No spoiling this good walk: EA’s golf game is just plain funGolf is a hard game. But with Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2004, those who have better luck with a joystick than a 3-iron can take their hacks with the best.
The gamer can play 18 legendary courses, like the Pebble Beach Golf Links, adopting the personas of 14 PGA tour pros ― including Tiger himself. You can also create your own player from scratch, shaping the body as well as the facial features.
After creating or selecting a player, it’s time to play. Though this is a computer game, one aspect is the same as heading to a real course: the need to build up muscle memory in your swing. By moving the mouse back (think of it as the backswing) and forward (the follow-through) in a fluid motion, you execute the swing of the player on the screen.
The length of the mouse movement and its deviation from a straight line will determine whether you hit the sweet spot or hook or slice. So it is important to find and maintain the optimal swing. Actually, at the rookie level you really don’t notice much difference as you adjust your swing. But at the ultimate expert level you have to really “feel” your swing or your balls will fly all over the course.
The Verdict: There are two classic golf games out there, Microsoft’s Links and this one. EA’s game is easy to learn and the graphics are excellent, giving the player the chance to have a glimpse of renowned golf courses that most of us will never be able to play for real. Crowd noise is fair, and game commentary is brought to you by real golf broadcasters Gary McCord and David Feherty.
There are two ways to play this game. One is to play as Tiger or another pro and cruise through the most notorious golf courses with relative ease. Or you can start as an amateur and slowly build up your player and climb through the rankings. Either way, this is a fun game to play even if you’re not a golf fan.
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2004
Rating: * * * *
by Brian Lee