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Genre: Golf, Sports :: Players: 3+ ::

EA SPORTS Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 2005 Review

Publisher: Digital Bridges, EA :: Developer: Iomo

Pros

Game Features

Rating/100

Addictive gameplay
Massive game with plenty of options
Online features including download of new courses

Cons

Long loading times
Quite difficult initially
Can??t always see the lie of the green.

Sound
Help
Save Option
Highscore
Suspend/Resume
Network
See Compatible Handsets

95

Graphics

94

Sound

77

Controls

93

Playability

97

Lastability

98

Review Details
Handset Sharp GX20

Anannya Sen ’s Review

Review Date: 18/12/04

A stunning golf game for your phone. Hard to begin with but loads of options and very enjoyable to play. Loading times do take a while though.


I??ve been putting off writing this review for a while now. The reason is that I was too busy playing the game. I don??t think I need to give any background, the game is a mobile version of the console and PC classic. I have personally not played that, being a bigger fan of the Hotshots Golf (or Minna No Golf) series. I am now wishing that I had.

The graphics are very nicely done. The main menus are simple to navigate, the courses themselves are lush and green and even the rain effects and flight of the ball looks really good. In the legends section the pics of the classic players are well drawn. The course screen is split with a main view of the course from where you area and a map at the top showing the overall layout and where you are hitting to. You couldn??t ask for a lot more, although one thing that is tricky is that until you are on the green, you can??t see the lie of the green.

There is actually some sound in this game. You get a funky little tune on the main screen and in game you get some effects. One thing on the main screen which I don??t quite understand is that your phone light flashes with the song (or mine does anyway) but not in game or anywhere else. I didn??t really see the point of this. Still, the effort was appreciated.

The controls are pretty simple. One button (the centre one on the directional pad) controls pretty much everything. I??m not going to explain the menu options, but in-game, the centre button will start your power bar. You press it again to stop your power bar at the desired level. Then the bar comes back to where it started and you press it a third time to determine the accuracy level. That??s three presses, start, power and accuracy. It??s pretty standard for a golf game. Up and down control your club selection and while swinging, they will put topspin or backspin on the ball. Unfortunately unlike most snooker games and console golf games, you can??t control where you hit the ball, I presume you always hit it dead centre. You do have a choice of shot as well, which you access by pressing 0. The three options are the normal shot, a punch (ie hit / chip and roll) or a chip shot (hit and drop). Before this, you can move the direction of your shot and select which club you are going to use by the directional pad. There is information on the screen as well, which club you are using and the distance, which hole you are playing and the distance left, the par, the percentage of making a successful shot (depends on the lie) and the wind speed and direction. Once you are putting, the screen changes to a power bar. You??ll figure it out as there are detailed instructions in the game.

The playability is superb. Don??t get me wrong, if you hate golf then this is not for you, but they did a really good job. I must say that the game is very hard to begin with and you don??t have many skills. But it plays really well and you??ll find yourself coming back to play again and again. There are plenty of modes ?? solo play, tournament or legends and you win money for good shots or at the end of each round. With this money you can purchase increased skills (accuracy, power, luck and recovery) as well as purchase additional clubs and balls. You can also win special balls by being good in the game ie by getting a long drive or a long putt or by finishing 10 under par etc. You can view these and your trophies as well which is a nice touch. As I said, the game is very hard to start with. You may have to hit powerful shots to stay on the fairway (going into the redline above your power limit makes the accuracy bar much much faster) but after a few holes under your belt you should have enough money to buy some accuracy. Which means you can finish some more holes a bit easier and then get more money to buy other skills. This is a knock on process and makes the game that much more fun to play, but you have to persevere at the beginning. And I don??t understand why the first few holes on the front 9 are the hardest. One big drawback is the loading time. When you start and you hit your poor shots (which you invariably do) it takes a while to load the next screen. If you are off course and just want to get onto the fairway then it can take a very long time (a minute or so) to load the part of the green you are hitting to. This is because the game is massive and the courses are so detailed as well. Once you improve to a point where you are hitting a good regular game, the loading time becomes less of an issue. There is also a caddy to offer advice on each hole but I ignored him. There are online features which I will discuss below, but I first want to touch upon the legends feature. Once you have enough career earnings ($40,000 to start with) you unlock the chance to play some legends from the game going all the way up to Tiger Woods himself. These will earn you lots of money and also have challenges for you to do. They are pretty tough though, but by that point you should be at a good enough level to mount a serious challenge. The game also autosaves your progress through a round as long as you pause and return to menu. If you quit the game your progress on your current hole will be lost. Therefore during a round, when you are doing well, return to the menu to save it and then continue playing where you left off. This leads to a slightly underhanded way of playing the game (I would never do such a thing of course). On my handset you could save the game as I mentioned above. Then when you hit a bad shot, just quit to your main phone menu and your bad shot won??t be saved. You can load up the game and continue the course where you left off. So you can save after every shot and keep replaying them until you hit good ones but then it takes ages to finish just one round and the loading times become huge. But as I said before, persevere with the game as it??s brilliant.

The lastability is probably better than the playability. The reason I am playing it so much is that I keep wanting to earn money to improve my skills. I am now starting to play the legends as well and there are so many features and modes that it will keep me as hooked as the console version probably would. Then in addition to this, there is the online feature where you can compete in online tournaments, post your scores online and also download new courses! Finally there is a game which realises the potential of WAP phones. The ability to download additional courses (only one present at the moment) is excellent.

Simple, addictive and superb game which really utilises your phone to its fullest potential. I am off to play Seve Ballesteros.

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