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OS Scores Explained Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 14 Overview (Xbox 360)
Pros
Simulation mode is tough; gameplay is tight and improved; tons of new modes
Cons
Career mode bugs; night golf isnít actual night golf; commentary repetitive
Bottom Line
An incredible value for any golf fan both casual and hardcore alike.
8
out of 10
Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 14 REVIEW

Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 14 Review (Xbox 360)

I had to let out a deep breath, the tournament hinged on this ten-foot putt.

Sink it and I win the Country Club tournament of the day, miss it and I’m the guy who choked it away at the end.

This is the essence of what makes Tiger Woods PGA Tour 14 so great this year: it’s just you and the course -- and your dozens of friends online playing against you at the same time. As a package, Tiger 14 is the best the series has put together thanks to new additions that just add depth and polish.

Tiger Woods PGA Tour 14 reaches for the stars and comes up just short, but what you get is likely one of the finest golfing games ever assembled.
 
 
Gameplay

There are just so many options within Tiger Woods PGA Tour 14 as to how you can play the game. You can let the game basically shoot for you or you can choose the ultra unforgiving simulation mode with nothing to hold your hand around the course -- or you can choose any of the countless options in between.

The only excuse for not finding a challenging game of golf for you in Tiger Woods PGA Tour 14 is likely your inability to change the settings to fit your skill level. You can still easily set up the game in a manner where you can tear up even the most challenging of courses, and thanks to the Simulation mode, you can also find a way to be humbled in every way.

This is Tiger Woods PGA Tour at it’s best yet.

Striking the ball can be a challenge, but it seems a bit less touchy than last year’s game. Depending on the skill level you play on, getting a good strike on the ball is as easy and flicking the analog stick back and forward or as challenging as doing that same motion perfectly.

On the lower difficulty levels, getting FIR and GIR wasn’t much of a problem -- the game is definitely ‘easy’ when it comes to that. However, as you bump difficulty up, you have to have a much more accurate flick of the analog stick in order to hit the ball solidly and on the line you want. There have been some embarrassing slices and hooks throughout my time with Tiger 14 on the higher difficulty levels thus far.
 
 
Putting this year is definitely more forgiving this year, undoubtedly this is a result of last year’s putting being quite touchy. Along those same lines, it feels as if green speeds could use some work in a patch, as I have noticed they do appear "off" to what you would expect as fast greens don’t really play as fast as you’d expect.

The greens definitely feel much slower than Tiger Woods 13. This makes the game "feel" much easier than last year when it comes to your short game, as the slower greens are much more forgiving to a bad shot.

Oops.

With the slower greens, at least with the initial game release, I have found it relatively easy at times to put the ball oh-so-painfully close to the hole -- even on shots that should be relatively difficult.

Of course, the new simulation mode is another beast altogether and with no guides whatsoever a good knowledge of how far you hit each club along with a good read on the wind will go a long way towards accomplishing more GIRs than the next guy.

When you work the ball in closer to the green, your short-short game is definitely hit or miss. In my earlier rounds, I found myself in all sorts of embarrassing ball lies, a few of which I found it nearly impossible to get out of -- it’s as if the game was programmed with the thought in mind that "no one would be bad enough to put the ball there."

The new golfer swing styles are a cool touch, and allows you to build your golfer (or select one) to fit your play style. You have the choice to choose between power and control swings, draw or fades, your shot trajectory and (of course) your handedness. Keeping a steady tempo is important too, as going too fast or too slow will maximize misses when they happen in your swing.
 
 
Game Modes

Tiger Woods PGA Tour 14 does one thing exceptionally well: there is something to do for everyone. Expanding the social connectivity and highlighting the new broadcast presentation were two things that the game clearly sought to accomplish this year.

New this year, and not a moment too soon, is a quick tournament quickplay mode. This mode allows you to set up any number of tournament options for you and any friends you might want to play with and go out on the course in the final round to see who wins.

I wish there were more come-from-behind options on the table for users, but being able to watch your opponent play out his round with you as you vie to win a tournament is a much more fun way to just get in and play a round of Tiger.

The online offerings (talked about more below) are numerous, from connected tournaments, to country clubs, to online match play: Tiger has a way to play online that should fit everyone’s schedule.
 
 
Career mode is back, thanks to the new presentation and real to life tournament sponsors career mode definitely feels more ‘heavy’ this year, The goal is the same as prior years, you try to build up your quite bad amateur golfer through tournaments to be able to compete with the pros.

You’ll find the earlier rounds quite testing, as your golfer’s ratings are quite poor to begin with. Your competition won’t be the greatest either, but it certainly feels like a mode meant for players who have a lot of time on their hands.

One major problem with career mode at the moment is that it appears the scoring algorithms are completely jacked up. I have missed cuts I should have made, and I have won tournaments I actually finished second in. I have no idea how this is happening or how it slipped through the cracks of testing, but it is an issue that needs immediate resolution as it would be terrible to lose a Major that you actually won.

Another gripe about career mode is that I do wish there was more of a pick-up-and-play aspect to it. To me, it would be just as gratifying to take a golfer like Tiger Woods into a season to try to see how many tournaments or majors I could win. At the moment, that option isn’t available.

The Legends of the Majors mode is more akin to what I’m talking about, and it feels heavily influenced by NBA 2K12’s Greatest Mode in some degree. The jist of the mode is you play through several challenges through golf’s history in order to unlock the next one. You complete challenges such as winning the first British Open or achieving certain scores or victory margins to unlock the next one.

I have played through all of the Moments at this point and I can say some are much more fun than others, but the old clubs and the retro styling of the whole experience was a highlight of the game.
 
 
Presentation

The broadcast presentation in Tiger Woods PGA Tour 14 is actually quite well done, not at the authenticity level of other games in our genre just yet, but things are much better than where they have been in the past few years with this series.

The introductions are my favorite part, simply because it really does get you in the mood to play a round of golf with the well thought out camera shots.

I will say, the camera angles do sometimes get confusing in relation to where the ball and hole are, especially in the Legends of the Majors mode where vintage filters are overlayed on the video -- it’s sometimes hard to tell where some things are.

The commentary is repetitive already though, as Jiim Nantz tends to repeat himself way too often. However, the problem with trying to mimick golf commentary is well understood -- a lot of the banter during a golf telecast has everything to do with anything but the action on the course. Without a doubt there’s room for improvement, but with current gen tech you can’t expect too much out of what should be an hours long free flowing conversation.

The official branding of tournaments, with all four actual majors represented is something that shouldn’t be scoffed at either. The ability to play with non-generic majors is incredible and it was only a few short years ago that we pined to someday play a round of golf at Augusta National.
 
 
Online

Everything you do in Tiger 14 is measured, recorded, and reported to the EA servers as well. Every putt, every hole, and every round is recorded for the online connectivity of the game to work. If you are in a country club, you can see who the leaders are in all sorts of statistical categories from average number of putts to the best overall scorers, and more.

Connected tournaments are what Autolog was to Need for Speed and the entire SSX experience was for that game: it is a way to compete against friends online without the need to meet everyone at the same time. You simply pick your tournament, complete it, and submit a scorecard at the end.

Players are already tearing up the courses though, so winning the public tournaments is going to be a challenge.

Another cool online feature are the Country Clubs. As I mentioned before, if you have a bunch of friends who play Tiger on a regular basis, the Country Clubs feature is your kind of mode. This year’s Clubs feature up to 100 players, which allows you compare your Tiger experience with other like-minded players. You can see how many rounds your friends are playing and compete against them in challenges as well as against other clubs. It’s the online clans mindset featured prominently.
 
 
Final Thoughts

Tiger Woods PGA Tour 14 is a game you really want to like a whole lot. There are so many new things to do, as well as just so much to do overall that I don’t think anyone who even remotely likes golf will have any problem finding some enjoyment out of the game.

My biggest gripe is that it seems like a lot of work was done on the course experience outside of actually playing golf -- as sans the simulation mode the actual meat and potatoes of the game feels incredibly similar to Tiger 13. The negatives do weigh some on the game too, as green speeds are definitely too slow and the career mode scoring bug could be a game killer for some.

There’s no doubt Tiger Woods PGA Tour 14 will get a patch and the game will be a great product at that point. If you are willing to stomach a couple of quirks, you are going to get one of the finest golf games ever made with so much to do, you’ll find it hard to tear yourself away from it.

A highly recommended buy for anyone who loves golf on any level. The new modes and upgrades make this year's game a much better value than any other Tiger game before it.
 
Graphics: Visuals are quite good, with the variable conditions and time of day, you get to see courses in all their glory at all times of the day. A solid looking game on the 360 and PS3.
 
Audio: Jim Nantz can be repetitive, but the music and crowds are far from bad. The ball striking audio is great, you get different sounds for different clubs from the different eras. What you get is adequate, but it's quite easy to find yourself wanting even more from the audio.
 
Learning Curve: Depending on what level you play, it can be ridiculously fast (less than a minute) on the lowest difficulty level to incredibly painful (hours) on simulation mode for newcomers.
 
Control Scheme: I never found myself frustrated about the controls. They are logical, they work, and I never was hunting too hard for how to do something.
 
Lasting Appeal: If you like Golf, you'll have A LOT to do and there's easily $60 in value here. If you are willing to shell out money for DLC, you'll be playing Tiger 14 until next year's game.

Score: 8.0 (Great)

Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 14 Videos
Member Comments
# 1 simgameonly @ 03/27/13 11:42 AM
Your review is pretty spot on, the only issues I have are the nerfed easy putting mechanic, and the green speeds are horrible. Also I wish the practice swing was an option head to head it makes having a match at the sim level pretty difficult with the new swing mechanic. I am just praying they fix green speeds, as it seems they are pretty dead set on aiming marker based putting, people probably thought last years stroke based was too hard, which I actually truly enjoyed
 
# 2 Dazraz @ 03/27/13 12:09 PM
A solid review. I would go for a 8.5. I'm totally loving ths game. Never been one for the Career Mode so the Wuick Tournament option is a much welcomed. The new presentation gives it a much more TV broadcast feel despite the lack of quality commentary. All in all a great game.
 
# 3 ParquetPosse @ 03/27/13 03:51 PM
I'll wait for the patch and a price drop. Been burned too many times by TW Golf. Really it's an every other year game for me, or even every three years. Pick it up in the bargain bin 6 months from now and the $60 worth of DLC will be easier to stomach.
 
# 4 Luke466 @ 03/27/13 04:30 PM
Still difficult to understand why we can't play a season mode with a pro? Such a basic concept....
 
# 5 buckeyedawgtribe @ 03/27/13 07:40 PM
looks like a winner but in typical tiger woods fashion EA fashion it took until the end of the cycle to bring it all together. When this comes out on the next gen systems you will have such jaw dropping graphics you will look back at this game and wonder how you played a game so ugly. However if past is an indicator the next gen tiger woods will lack the various modes this game has
 
# 6 dcherry @ 03/27/13 08:44 PM
Really good review. As you mentioned, I hope there is a patch for scoring and green speeds soon.

Loving the game though. Sim mode is awesome.
 
# 7 BBallcoach @ 03/27/13 09:37 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by ParquetPosse
I'll wait for the patch and a price drop. Been burned too many times by TW Golf. Really it's an every other year game for me, or even every three years. Pick it up in the bargain bin 6 months from now and the $60 worth of DLC will be easier to stomach.
yeah I bought 10, 12, and now 14 (played the in between years though)... this is the first year its worthy enough to buy the DLC courses. Best tiger ive ever played and I go back to TW 99 and Cyber Tiger.
 
# 8 Profit89 @ 03/28/13 08:47 AM
This game would be awesome with oculus rift.
 
# 9 Love13 @ 03/28/13 11:48 PM
I'm loving the game, my only issue is the "out of bounds" I haven't played much but I've started a career on the Asian pacific am and at royal Melbourne its almost that if you don't hit the fairway it's O.B. and that is frustrating. I love the challenge the new swing mechanics bring but if I hook a shot into the trees I should be able to play out of the trees not have to take a 2 stroke penalty. It was like this in the demo as well on royal birkdale, yet at oak hill if you hit into the trees or on another fairway than it let you play it from there. I'm just wondering how many courses have the strict O.B. rules on them.

Other than that, it's an awesome game and I'm having a lot of fun with it.
 
# 10 Love13 @ 03/29/13 02:03 PM
Does anyone know if I can delete my career file and start a new one without having to create a new golfer?
 
# 11 ODogg @ 04/02/13 08:53 PM
So does Tiger FINALLY have Autumn courses or is everything summertime?
 

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