Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2005 Review
Tiger Woods 2005 seems dead set on making new players comfortable--but this inadvertently sucks out a lot of the challenge.
For better or for worse, the game of golf has seen its image change quite dramatically over the past decade or so, shifting from a sport of privilege and exclusivity to something more accessible and populist. Tiger Woods, the golfer, has played no small part in this, and EA's Tiger Woods PGA Tour series has wisely broadened its own scope year after year, introducing non-traditional gameplay modes, exaggerated characters, and some good, tactile gameplay mechanics. Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2005 is the most approachable Tiger game yet, offering some appreciable improvements over last year's model and several significant features designed specifically to take some of the edge off the game. The game seems dead set on making new players comfortable--but this inadvertently sucks out a lot of the challenge.
Let's start with what's new this year. EA introduced its "Game Face" feature in last year's Tiger, which was a character creation system that allowed you to customize the appearance of your golfer to an almost absurd level. You were given a good half-dozen different variables for the appearance of your golfer's nose, for example. PGA Tour 2005 features an enhanced version of this feature, creatively dubbed "Game Face II," and it offers even more options and greater flexibility. There are a ton of new variables, many of which seem tailored toward creating a character with a more flawed appearance, including laugh lines, bags under the eyes, and crow's feet around the outer edges of the eyes. Game Face II seems to be more capable of handling extreme character designs. Before, if you wanted to make a morbidly obese or incredibly gaunt golfer, you could only go so far before it started looking unnatural. Now you can make such characters look appropriately lifelike.
Also included in this customization suite is a new swing editor, which allows you to tweak the bend of your knees and the positions of your hands and wrists at the three different stages of your swing, as well as the total length of your swing and the focus of your technique. With this fairly modest number of options, you can create some pretty bizarre-looking swings. The Game Face feature has always ostensibly existed for the purpose of creating a fair facsimile of yourself, and Game Face II definitely brings things closer.
Alongside the PGA tour mode, which has been the heart of the Tiger Woods games for years, Tiger 2005 introduces the legends mode, which is divvied up into two portions. There is the legend tour, which gives you the chance to play against six of the most legendary names in golf: Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Ben Hogan, Gary Player, Seve Ballesteros, and finally, Tiger Woods himself. But before you can take on the legends, you'll need to win a series of match games against a mix of colorful fictional characters and real-life PGA pros. The addition of these well-respected names to Tiger's already brimming roster of real-life PGA pros adds a certain esteem to the affair. Yet for all the seriousness these revered golfers bring, the caricatured characters created by EA (seemingly with the game's own Game Face II tools, at that) basically negate it with an excess of funny nicknames, funnier haircuts, goofy victory dances, and improbable swing styles. Granted, the Tiger Woods PGA Tour games have always included a set of non-traditional player characters, but the wackiness level in this year's batch is too extreme and feels a little too contrived. Golf isn't the uptight sport it once was, but still, the tone in Tiger 2005 is different enough that fans of the sport, or fans of past Tiger Woods games, may be put off by it like we were.
The other half of the legends set is the legend scenario mode, which is essentially a repackaged version of the scenario mode from the past few Tiger Woods PGA Tour games. As before, these scenarios present you with a series of specific challenges, whether it's coming back from a string of bogeys or playing the toughest greens the game has to offer. As established Tiger players should expect, these scenarios are rather good at testing specific sets of skills.
Beating your competitors in the legend tour and winning medals in the legend scenario mode both earn you a fairly substantial cash prize. They also score you legend coins, which you can use to purchase courses for "Tiger proofing." Tiger proofing is essentially a very lightweight course editor that gives you a certain amount of control over the size and condition, but not the location, of different course elements. Greens and fairways can be shrunk, undulations can be added to the turf, hole placement can be changed, bunker depth can be increased, and so on. There are more than 20 different variables in total, many of which you'll have to unlock by earning more legend coins. Though it's no substitute for a full-featured course editor, Tiger proofing can be good for freshening up courses that you think you've already mastered.
As mentioned earlier, Tiger 2005 makes a serious effort to take some of the stress out of golfing, and this is most apparent with the new "Tiger vision" feature. Tiger vision is used when you're on the green, setting up for a particularly challenging putt, at which time you'll be shown exactly where you need to aim in order to sink the shot. The game is understandably tightfisted with the number of times you can activate Tiger vision (it can be enabled once or twice during a game), but this feature is still indicative of what seems to be the underlying philosophy in Tiger 2005. The actual mechanics of the gameplay remain unchanged from last year, with the same analog swing controls, but everything seems much more forgiving this time around. The analog swing doesn't feel as sensitive--so much so that, at times, it felt almost difficult for us not to smack the shot right down the middle of the fairway. As long as the green doesn't have a lot of weird contours to it, sinking shots from 20 feet away doesn't require much effort, either, and chip-in shots almost seem easier to pull off than actual putting. We found ourselves playing with brand-new characters and stock sets of clubs, and then coming away from 18-hole PGA Tour-grade courses at eight or nine under par.
- Player Reviews: 21
- Game Universe:
- CyberTiger (N64, PS, GBC),
- Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2000 (PC, PS),
- Tiger Woods PGA Tour Golf (PS, PC, PS2),
- Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2004 (GBA, GC, PS2, XBOX, PC, NGE, MOBILE),
- Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2002 (PS2, PC),
- Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2003 (PS2, GC, PC, XBOX, MAC),
- Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2005 (PS2, GC, XBOX, PC, DS, MOBILE, MAC),
- Tiger Woods PGA Tour (PSP),
- Tiger Woods PGA Tour 06 (PC, MOBILE, X360, XBOX, PS2, PSP, GC),
- Tiger Woods PGA Tour 07 (PS2, WII, PSP, X360, XBOX, PC, PS3)
- Offline Modes:
Competitive, Cooperative, Team Oriented
- Online Modes:
Competitive, Cooperative, Team Oriented
- Number of Players:
- Number of Online Players:
4 Players Online