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Thoughts on the IGN hands-on Tiger Woods PGA Tour 08

tiger woods pgs 08

Its not unexpected that very early in the preview IGN wrote:

We’ve had a chance to go a few rounds with Tiger Woods 08, and while a few things have been changed for the better, it’s extremely obvious that this is only a few versions more than “last year’s” effort.

Check out the rest of the game mechanics and I’m glad they tried to improve it in 08.

After putting about three hours of solid play time into Tiger Woods 08 we’ve come to a very similar initial impression as we did with the last game; it works, but it’s not all there. Tiger Woods 08 uses better swing tracking, has more in-depth tutorials, and is an all-around better game of golf than it was last year, but it’s still plagued with a few Wii-mote issues, and they really hurt the experience.

For starters, the hook and slice manipulation has been changed for the better – at least a little bit – and you’ll no longer worry about hitting straight shots only to have the ball rocket to the right in a gigantic slice, splashing into a pond or hitting “out of bounds” sections. When you hit straight, Tiger Woods 08 knows it, and rewards you for it. As another solid upgrade to last year’s effort we’re finding that swing tempo and power are factored into the equation far more.

Rather than having the player auto-swing once you begin to move (as found in the standard control in 07) this year’s effort plays more like last year’s “advanced” setting, having the club actually attempt to track you in a 1:1 manner. Along those same lines, swing speed is far more of a factor this year, as you’ll need to master not only how well you time your shots, but how powerful the snap of your swing can deliver. It’s a nice touch, and it makes Tiger Woods 08 feel like true golf.”

Fantastic! That is good to hear that tempo and speed is coming back into play. I never liked the fact that its not based on the character’s ability and in game “experience” that gives you the distance in a drive.

Where the game is a bit of a pain in the ass, however, is in its hook/slice manipulation. Any golfer knows that while beginning players work to eliminate troublesome hook/slice shots, advanced players use the manipulation of those shots to their advantage. If a group of trees are off to the right, accompanying a dogleg to the right far and beyond those trees, you’ll need to aim slightly left, slice hard to the right, and avoid the trees with some seriously skill-based shots. In Tiger Woods 08 that’s still the case, but managing to get the hook/slice to register consistently can still be a bit touchy.

In fact, we spent a full hour of our initial playthrough simply hitting balls, checking out what works within the swing, and what doesn’t. The game wants you to manipulate your shot based on your wrist rotation, particularly at the beginning of your swing. The best way to do it is center your hand, twist your wrist as if opening a door, pull the B trigger, and rip your shot, taking careful notice that your hand continues to be tweaked to either direction consistently throughout the shot. On the slice (both in left hand and in right hand golfers) this is an easy task, and we have had literally no trouble using consistent slice to our advantage on the course.

God that is shocking! How is twisting the wrist hooking or slicing in real golf? As we have to golf ball to move left or right over, I rather Wii-remote measured the hook or slice it based on the swing plane as I think that is more accurate to a real life.

The bottom line is this: Tiger Woods 08 has made it simpler to hit straight, and a breeze to manipulate and control slice shots, but hooks are a real learning experience, and difficult to a fault in our opinion.

Actually that is good enough in my opinion, you can play the game better if you did not have to worry about fad or draw all the time. After that its about focusing on Green Skills, where to me I think this is one of the best use of this game.

While the swing mechanic is obviously the “make or break” point in these games, it’s also important to note that from what we’ve played thus far Tiger Woods is also a hit and miss throughout the rest of the game’s offerings. The issue with grabbing the aiming circle and moving it around with the Wii-mote’s IR is still there, and the graphics have seen literally no update in our eyes since 07, but there are a few cool new additions to the game as well.

Everywhere you look are more modes, more options, and refined general gameplay. Tiger Woods 08 uses a “confidence” system across all platforms this year, factoring your character’s skill level, difficulty of the shot, and previous success with a given situation to determine a confidence level. The better your player’s confidence, the better chance he has of nailing any given shot.

Along with the confidence meter is a new “preview putt” system, that essentially takes the place of the extremely simple to use system that was in previous games which actually zoomed in, showed your line, and followed the would-be shot directly to the cup. This makes putting more difficult, but also more rewarding, and now that putting actually works with the Wii-mote nicely (still a few oddities, but overall it’s a better experience from what we’re seeing thus far) it makes Tiger Woods 08 a better overall greens game.

Nice to see some additional features. But honestly the current version was complex enough and I’m not looking forward for more options or modes. However I am interested to experience the new putting system, as its one of my favourite shots in golf and I’m not too bad at it as well. The other issue is the chipping bug (also one of my favourite shots), and unfortunately I’ve seen nothing about it being fixed in this version.

We’re still pretty early on in Tiger Woods 08, having only briefly checked out the mini-games and quick play modes, with the full-blown Career Mode and multiplayer challenges still waiting, but thus far our general consensus is that Tiger Woods 08 still falls under some of its 07 issues, and is by no means a perfect golf game. At the same time, a few of the core changes are for the better, as long as Wii owners understand the very serious disclaimer that Tiger Woods 08 looks exactly like 07, falls under some of the same traps as 07, and includes no Wi-Fi support or PS2-supported “ESPN Integration,” which is a definite downside. Madden, Live, and FIFA all ship with full Wi-Fi this year, and we’re baffled that Tiger Woods is again getting the shaft. Still, the core game is improved from what we can tell, so hardcore golf fanatics still may want to keep this one in the “maybe” section of your wishlist.

Yep thats about my conclusion as well, it will likely go into my “maybe” section. Check out the full review and additional images and video here.

Filed by: MiiGolfer at August 18th, 2007 under Previews


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