Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2003


Review by Matt Paprocki

EA Sports


Graphics: 9

Sound: 9.5

Gameplay: 8

Overall: 8.5

I'll admit it. I can't play golf. If the ball actually leaves the tee, I consider myself lucky. Tiger Woods 2003 not only lets me blast a ball 350+ yards (straight I might add), but forces me to sit in front of a TV for hours at a time to complete just one more challenge set forth by the fine folks over at EA Sports. In fact, if it weren’t for a few annoying quirks, we'd have the greatest game of golf ever put onto a console.

TW 2003 definitely leans more towards the arcade side of golf, rapid button presses are neccesary to increase power and the same to adjust the spin of the ball (which is done on the fly). Long drives are the norm and eagles will eventually become the norm on par 5's. The putting however is the exact opposite, requiring absolute precision or the ball will miss the hole. This is made no better by the terrible caddy tips provided via text during putts. This creates some extremely frustrating moments due to the fact that the caddy obviously can't read a green.

Even though the putting is frustrating, the endless amounts of challenges and modes available are enough to keep any golfer enthralled. The scenario challenge pits players against some of the toughest situations a golfer can face. Beating these earns money which can then be used to buy stats, which eventually turns into new golf equiment. Playing in tournaments also can net players cash, but the meat of the game is the Tiger challenge. Facing off against specific opponents in match play will unlock your opponents and earn tour cards which turns into even more cash on the tournament circuit. There are also medals, trophy balls, speed golf, skins play, and more to be found. Definitely earns extra points for the sheer amount of replay value.

Playing through the various courses reveals incredible details, especially on the fantasy courses. The holes are immensly detailed and lighting effects are unparalled. The golfers animate very well, but some of the over-dramatized animations can quickly become repetitive, as can some of the cinemas. While some of the glitz and glamour could be toned down in the games look, the sound is just about perfect. Great (if not slighty repetitive) commentary, stunning 5.1 sound, and a rowsing crowd add up to a sporting experience that must be heard.

While "those" people may not like it (you know who you are), arcade golf has never been better. With some slight tweaking (in the putting) and some toning down on the glitz, next years game could possibly be the greatest golf game ever made. Of course, it'll take the majority of this year simply to finish everything this game has to offer so this is definitely a worthwhile purchase.


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Last updated: Wednesday, December 10, 2003 02:33 PM