The lights are on
What new ideas the game brings to the table and how well old ideas are presented.
How good a game looks, taking into account any flaws such as bad collision or pop-up.
Does the game’s music and sound effects get you involved or do they make you resolve to always play with the volume down?
Basically, the controller to human interface. The less you think about the hunk of plastic in your hands, the better the playability.
Flat out, just how fun the game is to play. The most important factor in rating a game.
Golfers are always searching for more consistency in their game.
Last year's Tiger wasn't one of my favorites, but for the sake of
consistency, developer EA Tiburon sticks with the concepts put in place
in 09. I consider Hank Haney and the variable skill system mistakes
worth correcting, but EA clearly doesn't, going forward with more
modest additions instead. Tiger 10 is a predictable, yet skillful, par
putt instead of a thrilling Tiger-at-Augusta moment.
Ironically, Tiger 10's main addition is the incorporation of
real-life elements, whether it's Tiger talking about big moments in his
career, the U.S. Open, six new courses, or the replication of tour
moments (with real pros instead of EA's made-up characters) as
integrated in this year's version of Tiger Challenges. I've always
appreciated the series' ability to simultaneously strive for realism
while at the same time not take itself too seriously. These real-life
elements are subtle yet effective at putting you in the PGA without
losing some of Tiger's more tongue-in-cheek principles, like getting a
stat bump by wearing a bunny suit. This year the game funneled me
toward playing PGA tour events quicker than previous Tiger iterations
-- another small move towards emphasizing real life.
As effective as these tweaks are, they aren't monumental enough to
make you jump out of your golf cart. In fact, one of the more hyped
changes is conspicuous by its understated nature. The touted precision
putting feature is nothing revolutionary, but merely a new HUD to
represent your swing while putting. Likewise, the inclusion of rain is
not unwelcome, rather it's simply strange that it hasn't happened
before on next-gen systems.
Tiger 10's place in the franchise's history is such that making
mountains out of molehills is necessary, because this year's game
covers a lot of bases -- except for the long-asked-for create-a-course
feature. The online portion is jumpstarted by continuously rolling
tournaments that come in daily and weekly flavors. There's even a way
you can try and match the pros' scores as they are posted from wherever
the tour is that week (no putt preview or spin here). It's no online
tour, but it's a step in the right direction; the kind of slow progress
we're seeing in the franchise these days.
Wii MotionPlus is a great boon to the Wii version of Tiger -- the game is merely a 7 without it. The peripheral allows for fidelity of swing to the point where controlling draw/fade is easy and accurate, and taking something off your shots for a precise approach shot makes Wii MotionPlus a must for this game. The rest of this Wii version of Tiger is the same (including the online tourneys), although what it lacks in the Gamernet feature it makes up for in an older skill system that I personally prefer to the newer Hank Haney one.
Email the author Matthew Kato, or follow on Twitter, and Game Informer.