Mar 272012

Sometimes in life a man must venture out and do something completely different. Sure, it’s fine and dandy to just sit at home and do what is safe and things that make you feel comfortable, but is that really living? For some, perhaps, but for me, I like to get out there and sew my oats, travel the world, and play video games I normally wouldn’t touch. That is why I decided to review Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13.

Stunning visuals.

It’s one thing to play arcade style golf games like Mario Golf and things, it’s another to play an EA sports title. EA is notorious for making sports games feel as real as possible, which is a great thing, and for the most part they are really good at it. Their quality has kept up with that description with the new Tiger Woods. I will say though, this game is not for everyone. If you’re a fan of the series, I am sure you will be more than pleased. If you like to play Golf, I think it’s a great video game alternative.

The first thing to note is that the game looks great. The courses look fantastic and the weather effects are downright lifelike. The character models look great for the most part with the exception of “EA FACE.” I am sure you are familiar with EA FACE, especially when you create a player. They always have that wide eyed gape mouthed look to them. It’s almost like zombies… hey wait, does this mean I’ve been playing ZOMBIE GOLF?! AWESOME!

Also with Demonic children!

Tiger Woods Zombie Golf (not the real name of course) features 22 zombies (actual pro golfers) and 16 Championship courses. Even with that amount of players to choose from it seems far more fun to create your own golfer. The customization options are deep and you get a lot of clothing options from the get go, including a kilt! That’s right, you can wear a kilt, as well as the goofy Scottish hat. That’s what I did when I created my overweight golfer. From there EA sponsors you, and you play in a few amateur tournaments. Each one gives you three things to do. Training lets you play against a pro on three or so holes playing by a different rule set. Warning, if you do not know what “Bingo Bango Bongo” is, please look it up before you play it. Then you have the sponsor challenge. These challenges are usually something to the sound of “Play 4 par 4 holes and have a final score of -1.” If you complete the challenge you get to unlock more clothes, clubs, and balls. The best part is just how awkward you can make your golfer. Currently, my golfer wears a black button shirt with flames on it, a blue camo bucket hat, green knickers, and terrible argyle socks. Classy! Finally you actually play in a tournament. Once you’ve played three amateur tournaments you become a pro and join the Nationwide tour and so on.

I was very shocked to see just how RPG-like the game actually is. As you play challenges or tournaments you earn experience points and coins. The experience you can use to increase your various skills. You can also upgrade your equipment with the stuff you unlock throughout the game. All the clubs and balls have important stats that affect how you play. Coins can be used to buy pins. Many of these pins can unlock golfers and courses and stuff like that, but the main thing pins can do is help your stats. Before each event you can equip pins to your golf bag. These can increase accuracy, ball lie, or overall skills. It’s a really nice system that only adds to the RPG Elements.

You have high enough stats, all the best clubs, balls and pins, but you still have to swing the clubs. The controls are easy to learn but frustratingly challenging to master. Swinging the club is as easy as pulling back on the control stick and then pushing it forward. You have to be mindful though how quickly you pull and push, as well as the direction. The tiniest slip up and your ball could be stuck in a tree. You have all the seemingly usual options to adjust your stance, change clubs, and aim where you intend to hit it. If you have no idea what you are doing, you are lucky enough to have a caddie to give you mostly helpful advice. Personally, I’ve used the caddie simply as a guide and usually judge my final swing on what I know I am capable of. I know I often hit it too left, so I can compensate. The courses are also challenging and go hand in hand with your own abilities. From my experience it only takes one hole to ruin your entire game. I must confess that I am TERRIBLE at putting. Putting is very difficult for a novice in this game.

This year’s game also features the ability relive Tiger Woods’ several accomplishments as he grew up, starting right from where he became a child prodigy all the way to a golfing legend. Unfortunately there are no Denny’s waitresses in this mode, but I am sure there are legal reasons why.

It's all in the police report.

There are also the typical multiplayer modes, but this time around you can create and join country clubs. Within these clubs you can play with and against one another for the Club Championship. This mode also allows you to increase your coin gaining to get more of those wonderful pins!

Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13

ProsGreat graphics, courses look wonderful. Relaxing music, RPG elements, tons of clothes to collect and equip. Make the most awkward golfer ever! Sense of accomplishment on a challenging hole, Move Controls included
ConsTERRIBLE LOADING TIMES! MY GOD ITS STILL LOADING. INBETWEEN EVERY HOLE ITS LIKE THREE MINUTES OF LOADING! A single hole can ruin a great game, Sometimes the game is far more frustrating than challenging.
VerdictIt’s obvious this game is targeted at a certain crowd, for sure. Myself, I did find enjoyment in it despite not being a golf fan by any means. The game feels solid, challenging, and in a certain way can prove to be a relaxing change from the typical “blow shit up” types of games.