Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Review: Tiger Woods PGA Tour 14 (360)

With the inclusion of legendary combat – playing rounds against Nicklaus, Player, Hogan, Palmer, etc. – and the chance to play golf at night, it's come to my attention that Tiger Woods PGA Tour 14 has utterly failed in offering the complete golf package. Of course, the additions I have in mind would push the game from “E” for Everyone to “M” for Mature in a heartbeat and possibly herald the return of Outlaw Golf or least a Dead Space themed DLC course.

Had I the power, technical expertise, or slightest idea of how to make a video game, I wouldn't overhaul the underlying mechanics of the golfing aspects of the game. I don’t think they've ever been done better, including the really technical games that appeared on PC years ago. Every once in a while a bounce doesn't look quite right or the drop seems a little sudden given the direction and speed of the wind, but for every one of those shots there are hundreds that look and feel very realistic.

Playing against the greats using equipment from their respective eras can be quite a challenge. The approaches feel different and the adjustments needed really do take a bit of practice.

Given the era that the legendary golfers come from, I wish there was more to do with them. What about recreating famous golf scenes from cinema and television? How would you have to adjust your game if garbage kept bubbling to the surface? (The Simpsons, Episode 200, “Trash of the Titans.”) What about parts of the golf course exploding? Or dealing with a gopher? (Caddyshack.) How about the classic Auric Goldfinger vs. James Bond where the player not only has to have a good round but also contend with an opponent that cheats outright? That’s the kind of creativity and DLC options, I’d want to see as a casual video game golfer. EA keeps nailing in the realism and control aspects of the Tiger Woods PGA Tour franchise, why not offer a sub-section of content to keep the casual player coming back and possibly interest those that would never pick-up the game in the first place?

Last free idea to EA Tiburon. During night mode, could it be turned into a drinking game? As the game progresses and the effects of alcohol start to take a toll it would make for some interesting shot considerations and timing challenges. Wouldn't that be fun? And why else would you be on a golf course at night, except possibly to have sex? Welcome to M-rated territory!

I don’t want Tiger Woods to suddenly become “Tiger’s Wacky Golf!!!” and I'm almost certain the game itself is tied up in a Gordian Knot of licensing issues, so how about a series of “one off” courses separate from the main game?

I supposed my real concern with Tiger Woods PGA Tour 14, is that the series has plateaued at “Excellent” in terms of accuracy and quality – to the point where it’s hard to differentiate between iterations. You could be playing PGA Tour 12 or 13 and not notice a much of a change-up between the latest title aside from the Legends mode and (what feels like) better Kinect support.

This iteration is a stellar continuation of the series – plus an offer for a free year of Golf World or Golf Digest to sweeten the deal for aficionados – but there’s room for expansion (including an LPGA event was good step!), rather than improvement.

- D.D. Nunavut

The Good:
- Sights and sounds of the golf experience are great
- Playing against the Legends with equipment from their respective eras is neat-o
- Even without the Legends, PGA Tour still offers an excellent golf experience
- LPGA Tour event
- Golf porn

The Bad:
- How is this much different than PGA Tour 12 or 13?

Score: 8.5 / 10