Whether you like actually playing golf is irrelevant when picking up the latest copy of EA's hit Tiger Woods 07, because it is nothing but addictive. While there is a steep learning curve, once you get the hang of it, you'll be putting and chipping like Tiger himself.
The graphics for the game are very high quality; the details in the trees, the courses and all other aspects of the game are expertly rendered. When it comes to the game though, it's the physics that makes this game run. Sometimes maddening, but almost always entertaining, the bounces the ball will take, the affect of the wind, every factor possible was taken into mind and coded into the game.
Utilizing an analog stick to control the power of the swing, golfers can tee off and let 'er rip, tapping the power button will add extra strength and distance to shots, which can make the difference between an eagle or making par.
When the game begins, players are able to build a customized player with a myriad of options in the body type, facial details and more. The biggest complaint about all this customization is that the clothing options are all pretty unexciting. Any desire of an outfit that might not fit out on the course (besides the available flip-flops) is hopeless. Once you start into a career mode though, players earn sponsorships and earn extra cash by wearing or using their sponsor's items, so there are benefits as well.
When beginning to play, even experienced Tiger Woods players will find a bit of a learning curve, putting in particular - can be difficult. Also, as your created character is only just starting, his stats are at almost zero. However, the more you play the quicker you earn stat points and soon enough you'll be able to tee off to a respectable distance and have better accuracy on your putts for example.
Learning how to exploit the power tap and the spin options are absolutely necessary to succeed in Tiger Woods. Master these both and you'll see balls rolling right up to the pin.
While a real round of golf may take four hours, Tiger Woods truncates everything, its much easier when you do not have to actually chase after the ball; a round in Tiger Woods can be played in nearly 15-20 minutes.
There are several types of gameplay, all of which can be done by oneself or with other players (online as well through services such as the Xbox Live Arcade) from Skins, to tournaments, Stableford and straight up Match play. So no matter a players desire in golfing options, he's got them.
The only real drawback to the game is the in-menu music, all of which is blandly anonymous and uninspiring, and the commentary is never particularly interesting, but golf commentary is inherently not that exciting so maybe EA is just adding to the realism of golf. Furthermore, who needs the sound anyway? Turn up some music and grip it and rip it.
That said, Tiger Woods '07 is much more entertaining than any non-golf fan could ever imagine, and golfers will also find much to love in this close to the action realistic simulator. For those of us who are unable to hit 400 yards and then two-putt our way to glory on the pro circuit, at least in Tiger Woods we can slug it out with the best on the PGA tour. Every aspect of the game has lovingly been rendered and made to be as realistic as possible. Tiger never disappoints.
Pick it up today and find yourself playing a game that you can come back to time after time and play a quick round, or get in for the long haul and take over the PGA tour with your game, in Tiger Woods, all fairways are open to you.
Learning Curve: approximately 60-90 minutes
Tiger Woods '07 is available for all major systems, including next generation platforms