I do love a good game of golf, and it’s been pretty rare in the past few years that the Tiger Woods franchise from EA has delivered such. It seems like every year, they feel a need to change something up, which screws up gameplay in some way, and sends me back to my well-worn copy of Links 2004 for Xbox. When the Wii reared its head, we all knew right away that this console was going to be made for any sports that used clubs, bats or wickets, and EA picked up on that, bringing Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2007 to the Wii. At first blush, the game seems pretty good, but spotty motion sensing, horribly menu navigation and the over-reliance on the title character and his superhuman abilities once again ruins what could’ve been a hole-in-one for Nintendo’s console. After just a few hours with this game, you’ll be hard-pressed not to want to return to Wii Sports Golf, which has fewer features, but is far more enjoyable.
Let’s start with what’s good about this game – there’s a respectable variety of gameplay modes here, especially considering it appears to be a simple port over from the PS2. There’s the Tiger Challenge, Arcade play and more. There’s also a good selection of courses, 18 in all, along with plenty of clubs, clothing and PGA pros.If you like to create your own player, the face creator application is here, though watered-down significantly. Also, the swing mechanic for the most part works pretty well, with a few oddities (mentioned below.). It’s very cool to swing just like you’re holding a club, and have the in-game swing behave the same. If you’ve never golfed before, you won’t be totally lost, but having golfed before, you will likely have a leg up on other players to start.
The bad part of this game is related to the good – the motion-controlled swing. There are times when a good swing just doesn’t register properly, and your ball hooks/slices like crazy, when you know it was a near-perfect swing. Top that off with the putting, which literally has a mind of its own and will swing by itself at random times, and you’ve got an exercise in frustration.
The ugly graphics don’t help this game in any way, especially on the greens. If there’s one thing every golfer can agree upon, it’s the beauty of most golf courses, especially the big pro courses. However, due to EA’s apparent lack of skill with the Wii’s graphics capabilities (which admittedly are limited), the courses all blend into one another in a mass of polygonal jagged green. It’s even hard to tell when something is just in shade, and when it’s actually rough terrain. We tested the game on an HDTV with Nintendo’s official uber-cables, and it didn’t help, the game just looked ugly, and while it doesn’t kill the game, it makes it pretty unenjoyable at times.
Another frustration with this game is the over-reliance on the licensed athlete – Mr. Woods himself. He’s ultra-powerful, and omnipresent throughout the game. You simply cannot escape him except in a few specific game modes, and whenever he’s on the green, he fails to miss a shot. If you play as Tiger, you’ll start feeling like you’re the greatest golfer in the world (the game must compensate for bad swings with some sort of mystical “Tiger Effect”), only to switch to another player and begin to fail miserably at everything from then on.
Jumping back to the control issues – the over-reliance on the Wii-mote for handling menus makes the game really frustrating. Some menus must be navigated as if you were aiming a gun at them, and because of the skittish nature of the remote, you’ll frequently pick the wrong menu item.
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2007 isn’t a horrid game, believe it or not, it’s a decent first-try for a professional Wii golf game. That said, it’s still got a long way to go before it’s actually enjoyable for all but the most-forgiving of gamers. Wii Sports Golf, Links 2004 (Xbox) and even the recently released (yet clearly unloved by consumers and editors alike) ProStroke Golf (PS2) bring much more enjoyment to the game of golf than this effort from EA.
- Overall: 6.0
- Too many nitpicky annoyances combined with not-quite-ready for prime time controls make this a good game only for the most forgiving player
— Craig Falstaff