things up, shrink wrapped it, threw it on the shelves and new that it would be bought because its a successful franchise. Its like they rested on their laurels with this title.
This is a golf game, and the sound is very golfy, however, I find it interesting that the timing of a lot of the announcers comments is off, and often wrong. They will say the wrong things in the wrong situations. Even some of the actions are like that. Now, if this were a shooter, or some high action game, it would be called a glitchy mess, and people would be up in arms, but because its this laid back golf title where stuff like that doesnt matter, they get away with it.
Overall, I think this title is a disaster. It would be one thing if this were the first of the Tiger Woods PGA Tour franchise, but this franchise has been around for a long time, and there is no excuse to take things away from the game, throw in a few catchy animations to wow people, and then wrap it up and charge more than previous installments.
Suggestions: I would suggest to EA that if they are going to develop for the Xbox360, that they seriously spend time to complete the title, and that if they want to compete in the video golf market, they only need to look back two years to a competing title that puts their current efforts to shame.