Published on April 16th, 2013 | by Tony0
Review: Tiger Woods PGA Tour 14
I was just a small boy aged 12 when I got my first taste of golf on a game console, and funnily enough it was with this series. Let’s just clear things up, I hate the sport of Golf, but for some reason back in the day I loved a good game of PGA Tour golf on my Sega Megadrive. In 1991 me and my two older brothers were massive Megadrive users, and back in those days we lived near a video rental shop that for only a pound per night you could rent any game of your choosing, and it’s fair to say we had this game so long that we ended up just buying his copy off him. A lot of all-night gaming sessions were had back then, and are still to this day one of my fondest family gaming memories, as if any of you have older brothers you know the other 90% of your life together was spent getting given dead arms or being beaten up. Fast forward to present day and we have the latest incarnation of this much loved series with Tiger Woods PGA Tour 14.
The review for this comes at a time when I was crying out for a game that I could play with buddies without the need of using a gun of some sort, as surely it’s imposible to rage at a golf game. Making my Nephew tag along for the ride via his bought copy was the perfect test, as he loves a good rage moment when we game together on a nightly basis. At the moment this test is going really well, as he is still yet to rage on this game, which is a first for him let me tell you.
Back on to the game, and as expected this version has been tweaked and improved from earlier versions in the series, much like every other sport game EA release a yearly basis. EA have added a few new things, but the game still feels and plays like any other Tiger Woods golf game I have previosuly played on my 360, but I suppose what isn’t broken you don’t fix right?
For the first time ever, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 14 offers gamers the chance to play all four major events in the golfing calender, which are The Masters, The US Open, The Open, and The PGA Championship, so it covers everything a golfing fan dreams of playing. With it being EA, they cover well known courses amazingly well, so even non-golf fans like myself can appreciate the love and care that has gone into making these courses as close to the real thing as possible.
One other new thing to play with this year is the Legend of the Majors mode, which takes players back though the history of well remembered golf times in the past, and features new and old pros facing off in certain eras. Starting all the way back in 1873 with the first ever open championship to take place at St Andrews, you take control of Tom Morris as you play the first nine holes of this well known course. Also when you play a game from the early years the colour scheme and presentation of that game tries its best to make you feel like you are there, as the game has the sepia coloured filter on the screen, and any replays have this old style EA branding to them. The clubs you get to use also have that old school look and feel to them as you walk around the course hitting your shiny polished balls with such clubs like the Brassie, Spoon, and the Niblick, which all find a home in your retro golf bag, all of which by the way mean nothing to a novice golfer like myself. If your a fan of golf and legends of this era though you will be in love, as you get to play and control the likes of Seve Bellesteros, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus, so names even I’ve heard while growing up and catching bit of it on TV back in my toddler days.
Away from the legends mode most of my time was spent with career mode, as I took my EA made Gameface into the game, created myself in pro golfer form, and took him to heights he could only dream of (rank 41 as I write this review). Early on in your career you enter a few rookie tournaments, as you find your way as a golfing pro, but soon enough you’re in the big leagues and playing with the big boys, as the games sets you a list of goals to complete to get yourself on the money leader boards. You can of course dress up your pro how you like, build his stats up the more you play, buy him new clubs and so on, so it will be a mode that will keep on giving. I did enjoy this mode, BUT (and this is a big but, hence the caps) I did have a few issues with this mode when playing it, one of which actually got me rather mad.
Once I had got a bit deeper into the career mode I was told I could play a championship, so I thought I better give this a shot only to be met with this screenshot:
Now while I understand DLC is about choice, and the game is not forcing me to buy it either, If I had just paid the £40 asking price for this game to then be told “hey to play this course and to get the full experience you paid us for, you need to pay us even more money” I would be pretty pissed of about it, pardon my French. The micro-transactions do not stop there either, when setting up online games with a buddy, unless you know the actual courses that come with the game off by heart most of the time you’re met with the message of “you do not own this course” which after a while does become a bit irritating. On closer inspection sure enough there is a DLC package worth 3200 Microsoft points available to download already, which offers you a full extra 14 courses, but surely for the game to even have them available on my disc with a name it must mean they are on my disc somewhere, and they just need to be bought to be unlocked. It’s not the fact I hate buying DLC, but the fact it can make you waste time while in the menus, as the courses you don’t even own are not marked in any bright colour or anything, so for a novice to this era of the series like me it did put me off it a little.
WOOOOOO, no clue where that little rant came from, but now it’s out of my system let’s move onto to the multiplayer.
You have a huge amount of things to do when playing online, so much so in fact that the menus can be overpowering for a rookie like myself, you have the Clubs section, which is kind of like the FIFA Clubs section, but not as good as that if I’m honest, Live tournaments which let you try out a huge amount of game types that can earn you XP and cash for your created golfer, just a shame people seem to use the over powered pro golfers to win the damn things. I would of thought EA would prefer to use your pro golfer on such things, as where is the fun when using Tiger Woods to win a tournament
The Xbox Live lobbies offer you a choice of every game mode you can think of to face off against people online, and also buddies who own the game. I have had tons of fun with the MP with a buddy, so if you enjoy playing online with like minded golf buddies chances are this will cater to your every need, and while you do this you will earn XP and cash to upgrade your pro with whatever clubs, clothes, shafts, balls and upgrade points, so you can turn yourself in to the next Tiger Woods.
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 14
Summary: Tiger Woods PGA Tour 14 does many things right, but beneath the surface not much is new in the franchise. This whole micro-transactions thing has now got stupid with what feels like a forced sale on courses the more you go through career mode. This being said though, when playing the game with a buddy a fun and relaxing time was had by both of us. So, if you love golf, and have loved the last few games in the series, you will love this.