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Tiger Woods on Wii has been circling perfection for three years without success. Although the improvement has been reasonably steady features and approach have varied in each of the yearly iterations since Tiger 07. The high fidelity gestures made possible by the MotionPlus add on combine with some positive response to feedback about last year's putting to results in what looks to be (finally) the quality game we have all been hoping Tiger could be on Wii.
Sports games recreate a wide variety of real life competitive games. Depending on the sport, these will either have an action or strategy focus. Popular sports games are often released on an annual basis, each year the game receives new player rosters and game improvements.
Tiger Woods 10 brings a clutch of improvements to the table. MotionPlus is the most novel and now allows the game to take account of a one-to-one backwards and forwards stroke to calculate the resulting swing. It also perfectly captures the rotation of the controller which means fade and draw can now be consistently applied.
The game can be played without the MotionPlus add-on and some may opt for this cheaper option. The controls are still generally improved even without the new gizmo, but there is no denying that the full experience required the latest money making scheme from Nintendo.
Other additions have been included to add atmosphere, such as the visible crowd and improved visuals. Then there are new modes that broaden the experience for those after something a little more light hearted - Frisbee golf is in mind here.
There is a real sense that the team's ongoing attention to feedback is finally paying off. Something you can track through the various incarnation on the Wii:
Tiger Woods 07:
Tiger Woods 08:
Tiger Woods 09:
Tiger Woods 10:
A session on Tiger Woods leaves you with a real sense of having just played a genuine sport. Controlling the whole game with just gestures creates an experience that is as unusual as it is enjoyable in video games. The new level of control simply adds to this feeling of connection.
A round of Tiger Woods is as much about the psychology, strategy and odds of real golf as it is about swinging the controller. The long game soon comes to the fore as the quibbles and difficulties of controls melt away leaving the player to face the wide expanse of (carefully landscaped) natural courses alone.
As in real life a full round of golf with a few friend can take the best part of three or four hours. You can of course play a front or back nine, but this game is best served by longer sessions. The career mode lets you save midway through a round which helps those who want to jump in and out at opportune moments.
Less is made of the anyone can play aspect of the game this year, although the All Play controls are still present. Unlike some of the other sports titles, these seem to suite the novice rather than younger player. Perhaps because of the sport in question here, a little more patience is required to get to grips with even the simplified All Play swing. Whilst previously the slightly fuzzy controls favoured intermediate players, the more nuanced and finely honed experience of Tiger 10 driving and putting opens the door to those who really want to invest in the sport.
Intermediates can still have a lot of fun, but it is experts who will most appreciate the improvements this year. Time will tell how consistent and transparent the mechanic is with prolonged play but on first impressions it seems far in advance of last year's opaque experience (to put it politely).
With so many different perspectives it can be hard to know where to start - a little like walking into a crowded pub. Sorry about that.
But so far we've not found a way to streamline our review output - there's basically too much of it. So, rather than dilute things for newcomers we have decided to live with the hubbub while helping new readers find the columnists they will enjoy.
Our columnists each focus on a particular perspective and fall into one of the following types of gamers: