When you first tear open the box of EA Sports’ Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10 for the Wii, you’re probably already convinced it’s going to be great.
It arrives with the fanfare of the new MotionPlus controller, a small dongle that attaches to the existing Wii remote and promises more accurate motion detection. With a golf game, that means bridging the gap between a good stroke in the game and a good stroke in real-world golf. The MotionPlus can accurately detect small movements, so lessons from this game could actually help the putting-inclined. But MotionPlus is not (as yet) officially available in India, and a trip to the grey market notwithstanding, that means PGA Tour 10 will have to be played the old-fashioned way—with wild swings instead of finesse.
As you start playing, it occurs to you that even Tiger Woods himself might not have had as many training sessions as the game has to offer. It begins with a long-drawn tutorial that teaches stroke play and putting, among other things, and unlike Wii Sports’ golf (which essentially is more primitive in terms of look and feel, but great for pick-up and play), PGA Tour 10 fails to make that initial lasting impression.
‘Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10’ is in the bunker.
By the time the game stops holding your hand, your initial spark of enthusiasm is long gone.
The graphics are pretty impressive, with sharp image quality and an array of TV-style close-ups as you proceed through the courses. The camera follows the ball quite impressively, and uses different angles to follow similar shots. Woods even frowns, throwing a few tantrums when your strokes go a little awry, fixing you with a steely glare if you dare score a double bogey.
For the impatient lot, however, the novelty of swooping camera shots only lasts so long, and a little into the game, you can press the A button several times to fast-forward the ball to its landing position. It’s amusing to watch golf at this chipmunk speed, plus it saves you a lot of time.
The game is pretty intelligent at figuring out your level of skill. After a few bad strokes or misses, it pops up messages to the tune of “If you’re stuck, you could try…” Humbling, but a welcome feature for new gamers.
The hardest part in the game for most people will be putting. Most will really hate this, even at simpler settings. A pop-up with the message “All Play Swing difficulty setting” came on my screen after I was 10 shots over par, and the game was presumably embarrassed at my skills. This mapped every stroke of mine before I hit it, and I could even score a birdie easily. Think of it as a legitimate cheat code.
Other features in the game are common to most Wii titles—a career graph that tracks statistics, the ability to play with up to four players and even online play. Another neat feature is playing on the course of your choice with live weather conditions, which it pulls from the Internet through an active Wi-Fi connection.
Another notable distraction from the main game is “Disc-golf”, known to us normal people as Frisbee, with just a few different rules. Simply put, it’s like a Frisbee game on a golf course where you have to get the disc into the basket, which takes the place of the hole in the greens.
The content in PGA Tour 10 is quite long drawn. It has about 12 golf courses that you can unlock as you improve and progress. Like always, playing any game on the Wii also comes with the added bonus of losing calories. Gamers have to be on their toes to play this one provided the pause button isn’t touched. You can easily lose up to 100 calorie an hour, so those of you who would much rather have a “virtual” career in golf—this comes closest to the real deal.
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10 for the Nintendo Wii is available for Rs1,999.