Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11 Xbox 360
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Released on 02/07/2010
Gamers will select a team and square off to try and bring home The Ryder Cup for their squad in Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11 on all console platforms.
The Ryder Cup is one of the last great sporting events to be founded in prestige rather than prize money. Choose from the U.S. or European squad and participate in the various competition formats - foursomes where players hit alternate shots, fourballs and singles which traditionally bring the biennial event to a close with players going head to head.
When playing The Ryder Cup mode offline, gamers will have the option to swap matches, thus giving you the ultimate control over the outcomes of other matches.
Two strokes ahead
Like the golfer himself, the Tiger Woods PGA Tour series has had few challengers to its status as the best golfing simulation of recent years. With a number of new additions to the latest entry, the excellent Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11, developer EA Sports has ensured that the franchise retains its crown, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t still room for improvement.
As well as the traditional PGA Tour season mode, which offers a range of challenges and competitions, the game lets you compete in the prestigious Ryder Cup tournament for the first time. Choosing from the U.S. or European squad, you can take on the challenge solo or with friends, with the title supporting online battles for up to 24 players; a record number for the series.
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11 introduces a number of new mechanics that increase the tactical elements of its already solid gameplay, the standout additions being Focus and True Aim. Represented by a meter, Focus is a limited resource that increases your chances of success by allowing you to put more accuracy, power, spin or fade on a stroke, or to view useful putt previews. Enabling you to manage your game more than ever before, Focus depletes each time you use it and builds up when you don’t, meaning you have to choose carefully when to deploy it.
Focus is a limited resource that increases your chances of success by allowing you to put more accuracy, power, spin or fade on a stroke
Targeted at more experienced gamers, True Aim reduces the number of player assists generally found in golf games. While it retains some important shot aspects such as the distance to the hole, it abandons the aiming circle and lets you view the action from behind your character’s standing position. This perspective sees you playing the game using just your own eyes and a basic overhead angle for judging long distances. It’s a handicap that makes things tougher, but it feels more realistic and is certainly more rewarding when you play a good shot.
Points equal prizes
There’s also a new experience points system which acts as an in-game currency and levelling up mechanic. You’re awarded points for skilled play which you use to boost your four main attributes - power, accuracy, control and putting. You build these up as you play and can tune and tweak them to your liking. Experience points are also used to purchase shop items like different outfits for your character.
You’ll be hard pressed to find a better virtual round of golf anywhere.
While Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11’s new features build on an already great formula, they sometimes feel a little like baby steps when a more radical overhaul could take the series to a whole new level. The lack of competition in the golf game space means the Tiger team haven’t had to work as hard as, say, EA’s FIFA team, for whom the annual battle against Pro Evolution Soccer has been a blessing in disguise; continually forcing them to up their game.
If there is one criticism to be levelled at Tiger Woods 11, then, it’s that the PGA Tour game engine is starting to feel somewhat dated, with little change to character models evident on a year-by-year basis, while some of the world’s most beautiful golf courses now appear a smidgen rough around the edges.
The real thing
These minor niggles aside, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11 is still arguably the best golf game ever made. Accessible for newcomers while offering new difficulty levels for veterans, the excellent core gameplay mechanics ensure you’ll be hard pressed to find a better virtual round of golf anywhere. In addition, you’ll be able to play the game using the motion sensing PlayStation Move controller when it arrives this September, while PlayStation Eye owners can put their own face on their in-game character, making them feel more like a real golfer than ever before.
- Cool new gameplay mechanics build on last year’s offering.
- Accessible for newcomers with added challenges for veterans.
- Arguably the best golfing game ever.
- Improvements aren’t groundbreaking.
- Can look a little rough around the edges.
- You’ll have to wait until September for PlayStation Move.
Who's your caddy?
So after a year of having his name in the tabloids for all the wrong reasons, the world's most famous golfer is back doing what he does better than anyone else - lending his name to market-leading golf games! Apparently he's not bad on the fairway, either - but does Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11 have the finesse to do his name justice?
The big addition for this year's update is massive multiplayer action. You can form teams of up to twelve golfers and tackle rivals in a generous spread of online games. This ties in rather naturally with the inclusion of the Ryder Cup, available in all its US versus EU glory for both online and solo play. It's only a small step onwards from the simultaneous play introduced back in 2008, but there's no denying that each visit to the leaderboard between holes becomes fraught with tension as you keep track on the performance of your other teammates.
In solo play you can opt to jump into any match and try to drag it back in your favour, but played with real human players all you can do is watch and curse as some muppet demolishes your teams record with more runaway bogies than a doctor's waiting room during flu season.
Putt it there
Also new is True Aim, which strips away all the computer assists from your strokes, leaving you to gauge distance and shot strength by sight alone. It's a noble idea, but one that suffers for the lack of sensory feedback you get from a flat screen. Maybe when all games are fully 3D motion controlled virtual experiences, this sort of unflinching realism will feel less like punishment.
Far more useful and balanced is the introduction of Focus. This is a finite resource that gets gobbled up every time you use one of the game's helping hands. Adding power to your strokes, spin to the ball in flight or just narrowing your target for a more accurate green shot, these all cost Focus, which can then be regained by playing successful holes without resorting to these features.
It's in the putting that Focus really becomes a tactical choice though. The putt preview is no longer a one-use gambit, but instead relies on using a hefty chunk of your Focus gauge. This means you need to really know the courses, and base your play on understanding the holes where you can store Focus, ready for the problematic dogleg fairways and sloping greens later.
Underneath these new, and sometimes cosmetic, tweaks lies the same game that fans will know and love - or have grown tired of. It's still the best game at capturing the feel of stroke play, and the typically generous buffet of EA Sports features means that you can customise and adapt almost every variable to suit your skill level.
Balancing issues persist, with freshly created golfers proving painfully useless until you've laboriously levelled them up, while jumping into a game using an existing pro means you're able to perform significantly better without actually improving your game. Such wobbles are inevitable when cramming a sport based on so many small unpredictable nuances into a joypad-shaped hole, but purists may still wrinkle their noses at some of the ludicrous under-par scores you can achieve with little real effort.
The biggest problem facing Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11 is that it's a minor refinement of a game that has run out of sweeping improvements to make. Anyone who bought last year's edition should carefully consider if the new content on offer is tempting enough, but for those who haven't picked up a club for a few years, this is a fine chance to jump back in.
+ Multiplayer Ryder Cup!
+ Still plays an impressive game of golf.
+ Focus gauge adds tactical depth.
- Not massively changed from previous editions.
- Player balance can be strange.
- True Aim doesn't add much.
EA's back with a new Tiger Woods game
EA Sports has revealed that - hardly a huge surprise - there's a new Tiger Woods game on the way.
According to Eurogamer, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12: The Masters will feature - you guessed it - the Masters Tournament, which will be the first time it's been included in a Tiger game.
As well as playing on Augusta National, you'll also be able to play through historic shots in the Masters Moments and take on genuine golfing legends. You can even try to beat Tiger's own four Masters wins by restaging each game.
Alongside the Masters content, there will also be a caddie included in the game who provides you with useful advise, and a new commentary team and TV broadcast presentation. There's a Fast Golf option for when you want to get straight to the action, and a more forgiving save system too.
Career Mode will allow you to chart your golfer's journey through the amateur ranks and into the big leagues, and there will be the usual cast of famous faces, too, with over 20 professional golfers included and 16 classic courses.
When can you expect to pick this up? How about 1st April, when the game arrives on the PlayStation 3, Wii, and Xbox 360. (If you're picking up the PS3 version, you can use the Move controller, too.)
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The latest entry in EA 25 million plus selling golf series, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11 (PS3, Xbox 360, Wii) sees you competing in one of the most prestigious tournaments in sport, The Ryder Cup. Choosing from the U.S. or European squad, you can opt to take on the challenge solo or with friends across a variety of competition formats. A first for the series is the ability for up to 24 players to compete head-to-head online. With support for Sony upcoming PlayStation Move controller and two new enhanced swing mechanics for Wii MotionPlus, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11 allows you to become the golfer.
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11 - Review (06/07/2010)
Two strokes ahead
Like the golfer himself, the Tiger Woods PGA Tour series has had few challengers to …
So after a year of having his name in the tabloids for all the wrong reasons, the world's most famous golfer is back doing what he does better than anyone else - lending his name to market-leading gol…
EA Sports has revealed that - hardly a huge surprise - there's a new Tiger Woods game on the way.…New Release Round Up: 2nd July 2010 (02/07/2010)
This week's new GAME releases see you keeping the peace or causing mayhem, searching for treasure, battling with mythological warriors, and competing for one of sport greatest prizes.…
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