Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09 Review
Xbox 360 | PS3 | Wii | PSP
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09 box art
System: X360, PS3, Wii, PS2, PSP Review Rating Legend
Dev: EA Tiburon 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: EA Sports 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Aug. 26, 2008 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1-4 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Everyone 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

Despite the game's few faults, there are additions that have definitely improved the TW 09 experience. A sterling example is that of the new Dynamic Skills progression system that takes consistency into account. This means that simply dropping skill points into key attributes is only half the battle. Players will have to truly concentrate on consistently producing world class shots if they want to maintain their skill level. This feature makes every shot count. In that way, character progression is far more realistic and rewarding than it was in any other previous version. This is a mechanic that should definitely stay.

Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09 screenshot

Also, there have been a couple great additions to online play and connectivity. These new features include simultaneous online Stroke Play and EA SPORTS GamerNet. Simultaneous online play, while limited to Stroke Play, has vastly decreased the amount of time it takes to play through a round while online. This new feature works flawlessly and is an absolute boon to the series. Perhaps no other single feature is as important as simultaneous online play.

As far as connectivity goes, GamerNet has been refined from last year and is incorporated into the mix in a very slick and interesting way. While playing through tournaments and matches, players from around the world will be able to save their shots and post them to the EA servers for others to try and best. Subsequently, the game will prompt you to take on online challenges at various points during the round. These challenges can either be accepted by the player or ignored altogether; they're simply side tasks that are both difficult and rewarding. If you take on a challenge, you will then be given a score and world ranking for your performance. This is a great feature that does a wonderful job of expanding the online community.

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Finally, new players and courses have been added to give gamers more options. International and domestic PGA TOUR players and official courses are well represented in TW 09. Players will have no trouble finding an abundance of pros and links from which to choose. Moreover, having such a varied list of professionals and courses is a joy for any player of any skill level. That's because the diversity acts as a great handicapping device. For example, if your little brother wants to challenge you to a round of Match Play, you can let him take Tiger and you can use one of the many available scrubs.

Also, gamers can still choose to use either the analog stick or 3-click Swing controls while challenging friends or advancing through their own careers. However, players' use of the 3-click Swing controls will be rightly curtailed on Hard or Tour difficulty levels. Both control styles are excellent, but the analog stick swing controls are certainly far more technical.

When all is said and done, Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 09 is another excellent addition to the storied franchise. However, without meaning to sound like a broken record, TW 09 is not a significant improvement over last year's outing. In fact, the dull voiceover work is woefully worse, and that's a real shame! However, if you like to play Tiger Woods with friends, the new, simultaneous online play feature for Stroke Play may be the one upgrade you shouldn't do without. For everyone else, picking up a used copy of TW 08 won't be much of a sacrifice. Of course, that's not to say TW 09 isn't great; it's surely the best virtual golf experience around.

By Jonathan Marx
CCC Editor / News Director

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
4.2
Graphics
The courses, pros, and animations are all incredibly lifelike.
4.5
Control
The analog stick and 3-click swing controls are a real treat!
3.2
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The background sounds and music are as good as ever, but the voiceover work is poor.
4.2
Play Value
The core golf mechanic remains excellent, and the addition of simultaneous online Stroke Play is a real boon to the series.
4.4
Overall Rating - Great
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • Performance Coach: The TOUR pros have their own coaches and now you do too. Tiger Woods' real life coach Hank Haney will guide you through your career right from the start and help you improve your skills as you play each of your rounds. Haney is constantly watching your performance and assessing areas for improvement, providing you tips on how to increase your skills.
  • Tune Your Clubs to Maximize Your Swing: With the all new Club Tuner you'll be able to tune your individual wedges, irons, woods, and driver to customize your bag and get the most out of every club. But strategy will come into play as you must weigh the risks of club performance versus ease of use. So tune wisely!
  • Dynamic Skills: All-new Dynamic Skills eliminates the chore of building your character up from scratch with skills you set at the beginning of your career. Based upon your performance after each round, your skills will go up and down.
  • Enhanced EA Sports GamerNet: Personalize your experience on EA Sports GamerNet like never before. With the all new Instant Challenges you can earn points in any game mode and climb the Daily GamerNet leaderboards. These Instant Challenges - long drive, approach shots, and putting, will appear throughout every round, providing a multitude of opportunities to earn GamerNet points while playing other modes.
  • New Online Mode: In addition, to turn-based play an all-new 4-Player Online Simultaneous Play will allow you to compete in a four person round in the same time it takes to play single-player. No more waiting for your buddies to hit their golf shot. You will see ball trails from each of your playing partners as the foursome plays the hole at the same time. Finish the hole first and switch over to spectator mode where you'll see your partners characters as they finish up the hole.
  • New Courses and Golfers: New challenges await with exotic new locations including Gary Player Country Club in South Africa, Wentworth Country Club in England, Sheshan Golf Club in China, Wolf Creek in Nevada, and Bay Hill Country Club in Florida. Adding international flavor to the available golfers in Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 09 are Si Re Pak, Darren Clarke, Nick Dougherty, and Rory McIlroy.
  • Screen Resolution: Up to 1080p (Full HDTV, Widescreen).


  • Screenshots / Images
    Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09 screenshot - click to enlarge Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09 screenshot - click to enlarge Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09 screenshot - click to enlarge Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09 screenshot - click to enlarge Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09 screenshot - click to enlarge Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09 screenshot - click to enlarge Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09 screenshot - click to enlarge Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09 screenshot - click to enlarge Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09 screenshot - click to enlarge Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09 screenshot - click to enlarge Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09 screenshot - click to enlarge Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09 screenshot - click to enlarge

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