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Gaming Evolution
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Gaming Evolution
Gaming Evolution
Published By: Electronic Arts
Developed By: Tiburon
Genre: Sports
Players: 1-4
Rated: E (Everyone)
Release Date: August 26, 2008
Screenshots: Link
Amazon: Buy Now!
Written By: Matthew Prunty

While Sony and other media outlets are billing 2008 as the year of the Playstation 3, I think this is "The Year of Electronic Arts." Generally, EA Sports’ sports titles for the past few releases seem to be lacking the overall polishing that make good games great. However, with the release of NCAA Football 09, Madden NFL09, and now Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09, EA and their developing companies are looking to reclaim the glory days of being on top of the world. While I’m sure many can’t argue the fact that anything with Tiger Wood’s name on it sells like crazy, that only makes up half of why Tiger Woods games sell very well. As we look closer at PGA Tour 09, we see what EA Sports and Tiburon did to future proof this title, while holding true to its quality of gameplay.

One of the biggest highlights of Tiger Woods PGA Tour series has been its solid gameplay mechanics, something that hasn’t really changed over the years, keeping the gameplay mechanics pleasing to veterans and newcomers alike. This holds true for PGA Tour 09, while also including a few additional features to enhance the experience and gameplay as a whole. The integration of GamerNet, an EA Sports’ online component, is bar the far the most enjoyable addition to the game. What makes it so appealing is that when you make a great shot, you have the ability to save and upload the clip as a GamerNet challenge that other people on Xbox Live can try to recreate. What makes this mode all the more sweeter is the ability to match, if not break, these challenges while playing within any other mode of PGA Tour 09, which will give you points on your overall GamerNet score.

Whether its football, baseball, basketball, hockey, etc., sports titles are becoming more and more popular because of the growth of online gaming and due to people having friends. While most won’t try to actually play the sport in real life, all bets are off when it comes to its videogame counterpart. The control scheme suites veterans and newcomers alike. For those who are up for a challenge, they can utilize the analog stick to control the swing and power behind their swings. For newcomers or gamers who just don’t like the idea of utilizing the analog stick, the 3-click system can be used, however only in Easy Play and Balanced difficulty levels. While most will prefer the 3-click system, utilizing the analog stick to control your stroke, you open the door to a plethora of different shots to be created, thus mimicking real-life golfers.

The Tiger Challenge mode, another prominent feature within PGA Tour 09, allows gamers to compete in a series of minigames and scenario-based matches which can earn you points towards harder scenarios against other famous golfers. The minigames and scenarios range in their difficulty, but include the likes of “hit three balls at a pin and have the total distance from the hole add up to less than 45 yards” and “win a game of Bingo Bango Bongo.” At the end of the day, it’s well worth to invest time into this mode for the simple fact that it will help improve your stroke and putting skills, allowing you to compete on harder difficulties without being slaughtered.

What can I say about the visuals that haven’t been said through all the images released to the public? The courses are very detailed, looking like exact replicas of their real-life counterparts. All the character models showcase a higher polygon count, resulting in smoother and more realistic visuals. Though not a great leap over last year’s release, extra character animations have been incorporated to make player movements more realistic and less stiff.

Golf, whether in real life or as a videogame, is very simple to pick up and play. With an in-depth career mode, minigames, online challenges via GamerNet and being able to be coached by Tiger Wood’s own performance coach Hank Haney, this title has tons of content to keep veterans entertained, while newcomers will feel welcomed via intuitive game controls and ever-expanding gaming experience. One thing for sure is that Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09 is another prime example while 2008 is “The Year of Electronic Arts.”


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