Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Digital Augusta National enhances new Tiger Woods videogame

The first thing you’ll notice about “Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12” is there’s no picture of Tiger on the cover. There is, however, a big Masters logo, indicating that for the first time Augusta National’s beautiful golf course has been digitized into a game.

Woods has said in interviews that EA Sports used digital lasers to replicate the course, so that the on-screen version mimics the real thing, minus the actual smell coming off the azaleas. I’ve never been to Augusta, but I’ve seen the TV version many times and this looks like its digital identical twin.

Playing the game has not changed much. You can pick clubs, choose which type of shot to hit and deal with weather and actual green speed and slope. And some of the greens at Augusta are downright maniacal.

Augusta National officials have said they’ve allowed the course to go digital to try to bring the game and the Masters event to a younger audience. If my two kids, ages 11 and 6, are any indication, they’ve succeeded. My kids are putting down NBA and NFL games to play digital golf, and they complain about how hard it is, and these two regularly beat most any videogame they try.

For me, I felt the difficulty settings were about right and the addition of a caddie made the game more fun. The caddies know the courses, and where you think you have 150 yards and should choose an 8-iron, the caddy will know this hole plays longer than it looks and you need a 7, or that the wind is blowing 15 mph in your face and you need a 6.

You can also let the game pick your clubs for you, which allows nongolfers to instantly jump in and play.

On the PS3 version, you can swing PlayStation Move remote like a real golf club, like with the Wii-Mote on Nintendo. A new feature called “True Aim” allows you to look down at the ball as if you’re actually playing golf and watch it fly off from the same perspective. The mode can be turned off or on, but adds realism to an already complete game.

I especially enjoyed the career mode, where you start in the amateur ranks and go to Qualifying School; then you play in pro tournaments until you win or are invited to the Masters. You can also play in nine “Masters Moments” where you play key shots from past Masters or play as Tiger during his four Masters wins, trying to match or beat his scores.

Graphics-wise, the PS3 version was spot-on.

The players look real and all of the famous championship courses included here, besides Augusta, are lovingly recreated. The new additions of CBS Sports’ announcers Jim Nantz and David Feherty also add to the realism. Nantz is the voice of golf for CBS Sports, which broadcasts the Masters, and listening to him set your character up while that famous Masters theme plays along really pulls you into the game.

EA Sports has a winner here.


stankyjackson said...

I wonder if Tiger has any friends at Agusta National that used the Hush-Hush service?

contactos madrid said...

I think every person should glance at this.

sexshoptienda.blogspot.com said...

This can't truly have success, I suppose so.