* Prices may differ from that shown
The relentless behemoth that is the Tiger Woods PGA Tour series continues to spew out new versions on an annual basis. With the next version soon to be released I thought I would give my opinion on the last in the series. Developed and published by EA sports it was released in July of last year and, a full month behind its' American counterpart, it gave access to new courses and new regulations in an attempt to attract new players.
The series has been operating with the Tiger Woods sponsorship since 1998 and this is the 12th release in the series, the 5th on the xBox 360. As such surprises are limited. As usual it's golf. The major selling point for this was the inclusions of the US Open and the USGA Championships. Perhaps only serious golf enthusiasts would have got any excitement from that. Also, the USGA's new rules are used for the first time.
Perhaps a more interesting addition is the Real Time Weather Conditions, which allows the actual course conditions to be replicated as you play. This is done in conjunction with The Weather Channel. Of course there is the usual ESPN razzmattaz that EA tries to replicate on each of it's sport titles. Also included is the Tournament Challenge, which players of other EA Sports titles will recognise. It is basically an opportunity to recreate historic championship moments.
Putting is designed to be more difficult on this version as they have removed the distance indicator that helped golfers previously. Obviously an attempt to appeal to the golfing enthusiast, it is perhaps more of an indictment of where the series is at. They are now having to remove things in order to make the game seem different.
It is that last point that sticks in mind with every new release in this series - what is the difference. Graphics are not going to improve, they have had used the platform for the last 5 years. And it is golf, so there are no changes they can make there. My feeling is, the developers have the same discussion. The changes that are included in this game are superficial and will only appeal to the serious enthusiast.
That is not to say this is a rubbish game, far from it. As far as golf games go you would struggle to find a better one, espescially at £14.99. But you can say that about any of the series, so if you have previous versions, there are little differences. For veterans of the series it becomes a matter of whether the changes are enough. For me, even at the price, it is not.