The Tiger Woods franchise has been around forever. We’ve had different ways of playing over the years, from meters to analog club swinging and putting, but with Tiger Woods 07 for the Wii, it all changes with the controls. This version is pretty much the same game you’ve played before, however, save the controls. In fact, if it weren’t for the controls, the game would probably be a step back from previous versions. The controls do work pretty well, if not completely consistent, and this game manages to be the most legitimate golf outing on the Wii thus far.
You won’t have any surprises waiting for you when you pop this sucker in. You’ll still have the standard Tiger Challenge mode, the PGA Tour mode, and the standard stroke, match, skins, battle, skills modes, and so on. There is also a new mode in which you alternate shots with another player, and try to set them up with a hard shot. The majority of your time will still be spent in the career mode, as you will create your golfer and start taking him through the ranks of professional golf. Just like always, you’ll be earning money that you can use to upgrade your skills and attributes, and also buy new clothes and equipment. All in all, there’s not much new, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing, because this series has always had a very solid, deep, and engaging set of game modes.
This time around the game includes 20 real professional golfers and 15 fictional golfers. All the big names are here, such as Weir, Daly, Woods, Goosen, and so on. There are even a few LPGA golfers. As for the courses, EA has included 15 of them. The classics are still there, like Pebble Beach and good old St. Andrews, but we also have a good set of new ones, along with some fake courses like Central Park in New York. There are more courses than the other next-gen versions, but still less than the last-gen versions.
Of course, what everyone really wants to know is how the new control system works with the Wii-remote. The answer is mixed. It works pretty well… most of the time. To swing, you just hold down the B button, hold the remote like a golf club, and take your swing. It responds relatively quickly and accurately. The farther back you take the remote or the harder you bring it through, the harder your on screen counterpart will swing, and vice versa. It will take you a while to perfect just how to tilt the remote and such, because every movement will affect where the ball goes. Before you swing, you’ll be shown a circle area where your ball will land, depending on how accurate your swing is. Most of the time, the feedback on your swing will be consistent. The area that will get under your skin is putting. It will take you a very, very long time to master the putting, and you may never get there. It becomes extremely frustrating when you take what feels like the same swing as you did before, and the ball shoots 30 feet past the hole. All in all, however, the control scheme is a good start for the Tiger series on the Wii. If the new controls prove too much for you, you can use the analog stick on the nunchuck to take your swing. It’s safe, but sort of ruins the point of having the Wii version.
Graphically, this game looks fine, but it is still disappointing for a Wii game. It is comparable to the PS2 version of the game, honestly maybe a small step back. The player models are the best part, and are actually pretty good. The courses and environments are somewhat choppy and textured. Gamers should be able to expect more from a Wii game, and hopefully they will improve as this series continues.
The sound in this game is virtually the same as the last-gen versions. The music is standard for a sports game. As far as the in-game sounds, this game does it right. McCord and Faherty are as silly and entertaining as ever, and the sound effects are just what a golf game’s should be. They are nothing new, but if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
Overall, this is a solid golf game. If you already have played through this game on another system, the new controls probably aren’t enough to warrant a new purchase, as they are the only new addition. But if you haven’t had the 07 version, and are a Wii-control fan, this is a must have for the Wii. It is certainly the most full-fledged and satisfying golf experience on the Wii so far.