| This is believe it or not a real 3D golf simulation that doesn't feature loads of cartoon fantasy characters like the releases that have plagued the shelves of video shops for several years now. Tiger Woods has been the only golf series that has managed to maintain its presence in amongst all the fantasy golf titles. This new Tiger Woods title has a bucket load of enhancements plus it is a true 3D golf game. |
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2002 features several real life PGA pros as well as a group of golfers that look more like they should be in SSX than a golf game. TW 2002 also features six 18-hole courses that are closely modelled to the actual courses on the PGA tour, including Pebble Beach and TPC at Sawgrass.
Tiger Woods 2002 features all the game-play modes you would expect from a golf game except a career mode, but Tiger Woods 2002 makes up for this with a load of other modes that will guarantee there is something for everyone. Game modes feature the standard stroke, match, skins, tournament and the play now mode, which throws you into a randomly selected scenario. Tiger challenge mode pits you against 17 other golfers in a bid to win some cash prizes and last but not least is the speed golf mode, which is new to the series. Basically this is hit and run golf and your score is based on the number of swings and the time it takes you to finish a hole.
Like the last years game Tiger Woods 2002 uses the analogue stick for all the club swinging action, rather than the three button click method. There is no longer a power meter to gauge the strength of your swing, so in order to make a good shot you need to pay attention to your golfers movement. To swing you pull back on the analogue stick until you golfer has completed a full back swing, then you have to push forward to finish the swing. If you push the stick forward before the golfer has fully swung back the club you shot will be short, you will get the same result of you wait too long to push the stick forward. Plus if you move the stick right or left your shot will be hooked or sliced, if you are meaning to do this it is great but if you're not you will probably end up in the rough or even worse. You can add more power by tapping the L1 button during the back swing, this is quite tricky to start with but after a while you do get the hang of it. You can also spin the ball in the air by rapidly tapping the L2 button and holding the analogue direction stick in the direction you want the ball to spin. Once you land on the green a white dotted line will give you some sort of idea where your ball will go if you hit it in a straight line. I find that this line is more of a hindrance than of any help, I find it can miss guide you into thinking the margins of error are much smaller than they actually are. Your caddy tells you the distance of the shot. As there are no guidance lines on the green all this information is pretty irrelevant as it is very hard to use the information given to aid your putting. As you can imagine the controls are hard to learn but with some practice and the tutorial you should have no problems after half an hour to an hour of game play.
Tiger Woods 2002 has had a huge graphical overhaul, featuring a brand new 3D engine with lots of special effects. The golfer models and animations look more realistic and they all display their own personalities during the game. Each golfer has different animations for everything from a missed put to a hole in one.
The courses look very nice and clean, they look great, textures 'n all. The only slight quibble I have is the detailing of the textures, they are slightly lacking in this department. The game makes good use of the cool camera, when you pull off a wicked drive or shot you will be rewarded with a matrix style slow mo, blured action shot of your golfer whacking the ball at a serious speed, the golf ball will fly off leaving a smoke trail behind. When the opportunity arises for an eagle the game goes into "gamebreaker" mode, the background sound becomes muffled then your heart beat becomes the prominent sound and everything around your golfer is blurry and faded. Finally when it comes to making a long, slow shot for the cup, the view shifts to a letterbox perspective as your ball approaches the hole. All these special effects do a great job of encouraging you to try and pull off a great shot every time, plus they look cool.