Friday, June 19, 2009

Tiger Woods 360 and Even Less of Me

I'm going camping Monday and will be gone all week. Todd's lack of blogging motivation means ...some downtime. Honestly, you can blame E3. I'm still gassed a bit from that but our coverage is doing very well, traffic wise, so it was worth it. When I get back I'll be jumping into OOTP X assuming the patch is released. Todd's doing that review so I have that luxury.

Also, Blood Bowl will have my full attention starting 6/26. Oh yes. Yes yes yes.

In other game news I am struggling through Tiger Woods on the Xbox 360, and really not feeling it at all.

This is what I want from a golf game:

  • I want to create my persona and play a PGA Tour calendar of events, earn prize money, etc. -- Check

  • I'm OK with some RPG elements, adding to a skill set, maybe earning some special skills (expert bunker player, etc.) , that sorta thing.

  • I want to be able to play competitively right after I open up the game and plop it in the drive. This does not mean I should be a master right off the bat, but I do NOT want to be handicapped, either. This can be via an Amateur Tour, Q School, whatever. If my guy isn't Tour Pro ready, fine, let me play other up and comers. But do NOT make me struggle like mad until I "build my character" up like a god damn MMO. -- This is what Tiger 360 does.

  • I don't want to start off hitting drives 225 yards, which makes it impossible to even drive over the rough on some courses from the back tees. And yes I tuned my clubs. I started playing competitive golf when I was 15 years old. By the time I was a Sr in HS I was hitting 250-275 yard drives (not always straight...). My "Pro" upon creation is a flippin' joke.

  • I don't want to play Pebble Beach in 20 MPH winds, scrambling like mad just to make par in tough conditions and then see the AI shooting -23 under for the tourney. I shot even par in two days at Pebble and missed the cut. I don't WANT to shoot 23 under at Pebble in strong wind. That's NOT GOLF. That's Hot Shots Golden Tee nonsense. Tiger is much like that.

  • In fact that's my slogan for this game. Tiger Woods 360: Not Unlike Golf.

  • I also need the fear of the rough off the tee. It's not here. I've played several rounds, and have missed one fairway and that was due to a strong wind at Pebble. Pinehurst? Please. 14 fairways, check. I am a 13-14 fairway hitting par machine. Of course par sucks in Tiger 360, but hey...

  • Want to make it tougher? Well, you need to buy expert clubs, which costs prize money OR you can spend REAL money to buy these clubs in the XBL Marketplace. So, you are basically spending more (real) money to make the game more challenging by buying clubs that are supposed to be better than a Beginner set? WTF kind of logic is that? As Brandon said, it's like buying the New Nike F*** Your Game 3000.
Maybe online is the bees knees/cats meow. I have no clue. Does online change any of the above? If not, I'm going back to Rock Band and trying to nail Stevie Ray's Rude Mood.

That song's a bitch.


Brandon said...

To get a full thousand you have to use your in game cash to buy the mining suit from Dead Space. You shouldn't have to use your in game cash to buy an achievement.


The Wii version on the other hand...

Word verification: snedgear

Jayhawker said...

Well, once I picked up an intermediate driver, and got it tuned to 35%, I started having to work hit the fairways. I'm hitting drives of 275 to 350 depending on wind and elevation. But actually hitting he fairway takes some determination once I lost the ability to hit A to boost my drives.

I agree that it was ridiculous to spend a couple of days getting to this point, but it also didn't take a long time.

I see this a forced tutorial, which is bad. Well, it was good for me, because over the course of several days of building my golfer up, I learned a hell of a lot about how different parts of the game really works. So I enjoyed this part of the game immensely.

The PGA Tour does seem to be broke, but I'm not really to worked up over it. I'm shooting 18 over par right now, so I could care less what scores the winners get. Of curse, once I get my game in order, I will be keeping the difficulty at a point that will probably make winning PGA events impossible.

The Play with the Pros is a great substitute, though. There are your realistic scores right there. Of course, I just shot a +23 on Bethpage in the first round.

I am also really enjoying the Tournament Challenges. They do a pretty bang up job highlighting different skills to master, as well as providing some fun competitions. Right now, I am playing on Pro. If I ever get consistent play, I will run through them again on Tour Pro.

The online play has been a lot of fun. I've had several lag free, polished matches with friends.

The last golf game I spent time with was Tiger 07. But the last game I really loved was PGA 2000.

I'm probably going get more hours out of TW 10 than PGA 2000. But it's not perfect by a long shot.

The tour is broke and the game does not take advantage of XBL enough. I want to see my friends scores on different course, results of tournament challenges, longest putt and drives, and even the ratings of their golfer. I want to chase the scores of my friends.

The one place this does work is the Play with the Pros option. You can see what score your friends have put up in the same tournament. The same guy that blistered us with a -12 or so online, scored a +7 at Bethpage.

I'm still going to dig and try to find more things like this in the game. It's a shame that the manual is so worthless (as 99% of all manuals are these days). There is a ton you can do to enhance the enjoyment of this game. But it should not be this hard to figure it out. I still feel like there are options that I am not seeing.

For me, TW 10 was a great purchase in spite of the things they got wrong. They got enough right that I will get a ton of time in on this game.

Jayhawker said...

As though my post was not already ridiculously too long, I did want to add one more thing I have found interesting.

I got my golfer built up so that he had ratings of 8-9 in each category. I was really starting to dominate. When I eliminated power boosting and tuned my driver and my irons (I still have not picked up intermediate woods), I started missing fairways and other parts of my game went south. But more importantly, so did my ratings! My power went down to 6.2, and my short game is plummeted to under 3.0.

I really like that rating can take a serious dive as you start eliminating assists. It's a large part of the reason I am still finding the game challenging and fun.

Of course, I might just suck.

Rob said...

Get the Wii version with M+, you will never have an interest in controlling this game with analog sticks again. It takes care of almost every issue you address as far as actual game play goes. The one issue that it doesn't totally address is having an excellent golfer right from the get-go. But even in that regard it is far less noticeable than it is on the 360 and PS3 versions. I feel you on that point and it is the reason that until this year I haven't bought a console golf game since Links on the original Xbox. I've rented a couple TW iterations along the way, but have never been impressed enough to purchase. The Wii has changed that.