Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2006 review

EA starts to meddle with Tiger's swing, but will anybody really notice, asks NGC

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When you hit the perfect golf shot, when the hips, wrists and shoulders combine together to whip the ball down the fairway, when the club hits the ball and makes the sound of a tuning fork resonating in your soul, you want to be able to freeze that moment, then Xerox that once in a lifetime swing and use it again for every single shot.

It's a time when a golfer's momentum, focus and attitude have come together perfectly, and it simply has to be preserved.

Once you've mastered that perfect swing, the last thing you should do is start tinkering with it as a swing that works is a delicate thing.

Just a different positioning of the head, a fractionally different hip twist or shuffle can drastically affect the end product. It's usually best to just leave it be and enjoy.

Which brings us to Tiger Woods 2006. EA have created something that's acclaimed as the best golf game on any console - a game that treads the line between arcade fun and simulator toughness superbly.

But then they started tinkering with the already very successful formula, trying to fix what wasn't broken in the first place.

First came the Tiger Vision, then Tiger Proofing (you knew we were just a step away from Tiger Feet), but for Tiger Woods 2006, they've gone and tweaked the swing. And as we've pointed out above, this could be potentially fatal.

You still swing by pushing back and forwards on the analogue stick, but now the ball spin and the fade or draw is controlled by the C-stick, so you have to be coordinated enough to tweak two analogue sticks at the same time - even for the advanced player it's all a bit too fiddly and is a real challenge if you want to do it accurately.

Irritatingly, it feels like it's been bolted on and it's all a bit unnecessary as you can still get around the course under par without using fade or draw.

The other significant change is that the putting is now controlled by the analogue stick, so you judge the speed of the shot as you would do any shot on the fairway. Once again, this is tricky if you want to do it accurately, but you do get used to it after a while.

Although the two tweaks haven't improved anything, they're not ruinous. Unless you really want to get world record low scores, you can ignore the C-stick and play a very good game of golf.

Woods '06 still plays as well as ever; it has still got the top courses (including seven new ones), the best golfers, and loads of modifying options.

So if you don't already have a golf game in your collection, this is still the best one out there.

But for those of you that have an old Tiger Woods game that you just bring out for a bit of multiplayer fun, it's best to ignore it, as aside from the swing tinkering there's not enough here to warrant another 40 notes.

See, this is one sports game that EA perfected a long time ago. It's been going for many years and has been consistently very good. It has to be admired for its precision and presentation, but it no longer has to be celebrated.

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DescriptionWhile still an amazing golf, other than the new, analog approach to your swing, there's not much here to warrant purchase if you already own 05.
Platform"PS2","Xbox 360","Xbox","GameCube","PC"
US censor rating"Everyone","Everyone","Everyone","Everyone","Everyone"
UK censor rating"","","","",""
Release date1 January 1970 (US), 1 January 1970 (UK)