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Tiger Woods PGA Tour 08 DS

Published by: EA Sports
Developed by: EA Sports
Release Date: Out Now

One of the first games we reviewed for the Nintendo DS was Tiger Woods PGA Tour. Whilst the game was a fairly decent game, it didn't make great use of the handheld's unique control system. There were also problems regarding the small amount of courses present in the game and the fact that you couldn't enjoy a multiplayer game unless everyone owned a copy of the game, which practically made it a worthless feature for some. Of course that was over two years now and in that time there hasn't been another Tiger Woods game on the DS, until now. Here's hoping that Tiger Woods PGA Tour 08 can be the golf game we've been waiting for on the DS.

The single-player choices in Tiger Woods PGA Tour 08 are Play Now, Practice, Tiger Challenge and PGA Tour. The Play Now game modes are Stroke Play, Match Play, Skins, Stableford and Shootout. Practice allows you to work on your technique without the hassle of having to compete against an opponent. The Tiger Challenge mode requires you to take on all kinds of challenges and golfers in an effort to finally take on Tiger himself. The PGA Tour mode sees you playing through the various events on the golfing calendar as you bid to become the PGA Tour Champion. The game includes eight courses including The K Club, TPC Boston, Pebble Beach and St. Andrews.

Impressively there are four multiplayer modes. You can play in a Local Wireless game which requires that all four players have a copy of the game. The Nintendo WFC mode allows you to play over the Internet using the Friend Code system or random matchups. You can even play a game against a DS owning friend who doesn't own a copy of the game thanks to the Download multiplayer option. Finally Pass Play allows up to four friends to play on the same DS. These multiplayer options just about cover every requirement you could ask for in a handheld golf game and these improvements alone justify the game's asking price.

As we mentioned earlier, the control system in the first Tiger Woods game for the DS was a bit of disappointment. It was obvious that any future Tiger Woods games for the DS would have to have a much better control system and Tiger Woods PGA Tour 08 duly obliges. To perform a swing using the stylus you'll place the stylus over the ball and keeping the stylus in contact with the touch screen, slide the stylus toward the bottom of the screen to set the power of your shot. To complete the swing you'll need to push the stylus back up the screen. All of this needs to be done in one fluid motion. Essentially it replicates the mouse swing from the PC version and the analogue stick swing from the console versions very nicely. The speed and accuracy with which you perform the swing will determine the speed and accuracy of your shot. You can also add spin to your shot by using the stylus or directional pad whilst the ball is in flight. On the whole I think this control system works really well and is far superior to anything I've seen in a handheld golf game before.

Let's suppose that you don't want to use the stylus, what are your options? Thankfully you can opt for a 2 button press or three button press golf swing that feels pretty much the same as the ones found in the EA Sports PGA Tour games of yesteryear. For the three button press control option you can either press the A button or tap the screen with your stylus to simulate the button presses. Essentially you'll press the A button (or tap the touch screen) once to begin your back swing, again to set the power and a third time to determine the accuracy. The two button press system is essentially the same only you omit the third button press. Whilst most will want to use the default control system it's great that some traditional control systems have been offered and they both work really well.

The DS version of Tiger Woods PGA Tour 08 is also quite impressive in regards to its presentation. It is more deaf gamer friendly than some versions of Tiger Woods PGA Tour 08 that have appeared on other formats. Essentially this is because there is no speech in the game and therefore all information is given in text. Graphically the game looks good and is completely in 3D. Naturally the bottom screen features the bulk of the action. The top screen has also been put to good use and is essentially used to aim your shot. It's a combination that works wonderfully well and is sure to be the formula the developers keep for future Tiger Woods PGA Tour titles on the DS. The courses are probably about as detailed as they are going to get on the DS and you can say the same for the golfer animations.

There aren't many aspects of the game that will disappoint. I thought the options for creating a golfer were extremely limited but I suppose it's going to seem that way given how complex the character creation tools have become in the Tiger Woods games on other formats. In fact on the whole the game is very good and a marked improvement on the previous Tigers Woods PGA Tour that was released on the handheld's European launch day. If you're looking for a great golf game to play on your DS then Tiger Woods PGA Tour 08 is definitely the game you want whether you’re looking for single or multiplayer action.

Overall Game Rating 8.6/10

Deaf Gamers Classification

DGC Classification B
(Click the letter or here for details)

The DS version of Tiger Woods PGA Tour 08 is simply one of the best handheld golf games I've played. The DS is the only format where the Tiger Woods series has really advanced this year and is quite simply an essential purchase for those who want to play a great golf game on their DS.