I’ve never played — or even watched — a full game of golf. I’m not hip to golfing culture, nor its historic moments. But when I’m setting up to tee-off in Tiger Woods 10 for the Wii, I find myself emulating my on-screen avatar, bending my knees slightly, gaining my composure before my drive. Honestly, I don’t even know what proper teeing posture is. But the feedback from the Wii Motion Plus add-on is so closely connected to my movements that I’m compelled to adopt all the physical habits of a golfer… or, at least, what I imagine those habits to be. You could play Tiger 10 on the couch, but with the Motion Plus’s added accuracy and immersion, Tiger 10′s much better when you’re standing up.
And you’ll be standing for a while, as you navigate the game’s daunting array of content. The Career Mode, for one, features a robust PGA Tournament schedule (with the U.S. Open making its series debut) designed to keep your custom golfer busy for months. For golf dummies like me, the Tournament Challenge mode provides some contextual insights into the sport’s history, dropping you into momentous golfing scenarios and challenging you to conquer them. And if you don’t have time to play an entire tournament, the Challenge Mode offers a great way to gain some quick experience. Tiger vets will want to level-up their characters as much as possible, because although the new Motion Plus controls are immersive, they can make for one difficult game of golf. If you’re like me and the controller’s sensitivity actually works against you, you can always take your clubs into the Club Tuner to get your shots to fall where you want them to.
To further improve your game, Tiger 10 offers three difficulty levels for swing control and two options for putting. All-Play is the dial-it-in mode, where you’re shown a ghosted image of the ball’s trajectory. All you have to do is match the power behind the swing. While All-Play can be too easy, its putting game is the perfect set of training wheels for the golfing neophyte. The Classic putting scheme from previous Tiger games is available, but after a few hours with the Precision Putting controls — where your shots are measured by the length of your backswing and the speed of your forward stroke — I never looked back. Standard swing controls are significantly more difficult. The tilt of your club before, during, and after your swing will matter much more than they do in All-Play, and putting’s much harder with the Motion Plus controls activated. I’ve been lined-up for countless birdies only to have my score shattered by a putt missing the hole by inches. The third mode, Advanced, is a more punitive version of Standard swinging, and is the only swing-control allowed in the Play the Pros online mode.
Online options include the simultaneous play from last years’ edition, and a new Live Tournament mode where you compete in daily and weekly tournaments which are recorded on EA’s leaderboards for bragging rights. But if you’re really confident, the Play the Pros feature compares your scores with actual PGA events as they happen in real life. With the Wii Forecast feature, your game can also reflect real-time weather conditions. Golf Party mode, returning from last year, provides an amusing detour for the sport, but for the best diversion (and a reason to buy the game on its own), try Disc Golf. This new and ridiculously addictive mode plays just like a game of golf, using a Frisbee instead of a ball and club. Your on-screen warm-up swings perfectly reflect the tilt, elevation, and speed of your actual movements.
Tiger Woods 10 on the Wii is the definitive golf game. Beyond the high level of immersion from the Motion Plus controls, and the many months worth of entertaining game modes, this version welcomes the widest ever audience to a “sim” sports game. EA is leveraging the Wii perfectly. I just hope to see it bring the same all-inclusive approach brought to the other consoles in the future.
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