Tiger Woods may be sitting out the rest of the actual 2008 PGA Tour to rehabilitate a busted knee, but that hasn't stopped the golf series that bears his name from offering a bunch of thoughtful touch-ups. Here's our Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09 review.
The Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09 iteration of Electronic Arts' golfing finger-slinger plays like last year's version with perks, ironing out the kinks in its core play while shoring up accessibility with features like a club tuner that lets you tweak everything from wedges to woods, dynamic skills that fluctuate up or down based on your performance, and commentary plus custom drills from Tiger's own real-life coach, Hank Haney.
Factor in five new courses and four new golfers with an international twist plus expanded online challenges, revised minigames, and a simultaneous-play feature that lets up to four players polish off a round without waiting turns, and Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09 is the most versatile version of the series in years. The game is available for PlayStation 2, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.
Last year's features return mostly improved in Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09, including the game's bifurcated swing interface which lets players choose between flicking the left thumb-stick to simulate back- and downswings, or tapping a button three times to indirectly accomplish the same thing. The prehistoric three-click swing is easy to master but feels detached and mechanical, and pulling off complex pop-ups or rare double eagles still requires coming to grips with the analog thumb-stick.
Last year's rendition of Tiger Woods PGA Tour was hypersensitive, causing you to sink balls in bunkers and water hazards with an errant nudge. Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09 comes with a helpful instant-feedback meter that lets you see precisely how your thumb is moving and feels calibrated to be a trifle more forgiving whether you're swinging with Tiger or just some bogey-prone hacker. You'll still want to babysit the game's automatic club caddy, however, as it gets confused and subs in silly picks on complex courses that require more strategic selections.
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09 ships with 11 updated courses and five brand-new ones, including Gary Player Country Club in South Africa, our very own Wentworth Country Club, Sheshan Golf Club in China, Wolf Creek in Nevada, and Bay Hill Country Club in Florida. Several of the new courses (Sheshan in particular) have devilishly tricky hazards fronting greens that'll force you to master your backswing and avoid airmailing balls over the green.
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