Game Over Online ~ Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2000

GameOver Game Reviews - Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2000 (c) EA Sports, Reviewed by - Jimmy Clydesdale

Game & Publisher Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2000 (c) EA Sports
System Requirements Pentium 166, 32MB Ram, 4x CD-ROM
Overall Rating 72%
Date Published Wednesday, April 19th, 2000 at 03:16 PM

Divider Left By: Jimmy Clydesdale Divider Right

Golfing titles have hit a snag in the last few years. Whether it was the earlier Microsoft Golf titles, the highly acclaimed Links series or EA Sports' yearly entries, they all seem to have reached a stagnant stage where very little is being done to differ from one another, let alone progress the genre. Whether it be graphics, sound or gameplay, it's hard to notice the little differences from one title to the next. However, with Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2000, EA Sports has managed to stand out from the crowd, although perhaps not in all the right ways.

Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2000 boasts eight golfing venues. Classic courses such as Pebble Beach, Scottsdale and Sawgrass are mixed in with newcomers like Heron Bay, Piper Glen and Prestancia. TPC and Summerlin round out all eight courses creating a solid collection of golfing environments. If in fact you've already mastered the afore mentioned courses, Tiger Woods 2000 offers a first for the series, a course design utilities that allows you to create your own venues. A relatively simple program to use, you should be able to create full 18-hole courses in a number of hours, once you've got the hang of decorating the holes themselves.

Alright, so we've got a large assortment of courses and a new design utility, what else can we look forward too? How about a new computer? One of the biggest surprises coming out of this year's edition is the fact that Tiger Woods 2000 requires a massive system in order to run properly. If you don't own a Pentium II-450 or higher, you'll find yourself lowering the resolution to 640x480 just so you don't suffer from incredible lag. You can turn off all the bells and whistles in order to increase frame-rate, but I couldn't find a combination that allowed me to play at a reasonable pace. I was forced to lower the resolution to 800x600 despite the fact the game supports resolutions up to 1280x1064. I certainly hope this isn't a new trend for EA Sports titles because if there was one thing they excelled at previously, it was the fact that lower-end machines could always run their titles with reasonable rates.

Ok, so Tiger Woods 2000 requires a super computer to run at full detail, the graphics must be stellar, right? That statement, sadly, is not very true. Little has been done to visually enhance the series. The courses are beautifully designed and represented, but as with many golfing titles, beauty only exists within the boundaries of the course. While the fairways, greens, trees and water all look relatively realistic, anything outside the area of play remains quite laughable. Whether it be the sky, the clubhouse or the gallery, they all need some serious work in order to make the entire experience more realistic. Also, when you get up close and personal with certain objects (trees in particular), the graphics go from gorgeous to barely respectable. This is yet another area that not only EA, but other developers have yet to master, matching long distance graphics with short distance. Why this game chugs along on lower-end systems remains a mystery to me, the graphics aren't that different over previous titles in the series.

EA Sports have added a few surprises to their golfing series. For one, they've included a digital replica of Michael Jordan. That's right, besides securing the rights to use his name and likeness in their NBA series, EA Sports has also included them in their PGA series. So if you ever wondered what it would be like golf with his airness, here's your chance. Other neat little features include a cool little PIP cam (picture-in-picture), which offers pans and zooms of each shot. EA Sports has also added in a number of new camera angles to give golfers new perspectives and views of the action.

Tiger Woods 2000 does boast better ball physics. Driving, chipping and putting all seem a little more precise and consistent, not to mention the effects of lie and playing surfaces all play a little bit more of a role. There are several difficulty levels, so whether you consider yourself a professional golfer or a beginner, adjustments will automatically be made to present the biggest challenge. For example, rookie golfers can use various aids or even turn on the Simulation mode, which allows them to simply select the club and trajectory, after which the computer will swing the club for them. As is common with any golf title, Tiger Woods 2000 offers two styles of swings. The traditional three-click style is accompanied by a mouse swing method. Personally, I stick with the three-click style simply because I don't have faith in my mouse. I suppose I need to purchase one of those new snazzy mice that don't break down as easily. In either instance, sensitivity in terms of striking the ball squarely without slicing or pulling it is quite high. If you aren't quick on the reflexes, you'll probably find yourself in constant trouble.

There's not a whole lot else to Tiger Woods 2000, it offers all the same features you'd find in any other golfing title. The standard modes of play, including skins, matches and tournaments all exist, as do multiplayer features. Tiger Woods 2000 supports hot seat, LAN and Internet modes. Multiplayer games are quite fluent but once again depend on the power of your system.

I've never really considered EA Sports' entry into the golfing genre to be the most technical and accurate golfing simulation out there and Tiger Woods 2000 does little to change my mind. It's very much an arcade experience although there are some indications that a move towards a more realistic golfing experience is slowly taking effect. Tiger Woods 2000 is very much a mixed bag. With its course selection and design utility, it certainly sits near the top the pack in terms of replayability, but the graphical glitches and huge system requirements certainly limit the audience. In golfing terms, Tiger Woods 2000 simply pars the course, nothing more, nothing less.

[ 13/20 ] Graphics
[ 12/15 ] Sound
[ 24/30 ] Gameplay
[ 13/20 ] Fun Factor
[ 03/05 ] Multiplayer
[ 07/10 ] Overall Impression


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