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.
I’m glad this year’s Tiger game is moving away from the golfer himself, and not because of his image. Last year’s Tiger Legacy mode faltered, so in its place Tiger 14 offers the Legends of the Majors mode that lets you play through the history of the sport itself instead of just Tiger’s career. It’s an effective approach, especially when coupled with a few small changes that tighten the overall experience.
I’m not a golf history buff, but Legends of the Majors mode is a fun way to earn coins that incorporates your Career mode golfer by having them face off against the sport’s greats at certain intervals. The mode also uses era-specific equipment, which isn’t as interesting.
This year the all-important coins, which are used to buy stat-boosting pins, are more useful since you can spend them to level up your golfer. Levels grant you attribute points and equipment for a lot less than it takes to buy a pin pack.
The expansion of the online options gives you more ways to earn coins. The Country Clubs format lets you take in more players, who can contribute to the club’s status in more ways (including a variety of tourneys and leaderboards). The clubs also feature expanded voice chat, and a new Club Loyalty Bonus that gives you coins for members playing every day.
The action on the course remains largely the same from last year, except for the new swing arcs. Like changing your club tuning, fiddling with your swing arc has its advantages. This lets you change the flight characteristics of your ball, including your power, control, and how the wind affects your shot.
Even though Tiger 14 has a similar setup as Tiger 13, I had more fun with the newer game because its constituent parts mesh better. For a golfer, getting everything in synch is important.
Email the author Matthew Kato, or follow on Twitter, and Game Informer.