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Tiger Woods PGA Tour 06 Xbox 360

Published by EA Sports
Developed by EA Sports
Release Date: Out Now
Price: £49.99

Tiger Woods PGA Tour 06, an introduction.

We've been fortunate to review the Tiger Woods PGA Tour games for the last few years and during that time the series has become the number one console golf game. It was welcome news then that a version was announced for the launch of the Xbox 360. Of course as FIFA 06 Road to FIFA World Cup has shown, we shouldn't expect the game to simply be a graphically enhanced version of what appeared on the PS2, Xbox and Cube and this is definitely the case with the Xbox 360 version of Tiger Woods PGA Tour 06.

What's the game about?

The Xbox 360 version of Tiger Woods PGA Tour 06 in some ways feels like a streamlined version. The game has a Play Now mode for those one-off rounds. As you would expect there's a Career mode that will allow you to take your custom golfer and develop their skills until you have a golfer that's capable of challenging the PGA Pro players. You can also play a variety of game modes such as Stroke play, Skins, Stableford and Alternate Shot. Of course you can also play over Xbox Live and these games are for 2-4 players. There are six courses in the game (Pebble Beach, Riviera Country Club, Pinehurst, Sawgrass, Carnoustie and Turnberry) which have all been lovingly recreated to take advantage of the extra graphical power of the Xbox 360.

What's good about the game?

One of our complaints with the PlayStation 2 version of Tiger Woods PGA Tour 06 was that it wasn't challenging enough. The Xbox 360 version however, seems to be much more challenging. The game is definitely better for this and there's definitely a feeling of satisfaction when you play great shots. The Game Face mode, where you can create your own custom golfer, is excellent and offers some really detailed, but easy to use, tools that will allow you to create a golfer in your own image. The Career mode, in which your player will start off quite poor and earn experience through a mix of matches and challenges, is once again thoroughly enjoyable and will keep you busy for months which cushions the blow, to a certain degree, having fewer features in the Xbox 360 version. It's also good to see the game offering online play and leader boards which again increases the replay value of the game. Of course you can always point to the quality of the graphics as a positive too.

What's not so good about the game?

The biggest disappointment is the lack of courses to be found in the game. There are only six courses in the game which isn't even half of the amount included in the versions of the game that appeared on the current generation of consoles. The fact that only one of these courses, Pebble Beach, is initially available does nothing to improve the situation. There's also a shortage of modes compared to previous Tiger Woods PGA titles. There are no real time events or world tours where you can take on all kinds of zany characters. These omissions are unfortunate and the game definitely feels the poorer for it.

How does it look?

Whether you play the game on a standard TV or on a high definition display, it looks very nice. The courses and player models are much better than those we've seen in previous console versions and although this was to be expected it's nevertheless great to see. Whilst the player models are much improved, it's the courses that really catch the eye. The gallery spectators, the trees and other objects seem much more animated and vibrant. You'll see waves crash onto the shore (when playing on a hole that's next to the sea front) and trees swing in the breeze and this all adds to the atmosphere. On a standard TV the game looks great but on a HD display the graphical improvements over previous versions are really noticeable. There are a few complaints that we have though. Firstly the frame rate is not always as it should be and you'll notice the frame rate dip on fly-bys and when the camera follows your shot. It's nothing major but nevertheless a little disappointing. Secondly the game is one that simply stretches to fill the screen when played on a PC TFT monitor when using a VGA cable. This gives everything a distorted look and it would have been great if the game had played in a letterbox mode to retain the 1280x720 default screen resolution (in the same way that FIFA 06 does).

How deaf gamer friendly is the game?

We may be looking at a next generation console golf game but in terms of how deaf gamer friendly it is, it's no different from previous titles in the series. The commentary isn't subtitled but in every other respect the game is absolutely fine. The caddy tips and challenge instructions etc. are all shown in text so you'll have no problems at all with the single-player side of the game. Of course it could be awkward with the online side of the game as voice communications are supported.

Final thoughts.

When you first look at Tiger Woods PGA Tour 06 on the Xbox 360 your first reaction will probably be one of disappointment. With only six courses and fewer game modes than previous titles in the series, it definitely has the look of being a cut-down Tiger Woods PGA Tour title. However, the more challenging nature of the game is appreciated and means that the game will provide more of a long term challenge than previous games in the series have. With that said though, the lack of content is disappointing but thankfully it's still an enjoyable and entertaining experience.

 

Overall Game Rating: 7.9/10

Deaf Gamers Classification:


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Tiger Woods PGA Tour 06 on the Xbox 360 is a slimmed down version of what appeared on the PlayStation 2, Xbox and GameCube and lacks some of well loved game modes. In it's favour though the game is definitely more of a challenge and as a result doing well in the game's career mode is definitely more satisfying.