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Tiger woods 2004 is the 4th or maybe 5th installment of this EA golf game. I was only introduced to Tiger woods 2003, and hadnt played the previous ones. Now, i play golf every now and again, and im crap. so naturally i like playing golf games on the computer, so i can pretend im good. i usually go for very realistic ones such as Links, but this, although not taking such a serious stance as most golf games, is very very enjoyable. Let me start with a quick intro to the game. TW2004 picks up where 2003 left off. it has 21 courses to pick from. Real ones including pebble beach and st andrews, and made up ones such as 'The predator' which is so much more difficult than a real course, but because of the fantasy element, its very good fun. Now, very brief intor over, i think the best way to talk about the elements of the game is to break down the menu screen: +PLAY NOW - Here you will be transported, as if by magic, to a random scenario for you to have a go at. its basically a means of practice, and is probably a slightly useless option. +GAME FACE - Here is where you will create your 'profile' that you will use in the game to play golf with. first you give it a name, date of birth and determine its gender. Next up its time to make this person look as much like you as possible! Now, with other golf games youre given a choice of maybe half a dozen hideously ugly people to choose from, but not here. you can change everything on the face and body to make it look as much like you as you want. although this can take a bit of time, its a really really good feature. you can adjust skin tone, hair style/colour, facial hair, teeth, cheeks, chin, jaw, width, height,eyes, teeth, brow, arms legs body EVERYTHING! Not only this, but you'll then be trasported to the Pro Shop, where you can buy your clothes you want to wear. (more about the pro shop later). After which youll spend whats left of your minimal amount of money on 'attributes' wh
ich detrmine the skill of your golfer. Save your profile and youre ready to go play! +GAME MODES - -World Tour: Here you travel around the world, asia, oceania, europe and the americas to play, and hopefully beat, pro golfers (and some fantasy golfers like Mulligan MacGregor) at their home courses. once you win at all courses on a continent, you dominate that continent and move on to another. Aswell as the domination factor, you'll win a lot of money and some cool trophies for your trophy room. -Scenarios: Work through 30 scenarios that will test your skill, nerve and patience. The first scenario is to earn your tour card, by doing such things as praticing a punch shot succesfully. Unfortunately these scenarios get a lot harder, and include eagle challenges, where, to achieve gold, you must eagle a selection of par 4's, and target golf (SZ challenge) where you must hit some pretty tricky placed targets within the time given. These scenarios are well thought out, and generally good fun to try. they'lkl undoubtedly improve your play, and you win money along the way. And not forgetting some medals for that trophy room! -Traditional games: Here are some of the more standard golf game, erm, games. Youve got Stroke play, match play, 4-some, stableford etc etc, all of which you can play against your friends or some of the pros. I dont think these need much explaining as theyre not any different from any other golf game. Except stableford, which ive never heard of before! But for anyone who wants to know, Stroke play is playing a system by which points get added to your score for every shot over par you finish a hole, and deducted for every shot under par you finish and the person with the lowest score at the end of the round wins the match. in match play the winner of the hole gets 1 point added to his/her score and the person who wins the most holes wins the match. most other games are variations on these two.
-Arca de mode: I think here is where the fun element of the game comes in. Im not saying normal golf isnt fun! but these are a break from the norm, and are really cool games to play with your mates. We have Battle Golf, in which, when someone wins a hole, they can remove a club from their opponents bag, or replace a stolen club. this is a lot of fun, especially when you get to a 580 yard par 5 and youve stollen all your mates woods! Also there's Skill Zone, where there are a number of target based games such as capture the flag, and a variation of HORSE, where you have to beat your opponents last shot, or you get a letter added. first person to spell out TIGER loses! Theres also speed golf, in which its not always the most accurate, but the fastest player who wins, as you have to play quick, and run to your ball. All very tiring i know, but definately worth a go, as all of these arcade games are a lot of fun. -Real Time events: Here the game uses the calendar on your console to give you an events calendar. You can only play these events if 'today' is the date the event is on, almost like real life, but without the rain mac. This is an interesting concept, but if youre not an addict who plays this every day then you'll inevitably miss certain events, but nevertheless, there are cool prizes to be won and its a nice touch. not to forget, you'll get a little flag for your trophy room for every event you win! Events range from a tournament to celbrate someones birthday, to EA events to win attributes. -PGA Tour Season: This is the bread and butter of any good golf game. A career mode. Here you use your golfer and enter as many, or as few, of the PGA tour events as you want. During the season there is usually a tournament every week, from thursday to sunday. but this isnt anything like the real time events, obviously, and you can play as many of the tournaments as you want in a day, even skip a load and finish one season in a day
if you wan t. I think most of the tournaments are real, such as the players championship, AT&T national, British open and The Tour championships, but some arent, and use some of the fantasy courses and players in the game. As in reality, the tournaments are 4 rounds long, with a cut after the 2nd day, where if you havent measured up too well, you'll be kicked out :o(. The more championships you win, the higher you'll be ranked amongst the pros, and the more money you earn. you play against all the pros in these championships, Tiger Woods, Ernie els, John Daly, justin leonard and the like. In the PGA tour section, aswell as play the season, you can check your rankings and results from the season so far. Winning these events can be a struggle at first, but they become a bit easier, and a lot more fun, when you can increase your attributes. Also, if you do well, you can catch a sponsors eye, which can be very useful. +MY TOUR - -EA sports bio: Here the console uses the memory card to create a profile of all the ea games youve played, and lists any achievments youve reached in them. I dunno how this looks as the only EA game ive got is TW2004, but im sure its very interesting! hmmmmm. -Player Resume: This is exactly what it says. it lists your progress in each aspect of the game, and in the game overall. it lists your main statistics, and the content of the game which you have unlocked. Also in here is your Tour Card. When you start you have a 'T' tour card. As you progress, and win more events, you will be awarded your 'I', 'G', 'E' and 'R' your cards. i have only got to the 'E' card so far, but basically, the more letters on your card, the more money you'll earn for each thing. Say you earn $50 for each birdie with your 'T' card, you'll earn $400 with your 'E' card. so its a good idea to do well and get the subsequent cards quickly. -Trophy room
: Here all your achievments will be documented: Par 5 eagles - you get awarded for each par 5 you eagle and these are here PGA Awards - such as player of the month awards PGA Tournament trophies - each time you win a PGA tour event, you get a shiny trophy! Real time even flags - for every r.t.e you win, you get a flag to show off Scenario medals - every scenario medal you win is kept nicely in a cabinet Tracking tiger award. - everytime you beat tiger at his own game, you get an award World tour awards - each time you win, you recieve an award Trophy balls - Trophy balls are a big part of the game, and are kept here. -User records: This is where you can look up every stastic of your game, your putting, recovery eagles birdies etc. +OPTIONS - Here you can change certain things to do with game play. these changes, such as the weather and green speed dont change tournament conditions, just when you play traditional and arcade games. Also you can change the songs on the soundtrack. During the menus there is a selection od relatively new songs, rock indie and a bit of rap music, and you can adjust it to suit your taste. generally i am impressed with the songs on the track, and they have some pretty decent bands playing on it, none that id personally heard of before though. Now, thats all the aspects of the game sorted out, what does the golf play like? Well, firstly if you want a 100% accurate and realistic golf game, then this isnt it. Its mostly there, but it takes the edge off a hardcore golf game, and replaces it with fun. this is definately what i like about this game. The swing is easy enough, and with some vigourous tapping of the magical 'Z' button on the controller, you can add power boost before the shot, and spin to the ball after the shot. of course all apects of the swing an
d strking, power etc are controlled by how good your attributs are. There are 9 different attributes which you must improve to have a good chance of beating the likes of tiger, these are: Power Power boost (the amount of boost you get by tapping 'z' during the swing) Driving accuracy Ball strking Approach Putting Recovery Spin (the amount of spin you can impart on the ball by tapping 'z' during the balls flight) Luck (as in real life, luck is the most important element!) Each can be increased up to 110%, but the increments get increasingly expensive, so dont think its as easy as all that to improve. once your power is increased to 110% you can expect to be hitting well over 350 yards, depending on your equipment choices, which can be sought at the Pro Shop. Pro Shop: Here is where you can dress to impress aswell as buying yourself a new piece of kit. The clothes range from usual shirts, polos, jumpers, trousers shorts socks etc etc. you can accesorise with some lovely jewelery or a watch perhaps. maybe even a tee behind the ear to improve your luck? Well, you can make yourself look a complete idiot or just stick to the more conservative dress code, i mean, have you ever seen bobby george or jimmy saville play golf? To improve your golf its worth investing in some new clubs, shafts, drivers, gloves and balls. the more you progress in the game, the more equipment and attire will be unlocked, which will be undoubtedly better than your current lot. As mentioned earlier, if you do well in a tournament you may be approached by a sponsor. this means if callaway want to sponsor you, you'll get a large wad of cash to spend on some more clubs, and if you play with callaway, they'll give you x amount of money each time. All the top brands are there, aswell as EA's brand, so take your pick. When playing the game,you recieve money for each eagle and birdie you get, greens in regu
lation and for most other things that are deemed to be skillful. Trophy balls are awarded during the game, and one objective is to collect them all. The trophy balls range from 'first hole in one', 'first double eagle' to 'chip in challenge' and 'longest putt'. These add a sense of achievment when youre playing, and generally show you that youre improving. The game is generally an enjoying one. its cool on single player, and is also a lot of fun when playing with mates. i think it has quite good longevity too, as some of the things youre asked to achieve can be quite taxing. The fact that it isnt 100% serious compliments it perfectly, and turns a very frustrating sport into a thoroughly enjoyable game, i just hope i havent made myself sound too sad by writing about a golf game with such enthusiasm! definately worth a look for all gamecube owners. This is available on PS2 and PC too, and i think you can play online against other people using the ps2 and PC. Any information you need can be found at http://www.easports.com/games/tigerwoods2004/home.jsp. Enjoy. Andy.