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Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2005 Review

Developer: EA Publisher: EA
Release Date: September 21, 2004 Also On: GCN, PC, PS2 and Xbox

While I’m not a golf enthusiast, I have been known to frequent my local courses during the summer months. I wouldn’t consider myself all too knowledgeable about any particular sport, let alone an expert, but I do know that if real golf was as fun as it is in Tiger 2005 I’d be completely addicted.

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Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2005 is the thirteenth generation of the Electronic Art’s PGA Tour franchise, the seventh since adding Tiger Woods to the title and the fifth on the current generation of consoles. “What does all of this mean to me?� you ask? All of the time spent on the games over all of these years has allowed the dev team to nearly perfect the game.

Almost everything about the game of golf is included in Tiger Woods, truly fulfilling “it’s in the game� motto. Several years ago the swing mechanics changed from the traditional three-click system to swinging with the analog sticks. This attempts to emulate a golfer’s real life swing and it does a great job of doing so.

Being that it was in the 16-bit era, there have been other major improvements to the game since the last time I put serious time into a PGA/Tiger title. Different types of shots are available, different degrees of drivers, a wider selection of clubs to put into your bag and changes in stance are all available to the user.

While there are quick matches and a PGA tour calendar, the main part of the game is the My Legend Pursuit mode. My Legend Pursuit consists of challenging individual golfers until the Legends are unlocked to challenge with the climax being Tiger himself. It proves to be none too difficult at first but soon becomes a real challenge.

After your golfer has all of his stats upgraded fully, the game can become ridiculously easy. My first PGA event after finishing upgrading my stats I was leading the field by 20 strokes after the first round of play. Luckily there are a couple of options to remedy this problem. Tour difficulty can be turned on to allow for less mistakes, make putting much more difficult and further emphasis club selection and aiming. Tiger Proofing is also available during match play to narrow fairways, speed up greens, sink bunkers, almost anything you can think of. If not for these options, the game would be much too easy for even the most novice of players.

Money is earned throughout the game to wager on events and purchase stats, equipment and clothing. There are over 1000 pieces of equipment to unlock and purchase and 1500 clothing choices so even after the game is over, there’s still incentive to play some more.

Although GameFace II isn’t a main part of the game it will probably be where a good deal of your time is spent. I toyed around with the options to try to get my face into the game for hours until I thought I had it just right. My friends and family soon pointed out to me that my neck was that thick, my eyes weren’t that big, my eyebrows weren’t quite shaped right until I had a near perfect representation of myself.

The visuals are definitely above average just not breathtaking. All of the courses look just like they should but just don’t jump off the screen. One of the nice features is being able to play at any time during the day and seeing the environmental effects slowly change with the clock. A 5:00am tee and a 5:00pm tee look dramatically different; almost like looking at two different courses.

The sound is pretty good, as well. Atmospheric sounds are great, birds chirping, rain dropping, waves crashing; it’s all in there and sounds great. The commentary is good too and fits nicely with the feel of the game and manages to maintain a lighthearted but serious feel.

Overall, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2005 is a great game and should be in every golf fan’s library, though even casual fans of the game will get a kick out of all of the customization options and the dozen or so courses. While I would never before consider buying a Tiger game on launch day, Tiger 2005 just may have been good enough to change my mind for 2006.

Graphics: 8
Sound: 7.5
Gameplay: 9
Creativity: 7
Replay Value/Game Length: 10
Final: 8.8
Written by Chris Review Guide