MG’s Take: Tiger Woods PGA Tour 08 (360)
Author :        Date : 29-Aug-08

Tiger Woods 2008, released on multiple platforms in September, 2007 by EA Sports, has endured a beating normally reserved for farm animals on most forums.  Most of the complaints revolve around game freezes, instable EA (Electronic Arts) online servers, lack of character clothing options and most importantly the hair-trigger analog controls.  To the delight of old-school gamers, and possibly a welcomed addition to frustrated analog video golfers, EA has brought back an old friend – the 3-Click swing meter.  This article is not necessarily a review of Tiger Woods 2008 (especially when TW 2009 just came out yesterday), but more of reflection on the reintroduction of this swing meter interface.
I admit I am an older gamer and have been a fan of video golf games for some 30 years.  I started out playing Computer Golf for the Odyssey II at home and Birdie King at the arcades.  I was thrilled with the evolution of the golf game genre on all platforms including Big Event Golf (arcade), the PGA Tour series on the Sega Genesis, and the Links series for the PC.  My console virtual golf life ended with the release of Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2001.  The new analog stick swing interface replaced my tried and trusted ways.  This was devastating for me.  I did not have the time (due to work) to master this new video swing technology.  I became frustrated since my drives off the tee went only 167 yards and usually in the trees or the muck bordering the fairway (on a good day, it being my fairway).  Sure, there was Swing Away Golf for the PS2 that was the one game that still employed the 3-Click swing meter for the next generation systems (at that time).  It was just not the same game as my beloved PGA Tour series.
I first downloaded the demo of Tiger Woods 2008 on my Xbox 360 once I read that the 3-Click swing meter was brought back from the dead.  Obviously I was very happy to be reacquainted with an old friend. I could once again compete off/on-line with a certain degree of competency right away.  Naysayers will argue that the 3-Click swing meter makes things too easy and does not truly test the video golfers skill.  I can not say that I completely disagree with this.  However, EA did reopen up a market to all of the people that grew up playing and loving the original
PGA Tour series.

Most of the complaints on this game have been addressed through two (2) game updates.  Remaining issues mostly revolve around computer player AI and online play/server performance.

Overall, I am thoroughly enjoying Tiger Woods 2008 (Xbox 360 version).  Though there are some annoying problems with this title, the reintroduction of the 3-Click swing meter has made me a born-again follower of the series.  Life on the links has been revived for the old-school video golfer!


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