PS3 Previews: Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09 Preview

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Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09 Preview

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Scheduled release date:

August 26, 2008

Publisher:

EA

Developer:

Tiburon

Number Of Players:

1-4

Genre:

Genre

This year’s U.S. Open golf tournament was a memorable one, as a hobbled Tiger Woods managed to top a very game Rocco Mediate in an epic playoff. Tiger seemed to nail one amazing shot after another as he was forced to sink birdie putts at the 18th hole on two consecutive days en route to victory. Golf fans will remember that tournament for a very long time, but unfortunately, Tiger’s knee now requires surgery and his season is officially over. However, what better way to continue his season in the virtual world than to pick up Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09 in August? EA and Tiburon are most certainly preparing yet another solid effort this year, and real-life duffers should definitely save this bad boy for those rainy days when the links are closed. In looking at this game from all angles, there don’t appear to be any major or significant alterations in comparison to last year’s entry, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be better. Here, we take a look at several of the fresh new features we can expect.

First and foremost, we’ve got good news for all those who put a great deal of emphasis on experience. Regardless of the sport, the answer to getting better is always the same: practice, practice, practice, and if your performance takes a significant quality leap, so will your inherent skills. This translates to PGA Tour 09, as just about everything you do will affect your base stats. If you keep dropping big drives in the middle of the fairway, your drive rating will get a boost, but if you keep missing 6-foot puts (regardless of how tricky the green may have been), your putting rating will take a dive. Upon completion of a particular event, the game will assess your performance and change your skills accordingly, thereby giving you further incentive to achieve on the golf course. As a nice added bonus, the game will remember your most painful failures and give you a chance to remedy the situation during a practice session at a later date. In other words, if you buried your ball in the sand on the 13th hole at Augusta, resulting in a double bogey, the game will recreate that same situation later so you can practice it. Don’t you wish you could do that in real life?

In this way, there’s an automatic coach of sorts, but a player always needs a personal coach, too. It’s strange to think that Tiger’s coach is making his very first appearance in this year’s installment; Hank Haney will be on hand to give you pointers throughout your PGA Tour 09 experience. In fact, he’ll be the first one to evaluate your abilities before you participate in any tournaments, and with his help, you can work on the weak points of your game. We’re not entirely sure if you’re forced to practice before attacking any of the numerous modes in the game, but we’re certain you have to practice before embarking on the lengthy Career mode. Get out there and show Hank what you’re made of, and when you’re done, heed his advice and attempt to make the necessary changes. As usual, we imagine much of this game will revolve around two major gameplay facets: the timing of the swing and correctly analyzing the situation. It goes well beyond club selection, you know. You have to factor in ball position, wind, the terrain you’re aiming for, and if you wish to apply any spin to the ball. This game is all about technique and patience, but it also requires some actual thinking. God forbid.

As for the actual mechanics of the gameplay, there is one relatively significant addition. It’s a new instant feedback meter that tells you the exact angle of your backswing and follow-through, thereby allowing you to adjust accordingly if you’re off by even the slightest amount. Besides that, avid followers of the popular franchise will quickly recognize the rest of the controls and sink right into their beloved routine. In terms of preparation, though, you’ll get a chance to fiddle around with another new feature: the Club Tuner. This sounds like a fully realized customization process for any given club in your bag, as you will be able to change everything from power and loft to spin capabilities. However, you can’t just make everything about the club better on a whim; ratcheting up the power may shrink the size of the sweet spot, for example. You can also take course details and intricacies into account when using the Course Tuner; if the course boasts a lot of long holes, you may want to sacrifice some accuracy for power. If the greens are iffy and the winds are high, maybe you want added spin to deal with the situation.

Of course, we can’t go without mentioning multiplayer in this day and age. EA has already delivered the innovative online multiplayer program for Tiger Woods: GamerNet. Not surprisingly, they’re issuing a few tweaks and upgrades for use with this year’s installment, and that includes streamlining the entire process. Uploading shots should be much easier and faster, and if new challenges appear (set by other players; you can prepare tough challenges, too), GamerNet will tell you about them immediately after logging on. There’s no doubt that online multiplayer is a staple of the sports gaming community these days, so something like GamerNet is always a huge bonus for many fans. In the end, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09 is destined to be a must-have for any golfer, especially those who are going to miss watching Tiger dominate the competition for the rest of the season. We don’t see any drastic changes from last year’s title, but then again, what they had last year was pretty damn good to begin with. Besides, we do get plenty of small upgrades that should make this year’s experience even better.  The title is scheduled to swing into stores on August 26.

6/24/2008 Ben Dutka

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Comments (7 posts)

KidCallaway123
Wednesday, June 25, 2008 @ 9:22:30 AM
Reply

Thanks for the heads up Ben. Tiger 08 for the PS3 is one of my all time faves!

One thing that would be nice is if you get some kind of credit for completing the last game when you boot up the new one. Maybe it could be in skill points or something like that.

Anyway this is one I will look forward to for sure. You didn't make any mention of the soundtrack, I totally loved the 08 soundtrack. Any idea if they will make this years version of the soundtrack similar?

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, June 25, 2008 @ 11:04:38 AM

No, sorry, I haven't heard anything about the soundtrack. I imagine it won't be too different, though.

And I also think it's only a matter of time before EA starts rewarding avid players of a certain sports franchise. Completing the previous year's entry probably should translate to a little bonus in next year's...

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parasite
Wednesday, June 25, 2008 @ 2:30:26 PM
Reply

I have to ask is Augusta National a course in the game now? You mentioned it in your preview so I kinda got excited. Can you give us a course list?
Thank you.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, June 25, 2008 @ 3:47:27 PM
Reply

Sorry, that was just an example to make a point. I'm not sure if Augusta is actually in the game.

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KidCallaway123
Wednesday, June 25, 2008 @ 6:24:59 PM
Reply

It would be Tremendous if they could put Augusta National in the Game and actually call the "Spring Major" The Masters!!!

I think it would be a HUGE selling point for the game itself too.

Somehow I doubt that the powers that be at the golf course will ever let it happen...

We can hope though!

Last edited by KidCallaway123 on 6/25/2008 6:25:52 PM

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Daedusian
Thursday, June 26, 2008 @ 1:05:18 AM
Reply

If it has online I'm in! Expecially if it copies the HSG:OOB's online multiplayer components, like creating a foursome and everyone taking turns! It's much more fun than 50 player tournaments I think!

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cAtDaFeLiX
Thursday, June 26, 2008 @ 5:01:30 AM
Reply

I still have to complete Tiger Woods 08 in about 2 months time before 09 comes out. It's looking good.

My only complaint is that they are going to use 2 new commentators Kelly Tillman and Sam Torrance for 09. I'm going to miss McCord and Feherty and been very happy they have been calling the shots for along time (I've been playing Tiger Woods on PS2 and 360 since Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2001) and from the video previews I have seen and heard. I don't like the new commentators at all....sigh.

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