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Happily, controlling the power of your strokes is a good deal easier. Power is controlled by the speed and size of your swing, and after a short amount of time it’s easy to get the hang of measuring your shots. Putting is particularly well handled, and is far better than the rather twitchy system found in Wii Sports. Holding down A provides an example of the ideal putt, and there’s a very advanced and confusing grid system showing the gradients of the green. After bit of practice it’s fairly easy to get a good idea of how hard you need to swing to reach the hole, though just like golf it’s never a precise art considering the gradients involved.
The only aspect of the control system that doesn’t quite work, or at least doesn’t feel natural, is the spin system. You put spin on the ball after you’ve taken the shot, selecting the type of spin by pressing the direction on the D-pad and then shaking the remote to generate spin.
Considering everything else about the control system is fairly intuitive, this spin system just smacks of gimmickry. It doesn’t detract too much from the overall experience, but if there’s one area that could do with more thought then this would be it.
Another area where the Wii version is seriously let down is, shockingly for EA, presentation. Even though the Wii is not about high-definition, it is still, on paper faster than the original GameCube, and that had Resident Evil 4 which was a stunning game at it’s time of release, and still is.
Tiger Woods 07 on Wii isn’t a stunning game, not even remotely. One doesn’t expect advanced effects, but some effort to make the game look serviceable on the console would be appreciated. One can’t get away, not from the lack of graphical quality necessarily, but from the simple dullness of the presentation. Even the most colourful courses appear to be washed in shades of grey, and even the menus don’t look especially polished.
Disappointing though this may be, it doesn’t come as much of a surprise, and EA is by no means the only guilty party in this regard. Until the PS2 finally winds up there’ll still be the odd PS2 to Wii port doing the rounds, though hopefully not for too much longer.
Importantly, though, despite the graphics and presentation not being up to scratch, the gameplay is. The swing system isn’t perfect, but it feels and plays well enough to make an enjoyable game of golf that feels a lot more in-depth than Wii Sports.
As a first attempt, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 07 on Wii is very decent. The control system has its quirks, but it does feel natural and is certainly an improvement over pressing buttons inertly. With this in mind it’s well worth considering, and if some of the issues seen in this version can be remedied then the 2008 edition could be well worth looking out for.
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