Wait for me! It’s Tiger Woods for the Wii
Tiger is back on the Wii, and it’s thoroughly entertaining. It’s far more complex than Wii Sports golf, but it is still just as fun and accessible for everyone. Unfortunately, there’s no online play and the graphics are mediocre at best. The Wii version feels like a scaled down edition of the PS3 and 360 versions with very compelling gameplay. The controls are smooth and add a level of realism that is unattainable on the other consoles. This year’s version is a bit more detailed than last year’s, but the family friendly fun is still the emphasis.
If you’re an established fan of the series and are looking for intricate gameplay, don’t get the Wii version. If you want a great party title or have become bored with analog controls, this might be the perfect game for you. Swinging the Wii remote around with the appropriate tempo, hooding the club face, and pulling the remote around your body to simulate a draw is phenomenal. This title really feels like a golf simulator. In fact, it’s about as realistic a feeling as bowling is on Wii Sports. Getting a foursome together in your living room is not a bad conciliation if your tee time gets rained out. Seriously, swinging the Wii remote is not a bad alternative. Just know that the Wii version of the title is meant to be shared with friends and family. If you want to create a golfer and take him through the PGA Tour Season, you’re bound to get tired and bored. It’s really more of a novelty to be played in the company of others.
In order to help with the party fun, EA Sports Tiburon has added new match types to the Traditional Game Modes. These match types include Stableford, Best Ball, and Four Ball to accompany other classic match types found in ’07 such as Greensome, Skins, and Alternate Shot. Additionally, taunting and a great new MiniPutt game have been added to keep your guests well occupied. The MiniPutt mini-game is great fun. You and your crew will play 18 wacky greens that drop off, roll, and undulate like the most challenging mini-putt courses. Don’t expect any windmills or pirate ships though; these are manicured greens in a tranquil setting. As for the taunting feature, this is straight out of Mario Party 8. As your friends step up to take their shot, up until the time their ball comes to rest, you can try to distract them with one of four taunts. You can put a competing spin on the ball, blur the screen and cause their remote to rumble, change and intensify the wind, and sound a blow horn. All of this can be done by pressing the A button, B button, or D-pad and then shaking the remote side to side or like a fan. It’s all done quite easily and can wreck havoc on your buddy’s round.
On a more serious note, one of the new features for created players is the Confidence meter. It is an interesting development that I’m not sure everyone will like, but I love it. Golf is a game of skill and judgment. The greater your skill and the better your judgment, the more confidence you have as a golfer. Confidence is also a product of time and experience. The longer you practice specific skills and the more situations you see, the better equipped you will be to handle less than ideal conditions. A confident golfer is able to play above the weather, their lie, and their competition. EA Tiburon has captured this dynamic by creating the Confidence Meter. This meter measures your golfer’s confidence heading into each shot by gauging and tracking a multitude of factors over the course of his or her career. Shot selection, lie quality, adverse conditions, club selection, situational experience, and shot difficulty all come into play. Why should you be concerned about your golfer’s confidence? The reason is because the Confidence Meter will increase or decrease the margin for error on any given shot. Your targeting circle will actually shrink, allowing you to take dead aim at the pin. For example, if you have played the game for a while and have increased your skills and seen a lot of challenging scenarios, then you will be able to pull off some pretty crazy shots no matter what the circumstances. If you’re just starting out however, then you will have to play far more conservatively. Inexperienced players with moderate confidence ratings will have to aim for the fat side of the greens and lay up with long irons. You can increase your golfer’s confidence by shooting low scores, getting up and down, hitting the fairway, sinking long puts, etc. Conversely, if you go through a stretch of poor rounds, then your golfer will begin to slump.
I found menu screens to be difficult to navigate with the Wii remote. Nowhere was this more noticeable then it was while creating a Game Face. It is almost not worth customizing a Game Face with the Wii remote. Ironically, the Game Face tool was one of the features that excelled on the 360 and PS3. The new Photo Game Face was phenomenal on those other consoles, but is sorely absent from the Wii version. Instead, you will find yourself fumbling around with the standard editor and will probably settle for a mediocre likeness as the Wii controls are so difficult and frustrating to manage.