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Game Review: Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10 for the Wii

by bradiger   June 17, 2009 at 3:11PM  |  Views: 148

When it comes to teeing off on the virtual links, the 360 and PS3 versions of Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10 may look better, but the Wii's motion controls give it a grip-it-and-rip-it edge. Golfing with a Wiimote may have been far from perfect in the past, but now that MotionPlus is here, the Tiger Woods series finally enjoys a truly natural swing. No longer should you fear the green's many traps. In PGA Tour 10 for Wii, you are only limited by the sharpness of your swing.

The Wii version includes the same selection of gameplay modes as both the 360 and PS3, though it branches out with a strong emphasis on party-inspired options. Outside of the nine traditional modes--like stroke and match play--you also have access to six arcade modes, and five quick and easy mini-games. The party doesn't stop there: PGA Tour 10 also allows you to buddy-up with friends to take on a variety of Mario Party-esque mini-games. These usually involve activities you wouldn't be caught dead doing on a real course, like juggling balls with a club or racing golf carts, but it's refreshing nonetheless to see so much variety in a sports game.

If you're new to the series, there's a brief tutorial to help you with your swing. With Hank Haney, Tiger's real-life coach, you can customize your gear through the club tuner mode, so that hooks and slices don't happen as often. Want a bigger sweet spot? Or want to sacrifice accuracy for distance? Here you can do both.

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Hardcore golfers need not worry. With a full dose of tournament-style play, as well as the unique lifelike thrills found in the tournament challenge mode, there are more than enough hurdles to overcome. After creating your golfer, you participate in tournaments and realistic situational challenges in order to progress through the game, unlock new items, and build up attributes during your long, enjoyable journey to pro status.

Tiger Woods also takes the action online with the return of simultaneous play, where up to four people can tee off without having to take turns. Live tournaments, new to the series, play out exactly the same as their offline counterparts do. You're still just trying to beat scores on a leaderboard, only you're competing in daily or weekly rounds with real people. You can also try to beat the real-life stats of PGA Tour pros.

With so much variety, including a broad list of online modes and options, it might be easy to overlook the best mode of all, disc golf, which is entirely new to the series. Playing through the game's 27 highly varied courses with nothing more than a frisbee amounts to a whole new game.

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Ultimately, you won't find yourself getting bored with PGA Tour 10 anytime soon, but you may have a hard time figuring out what mode you want to play first.

In the Tiger Woods games, the so-called fluid swing using the Wii remote was never quite, well, fluid. Sure, you were able to watch your golfer hack and slash at the ball onscreen, but it never really felt right. In PGA Tour 10, the MotionPlus revolutionizes the game, enabling a lifelike and nearly hiccup-free swing. Even if you point away from the screen, it never misses a beat.

This translates to a virtual golfing experience unlike anything out there. If you were impressed by Wii Sports' limited golfing game, you'll be blown away by the fully-realized gameplay that PGA Tour 10 offers. Smacking balls over 300 yards, adding natural hooks or slices by twisting your arms slightly, or even sinking intricate putts, are all precision-point accurate.

It's easy to gush over such a well-executed swing system, but it does have one minor downside: it's sometimes difficult to measure how much power you're applying to your swing. Without visual cues similar to what you see while using the classic putting scheme, it's too easy to over-swing. This is doubly true when you're playing disc golf. The new weather patterns also affect the ball's trajectory and roll on the green, making for frequent, and frustrating, missed putts.

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Inconsistencies or not, PGA Tour 10 is one of the best golf games we've ever played. It feels like an all-new experience with MotionPlus. Once you get accustomed to a true 1-to-1 swing, you'll have a hard time going back to a standard controller.

Though its level of fidelity can't match what you'd see in the HD versions, PGA Tour 10 looks admirable enough on the Wii. There's plenty of decent-looking foliage on the courses, as well as realistic sandtraps, and convincing water surrounding the coastal sites. The commentators are nothing special, but the character models look fine. Same goes for both their facial and swing animations, which are in line with what we've come to expect from the series.

Given all the ways you can play it, as well as the superb MotionPlus controls, the Wii version of Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10 is easily the best one. MotionPlus is a definite must-have in order to get the most out of the game, though. If you're looking to buy the non-bundled package, then deduct two whole points from our gameplay score.

Reviewed on Nintendo Wii with MotionPlus.

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