|System: X360, PS3, Wii||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: EA Tiburon||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Electronic Arts||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: June 8, 2010||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-24||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Once youre done dabbling in the fine art of character creation, its off to a glamorous life of play dates and shopping. The calendar works basically the same as before, but theres now something called Instant Challenges, which helps to spruce things up a tad. If your Wii is online, youll occasionally be challenged to compete against the scores and performances of top players, and the money you earn can be used for your character in My Career.
For the $50 asking price of Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11, the fattest new piece of content is miniature golf. You can choose from four different themed courses, and its a welcome addition to the formula. Mini golf offers a nice, laidback break from the more realistic game of golf, though there didnt seem to be an option to play with Wii MotionPlus. Though the more archaic control approach matches the silly nature of miniature golf, it was still somewhat disappointing to lose that extra level of precision offered by the accessory.
Golf Party is basically Mario Party with golf-themed mini-games, and though its another nice diversion added to the package, its mostly the same old stuff from last years tour. Disc golf is still fun and one of the best arguments for owning a Wii MotionPlus, but again, theres nothing really new here.
Lastly, PGA Tour 11s online presentation is a complete dud. There are some inspired additions, such as daily and weekly tournaments, but after only a month of the game being out in the wild, the community was a ghost town. During my testing of the online options, the EA servers reported a whopping 26 people playing online, and the lack of a true lobby system means it will be virtually impossible to find a game, regardless of which mode you choose. Theres still no option to play Golf Party online, and even if you could find others to hook up with, the options and modes are slim pickings.
If last years game was mediocre in the visuals department, PGA Tour 11 is well below par. Were all well aware of the graphical limitations of Wii, but this latest Tiger Woods calling card exhibits a total lack of effort and inspiration. The character models are unattractive and stiff, and the environmental textures are constantly shimmering. True View does little to help in that regard either, as a first-person view only serves to reveal the blockiness of the green. The game of golf isnt intense or high energy, and subtle additions can go a long way. EA Sports, however, not only failed to go that extra mile, it seems they had no interest in even caddying this cart to the next hole.
The music fares a bit better, but only because of its very basic composition. The themes sound like stock, licensed tunes you might hear while riding an elevator or shopping in a department store; they also sound completely out of place with a day out on the green. The sounds are simple but fitting, and the announcers do a surprisingly fine job of keeping the gameplay interesting.
With all my criticisms of Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11, I still think its a very solid package. The main problem I have with the game, however, is that its so similar to last years package. Though its a matter of taste, I prefer the interface and gameplay systems of last years game. Many of the new features of PGA Tour 11 are nice, but they hardly justify a full retail product.
CCC Freelance Writer