Me and my select few golfing friends have keenly awaited Tiger Woods 09 on Wii. The lifelike one-to-one swing of Tiger Woods 08 was more than enough to forgive the hit and miss chipping, overly weighty irons and even the odd bug or two.
This year’s Tiger Woods on Wii simply needed to put a few of these things right and give us some visual refreshment to get us playing long into the night once more.
We got together yesterday clutching the new game, and first impressions were good. Solid new visuals and understated music, not to mention more information available on shots and some All Play options to get our loved ones in on the action.
However, as soon as we hit the green it all went to pot. The weighting of the putt mechanic seems to have somehow missed on any sort of testing or focus grouping. We were disappointed to say the least:
"After hanging on for a tweaked version of last year’s game (better chipping, longer iron play and a bit more on screen information would have sufficed), EA deliver on many levels but ignore some basics and create real problems with the putting."
But used to having to put up with the odd niggle we carried on regardless and played a few more holes. Sadly though, it soon became clear (for us) this version of Tiger Woods is all but unplayable. As I reflected the next day:
"Putting, which was one of the successes of Tiger Woods 08, is oddly broken. To make the yardage you would expect you have to literally choose to hit the ball two or three times harder than required. To make a 3ft putt on the level you’d expect to select the 3ft putter and go for a 100% shot. Instead you need to pick the 6ft putter at 100%."
Now, I’m not one for beating up on games and know there is plenty of improvement in Tiger 09. In fact it is because of this improvement that the putting is such a bitter pill. I’m not sure what options EA has for patching a game on the Wii, but do know that other publishers have provided replacement discs for broken games (Zelda and Paper Mario on Wii spring to mind).
Until then our best realistic one-to-one swing Wii golf game remains last year’s Tiger Woods (or the cartoony Super Swing Golf) even with its foiboils it still delivers a playable game