Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 2003 Review (PC)
I’ll admit, I haven’t played the Tiger Woods Series since 1999. The easy and simplistic game just turned me off and I have been playing Links ever since. So when EA was nice enough to give Steve a copy, it fell to me for review. Let me just say that I’m glad Steve didn’t like golf, because this game is a classic. I will warn you though, there is so much in this game I could write a long narrative, but I know many of you would stop before the “graphics” section if I did that!
Beautiful. One word can pretty much fill it all. 14 courses come with the game. Some scenic ones like Pebble Beach to your regular tour stops at some of the TPC. The fairways, round, and green look very lifelike. The bunkers don’t have much life to them, but it is still beautiful eye candy. Those who complain about the Links series complain about the “static backgrounds”. Well Tiger has static backgrounds also, so I don’t see where the complaint is. The crowd is animated and reacts to the different shots, yet it would have been nice if the crowds would scatter when my often-errant shots sail right at them!
Golfers are also very nicely done. 17 tour pros are included like Tiger Woods, David Toms, and Begay III (its good to be Tiger’s college roommate). The players look great on the course as they react to shots and do pre-shot routines.
Ok, if you’ve played any golf games, you know the regular games are all there, stroke, match, and tournament. But, let’s get into the system seller, the career mode. The career mode is something that I have never seen in a game like this. You start out your career as an amateur with no ratings and a few grand in your bank account. Your rating attributes cost money and you can also buy new clubs and lessons. Your golfer will only be able to execute certain shots after he has taken that lesson. For example, the bump and run must be learned. A calendar is displayed that shows the different events that can be entered. I have only gotten to March of the first year of my career so there might be more out there. The different events that can be entered are skill, skins, match, and stroke. It costs you money to enter an event with a cash prize either only to the winner or spread across the field. I don’t know yet how you advance your rank, but common sense tells me that the more I win the more opportunity I will have to finally become a professional.
TW2003 brings again to the table, the true swing feature. Basically you pull the mouse back for your backspring and then move it forward to follow through. The shot is based on how straight your movement is, the speed, and the tempo. After your shot, a box pops up to tell you how you registered in those three categories for that shot. The only complaint I have about this is that around the greens it seems to have no middle ground. I can either blast the heck out of it, or I hit it with my purse. Now, I’m not saying make it easy, but at least have some mid-range. For those who don’t like this approach, the classic 2 and 3-click system is there as backups.
Golf commentators David Feherty and Bill Macatee provide their commentary on each round. An "in-the-game" experience - from gallery cheers to comments from your partners that allow you to feel the tension and excitement of PGA TOUR golf. The audio is usually spot on although the commentary about the putts get annoying after awhile.
Tiger Woods 2003 is a great game that is a must buy for all golf gaming fans. If you have to choose between this and the Links series, I can only says this: If you want a great game to play online, go with Links; if you want a great career mode, go with Tiger Woods. Both games are equal (I know, it’s a cop out) and you can’t go wrong with either one. So, at least go run and get one of these hot titles.