Wii

North America

Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11

by Zachary Miller and Neal Ronaghan - August 3, 2010, 8:00 pm PDT
Total comments: 16

8

Neal and Zach both learned that they're terrible at golf, but is EA's latest golf game good?

Neal Ronaghan: I played, enjoyed, and reviewed Tiger Woods 10 for Wii last year. It was a rather ground-breaking experience, especially since it was one of the first and best games to feature Wii MotionPlus. I got sucked into the game last year after previously never playing a Tiger Woods game before. I thought the career mode was difficult to dive into, but the basic groundwork was excellent, though it had quite a learning curve.

Zachary Miller: I haven't played Tiger Woods since 2005 on the GameCube. That game sucked me in so hard that I probably sank more time into it than the entire Metroid Prime trilogy. At the end of my virtual golfer's illustrious career, I was sinking eagles left and right, flooring the competition on the tour, and knocking the socks off all the pro challenges. I had all the best gear, all the best stats, and all the glory. Five years later, I dug into Tiger Woods 11 for the Wii, and what a difference half a decade makes. I barely recognize the new Tiger, what with its automatic draw and fade control, Wii MotionPlus, and lack of skill-building, calendar-based career mode. Suddenly, I've been pulled off of the comfy confines of my couch and forced to stand in front of my television, swinging the Wii Remote like an actual golf club.

Neal: The skill-building aspect actually featured a big change from last year's version. Zach, you would be more at home in the previous edition, as that featured a career mode with all the trappings from the older games e.g. the gear you bought made you a better golfer. In Tiger Woods 11, you level up like in a role-playing game and slowly make your skills better with every shot you make. There's also the mechanic where you can focus one skill for an event, which was absent in earlier titles.

Zach: Yeah, the focus thing is nice, but I'm not as big a fan of the RPG aspect. I especially don't like how you actually lose experience for bad shots. I'm still learning how to use the controls! I'm going to hit the sand once and awhile! Hey, speaking of the controls, I was surprised how insanely accurate the Wii MotionPlus is in this game. The slightest twist of the wrist on your downswing OR your follow-through will result in some amount of fade or draw. Mess up big time, and your ball will basically make a 90 degree turn while in transit. You can still add spin to the ball by shaking the Wii Remote while the ball is in flight, which is still kind of awkward (it always has been), but you get used to it. The biggest thing to get used to is power control. Each truly new virtual golf game has forced players to make a big change. Originally, it was two-click control. Then they added another click. The Tiger series threw out that system and started a new one: the analog stick swing. Force and power were determined by how far back you pulled the stick, and how forcefully you jammed it forward. In a way, the Wii MotionPlus is a literal extension of that system. Instead of using a stick, you're using your arms…and torso…and legs.

And it is crazy frustrating. I hated it. I longed for the days of the analog swing. But you know what? I probably bitched and moaned about the analog swing, too, but eventually came to love it and appreciate the control it gave me over your ball's trajectory. The point is, I had to work for it. Tiger Woods 11 puts you through a similar, but more punishing, trial by fire. I recommend visiting the game's well-hidden driving range (called the "Club Tuner") for a few hours to hone your skills and recognize your own bad habits. Do you habitually fade your shots? Go into the club tuner's menu and scale up the draw to balance it out. Do you constantly pitch the ball too high, ruining the shot's distance? You can balance that out, too. The Club Tuner is a critical part of the game, and unfortunately, the game makes absolutely no effort to show you where it is. Of course, if you're still going crazy after a few hours, you can scale back the swing difficulty (I recommend "Advanced" if you just want to play the game).

Neal: As a testament to how hidden Club Tuner is, I put at least 15 to 20 hours into last year's game, and never used it.

Zach: This gives me a chance to knock the game's menu presentation. It's never intuitive, and it's very easy to miss loads of game modes or options that you'll want to try. They even tossed in a brand-new gameplay mode: "True View,” which is a bit like first-person football in the Madden games—you see what your golfer sees. It's interesting, but really takes some getting used to.

Neal: I thought "True View" was very cool, but the way it works is a little awkward. It gives you a first-person view, but it's almost more optimal to place the television beneath you so you can accurately reflect the view. I tried it out for a while, along with the other more in-depth control schemes added to the new version, but I ended up going back to the control scheme featured in last year's version.

Zach: Once you are ready to head to the links, you'll be disappointed to find that the unique Career mode from Tiger Woods ’05 has completely disappeared. No longer will you be able to earn cash and stat points by taking on different pros on different days in different courses or challenges. Thanks to that interesting system, the game eased you into the mechanics and let you max out your virtual golfer before taking on the PGA Tour, if you so chose. Tiger Woods 11 doesn't do that. Career Mode basically consists of the PGA Tour and the Ryder Cup. Luckily, if you don’t feel like taking on the pros right off the bat, you can play customizable single or multiplayer games with your career characters and gain XP that way. This is something I highly recommend.

Neal: The Career mode is virtually unchanged from last year's game outside of the Ryder Cup. Sure, there are slight differences, but it's the same tough entry point. You'll find more instant fun if you play with friends or family instead of the computer, or if you play Disc Golf, which returns and is better than ever.

Zach: Yes! Tiger Woods 11 brings an awesome Disc Golf game to the table. Unlike Wii Sports Resort, your goal is to actually sink the disc in the net, not just get it in the general vicinity. You can also play it online, which is pretty awesome and wasn't available in last year's game. EA has also included four gimmick-laden mini-golf courses, but I wasn't particularly impressed with them. Some of holes are surprisingly wonky, and it seems like the putting physics are different.

Neal: The mini-golf is a cool addition, but I ran into countless instances where the obstacles would obscure my view of my character so I would have to shoot blindly. Mini-golf is nothing more than a neat bonus in this year's version, but with some tweaking, it could be very good in future versions.

Zach: My biggest complaint with Tiger 11 is that it looks terrible, certainly not even significantly better than my well-worn copy of Tiger '05. Even some of the player's animations are the same. The graphical fidelity really rears its ugly head when you're creating your character. The low-res look of the game either misrepresents or just fails to show some of the changes you make to the facial geometry, and it's not exactly clear what you've just done until you take your golfer out on the course, at which point they may turn out to be hideous. I'm not terribly fond of the announcers, either, but I do like the ambient noise on the courses. Music, when present, is nicely upbeat without being obnoxious.

Neal: The graphics aren't too great and the create-a-player is too convoluted for its own good, but this is a game where gameplay trumps graphical power. This is, without a doubt, the best golf sim out there. The learning curve is high for the Wii controls, but if you're interested in golf at all and you haven't played a MotionPlus-enabled Tiger Woods game, you're missing out. If you picked up last year's game, I don't think I can whole-heartedly tell you to rush out and buy this. The changes and additions are rather small.

Zach: You have to be a golf fanatic to go all-out in terms of control difficulty, but even the casual golfer can get behind the virtual greens thanks to the wealth of control options that Tiger 11 offers. Yeah, the announcer is boring and the graphics are sub-par, but let me tell you—when you hear that ball crack off the tee and watch it sail towards an easy birdie, there's nothing quite like it.

Summary

Pros
  • Disc golf
  • Great use of Wii MotionPlus
  • It's just like real golf
  • Tons of control and gameplay modes
Cons
  • High barrier for entry
  • It's just as hard as real golf
  • Mini-golf is a missed opportunity
  • Poor graphics

Talkback

I love these two-man reviews!

Quote from: Jonnyboy117

I love these two-man reviews!

For some reason, Zach and I always do these. And we've got another one coming up soon (Transformers DS). We're toying with how to go about doing it, and we might have stumbled upon a way to do these very fluidly. Stay tuned!

As someone who bought last year's version, this review moved me from ignoring this game to the point where I'll probably pick it up once I can get it cheaper. It's not a huge jump, but that hasn't stopped me from buying Madden 9 straight years.

Quote from: insanolord

As someone who bought last year's version, this review moved me from ignoring this game to the point where I'll probably pick it up once I can get it cheaper. It's not a huge jump, but that hasn't stopped me from buying Madden 9 straight years.

That's a reason why I'm really glad I could review this one after having played the crap out of last year's game, and then Zach could review having not played last year's game.

With Madden, I'm cool with buying it every year because of the updated rosters (and requisite new features). With Tiger Woods, I don't really give a shit about that stuff. There's golf, it controls well, I'm cool with it.

broodwarsAugust 04, 2010

Wow, I'd hate to see how this review would have turned out if I'd never mentioned the Club Tuner existed in the game.  ;)

As for the game, meh it's ok.  Golf rates right up there with Baseball on my list of incredibly dull sports to watch, but I do give them points for having some good mini-golf courses.

I agree, that's not as important in this as it is in Madden, but I'm intrigued by the changes to career mode. This is the first I've heard of them, and I like the sound of them. Not enough to go buy it now, but enough to pick it up when I can get it for 20 bucks 6 months from now.

AVAugust 04, 2010

Quote:

Quote from: Jonnyboy117 on Today at 02:03:43 AMI love these two-man reviews!



For some reason, Zach and I always do these. And we've got another one coming up soon (Transformers DS). We're toying with how to go about doing it, and we might have stumbled upon a way to do these very fluidly. Stay tuned!

I vote Podcast ! Or even youtube video review

Chatroulette review

Quote from: MegaByte

Chatroulette review

Quote from: Mr.

I vote Podcast ! Or even youtube video review

Not to totally sidetrack the Tiger talk, but would anyone be interested in hearing Zach and I (or anyone else on the site for that matter) do an audio review? At first thought, I'm thinking kind of like a regular podcast, but shorter, and with a more rigid structure.

broodwarsAugust 04, 2010

Quote from: NWR_Neal

Quote from: MegaByte

Chatroulette review

Quote from: Mr.

I vote Podcast ! Or even youtube video review

Not to totally sidetrack the Tiger talk, but would anyone be interested in hearing Zach and I (or anyone else on the site for that matter) do an audio review? At first thought, I'm thinking kind of like a regular podcast, but shorter, and with a more rigid structure.


I always prefer audio over print for these sorts of things, so yeah I'd be all for a podcast-style review.

Zach and I have plans. Cool plans. Plans that might blow your face off.

Or, you know, plans that will be alright and will probably involve at least one dick or dinosaur joke.

"This game is great. We give it four out of five dick slaps against the mic."

*bup bup bup bup*

RachtAugust 04, 2010

Oh, man. I'd totally be down for another NWR podcast feed -- and one pertaining to reviews nonetheless! That'd be a freaking cool idea.  Go for it!

ZapAugust 05, 2010

Can you do the whole podcast mimicking Other M's cutscenes?

tommyfuscoAugust 06, 2010

i love the tag team review! cant say the same for tiger 11 tho.
i got it used  at gaemstop to compare and contrast to tiger 10 and not much different with the main mode i play, career. plus only one extra course added from last year in terms of total 27 to 28
so i stuck with 10

:)
u gotta tag team madden next.



yes, i know how that sounds.

I don't really play football games, but I'm very happy that everyone likes our duel-reviews.

Share + Bookmark





Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11 Box Art

Genre Sports
Developer EA Canada
OnlineYes

Worldwide Releases

na: Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11
Release Jun 08, 2010
PublisherElectronic Arts
Got a news tip? Send it in!
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement