Tiger Woods 07


Review by Matt Paprocki

EA Sports


Graphics: 8

Sound: 8

Gameplay: 9

Overall: 9


Taking the term "everything and the kitchen sink" to heart, Tiger Woods 07 is the definitive version of series. Tossing in nearly every feature ever found in a Tiger Woods game, this lively entry is a fine way to send it out on the current hardware before the focus shifts entirely to new consoles. It's a total turn around from 2006.

tiger071xbox.jpg (22186 bytes)Last year brought two utterly absurd changes to the game: "Tiger Proofing" and gamebreakers. They contradicted each other; the latter allowing for a perfect shot when activated and Tiger Proofing was a desperate attempt to the make the game more difficult by adjusting the courses to your skill level as you played. Neither feature makes a return, and instead the focus was on the sheer amount of content that can fit on one disc.

Aside from a few fantasy courses, this is a full roster, culled from each edition of the game since 2003. This brings the total up to a stunning 21, variety never found in a Tiger Woods game. That same number can be used to represent the number of golfers found on the disc, including newcomers like Annika Sorenstam.

As usual, there's a ridiculous amount of time-consuming features to experience. Finally admitting the game is shamefully easy, sliders can be adjusted to minimize the yardage of a drive, effectiveness of a player putt, length of the rough, and more. Some of these options have been included previously, though never in this level of customization.

Gone is the oddball Rivals mode, replaced by another throwaway single player experience, Team Tour. Here you'll acquire different golfers to add to your squad as you travel the world and take on other teams. The team play adds a unique spin to standard golf since most of the games take place with multiple characters. This also requires playing alongside the AI, and while it's funny to watch them plop balls into the water four straight times when playing against them, trying to win with a performance like that can be nearly impossible. A full PGA Tour season is the better way to play.

Besides that misstep, there's nothing to complain about here. The shape stick has been changed, borrowing if not outright stealing the system from recently released Pro Stroke Golf. Now the right analog stick stays in a position either over or under the ball before the swing instead of moving around prior to completion of the swing. Putting returns with the ridiculous aiming camera, showing the exact location needed for an accurate putt. As a complete game however, you can also choose the option to used caddy tips which were last seen in 2005.

While the mechanics have only been slightly switched (and a little beefier given the customization), game modes have been greatly added to. Whoever came up with the concept of one ball not only deserves a raise, but a giant hug from every fan this series has earned since its inception.

In this mode, up to four players hit a single ball. The idea is to be the last one and make the final putt to take the hole. This leads to some deep strategy as you try and keep the ball away from the hole so the other player(s) can set you up for an easy final stroke. The challenging portion is that the ball must be hit within a circled area on the course. Failing to do so awards back-to-back shots for the next golfer.

Other fun gameplay options include T-I-G-E-R, a variation on the classic basketball playground game HORSE. Everything is also playable online with solid servers that keep the experience smooth. The graphics engines has been honed enough that anything less than 60 fps would be a mistake, online or off, and this version is wonderfully consistent. ESPN integration features ESPN Radio updates when you sign into Xbox Live and text stories from ESPN.com.

This is a nearly flawless turn around from Tiger Woods 06, and a fine way to end a series on the aging hardware. This will most likely be the final entry on current generation systems to get the added attention needed to make Tiger Woods a success. This is an absolute must have, even in addition to the Xbox 360 version given how different the products are.


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Last updated: Sunday, November 12, 2006 11:36 PM