While EA are busy making sports games like Fight Night, NBA Street Homecourt, FIFA and NBA Live among the best looking titles ever crafted by the hands of man, Tiger missed the makeover bus. It’s a sad state that Links 2004 on the original Xbox STILL looks better than the latest Tiger title. Sure, Tiger has the animations and the resolution, but Links is prettier, less synthetic, and somehow richer. But hey, at least we get some new courses, huh? The very last thing PGA Tour ‘09 needed was more courses. Tiger already tips the scales with more courses than you’ll ever be able to play unless the sole game in your collection is this one, but they’re all as ugly as sin. Golf is a beautiful game which should be played in beautiful surrounds. ‘09 needed to drop that course countdown to twelve of the world’s best and give them a truly next generation makeover.
Still… how about a focus on quality rather than quantity? It’s a superb game with more options, online and off, than the entire Gradius series, but for the second year in a row, Tiger has been close to brilliance; close to being the best golf game ever made. The Tiger team obsess over details, but they always seem to be the wrong details – instead of making every course rich and beautiful in look and sound, they give us... er... new ways to tune our clubs (the epitome of dullness). Instead of perfecting the physics and making the most realistic golf sim ever, they give us Tiger’s own coach, occasionally advising us on our shots as if anyone on Earth gives a toss. Instead of redefining golf games the way the latest FIFAs have football, they give us a few extra online modes to add to the pre-existing mountain – already so tall that most will never see all of it. Tiger ’09 didn’t need more, it needed better. It needs a fresh start – not because it’s stale, but because the team has taken the man Woods as far as they can.
Sep 2, 2008