When EA announced that Tiger Woods 10 (TW10) would be shipping in early June, golf fans everywhere rejoiced. And fans of the Nintendo Wii are even more excited since this year's game marks the debut of the Wii MotionPlus peripheral.
The looming launch of the MotionPlus peripheral has created a lot of buzz for the latest Tiger Woods game. So could TW10 finally be the simulation sports Wii title that dazzles the "hardcore" sports crowd? We will have an answer to that question in a couple weeks. In the meantime, let's take a look at some of the hype surrounding the game.
Ever since the Wii was first released in 2005, gamers have been asking for true one-to-one sports titles, especially when it comes to the golf games. While previous Tiger Woods games have done a nice job with motion control, none has ever been able to capture the subtle nuances of a golf swing. The Wii MotionPlus peripheral is supposed to be the answer to that issue.
Dictating draw and fade with a natural and realistic wrist motion is something this has this golf gamer salivating. What makes MotionPlus so appealing is that no longer will players be a slave to face buttons in order to make subtle shot adjustments. In the case of draw/fade, gamers will never have to remove themselves from the immersion and organic feeling of being on the virtual golf course -- something fiddling with various on-screen shot adjustment meters has the tendency to do.
The short game should also be improved by MotionPlus because it should now be easier to control your backswing power. I cannot wait to effectively chip with a loft wedge like Tiger himself.
Putting is the final aspect of the game that has me excited about MotionPlus -- I feel it was the weakest element of the last two versions of Tiger Woods on the Wii. The ability to have true one-to-one movement while putting is a huge advantage, especially when you consider how difficult it was in the past to judge putt strength on the old power meter.
Online play for Wii sports titles has been absolutely brutal. But last year's Tiger Woods game gave us an addicting and fun mode with four-player real-time versus golf. Aside from that feature, though, the online offerings fell short of many gamers' expectations. The announcement that TW10 would be including Live Tournaments may be just what the doctor ordered for Nintendo's inferior online console.
What makes Live Tournaments so interesting is not that you can play in daily and weekly tournaments, it is that you can actually play against the pros on a weekly basis. I cannot think of a cooler game mode for a golf game than actually playing the same course during the same week as the pros, all while attempting to beat their scores for that specific round or tournament.
You can actually live out your fantasy of being a pro golfer by going head to head with the best golfers on the planet. No other sports game gives you this unique ability, and I for one am extremely excited to take on real-life Tiger every week.
Real-time weather feeds, updated in-game presentation and spectators on the courses have all been confirmed for the Wii version of TW10. These additions get a big thumbs up from me, and I cannot wait to see how much these small tweaks add to the overall polish of the product. The presentation elements in previous Wii Tiger Woods games have been very bland and downright boring -- to put it nicely. This year's additions should finally add some life to the game, and the real-time weather feature will dramatically change how you attack a specific course on any given day.
Yes, you read that correctly, TW10 on the Wii includes a fully fleshed out Frisbee Golf mode that can be played on any course in the game. Not only is Frisbee golf incredibly fun and challenging in real life, the addition of Wii MotionPlus has me ready to hit the Frisbee links year-round. Too bad this mode is not offered online as I think it would be a huge hit for the casual and hardcore alike.
OK, I know I put this feature in the "what's hot" category as well, but I had to express my main concern when it comes to this peripheral -- it may work too well.
I will be the first to admit that as much as I like to golf in real life, I am still borderline terrible. So I worry about whether or not the new MotionPlus implementation will handicap players who do not have proper real-life swing mechanics. If it does handicap players, MotionPlus would make the game inaccessible to many looking for a reprieve from their actual golf swings. I am not saying that EA needs to dumb the game down for the audience, but I am concerned that MotionPlus is going to lead to some frustrating gameplay sessions -- they could potentially be even more frustrating if your created golfer's attributes have not been properly boosted.
I am holding out hope that EA has addressed this issue by implementing some type of in-game handicap system for those with faulty swings like myself, but it is a major fear nonetheless. Let's just put it this way, I do not want to be spending time at my local driving range just I can play this game.
Lack of GamerNet Challenges
To be fair, I am not even sure GamerNet challenges can be coded into the Wii's online infrastructure, but it sure would be nice if they were available.
GamerNet challenges on the 360 and PS3 versions of Tiger Woods 08-09 were addictive and innovative. Also, in addition to letting you attack challenges any way you pleased, the developers also gave you the ability to create your own challenges for the entire Tiger Woods community. No sports game, outside of Golden Tee, has ever given me such a sense of challenge within an online community, and the mode alone made both TW08 and TW09 worth the purchase.
As fun as GamerNet is while playing with an analog stick, imagine how great it would be with the Wii's motion controls. The controls alone would make for an incredibly dynamic challenge system, and would only further solidify TW10 Wii as the Tiger game of choice for fans of the series.
There is certainly a lot of buzz surrounding Tiger Woods 10 Wii, mainly because of the MotionPlus add-on. However, I am psyched about the online tournaments, updated presentation and the addition of the Frisbee golf mini-game. This could be the game that revolutionizes the way gamers look at sports games on the Wii. Look for my full review during the week of June 7.
What's "hot and not" in the Wii version of TW10 to you? Sound off below.