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Tiger Woods 2004

Having played Tiger Woods on the PS2 and GameCube, and on the N64 before that (I think?), I've become a pretty big fan of the series. It remains a bit more "arcadey" than I like, what with being able to change the spin of the ball in the air and all, but is the most solid golfing game around.

EA "rewarded" me for my 2003 save file by giving me $75,000 to start. A "signing bonus" I believe it was called. Why, then, must I go through the tutorial (i.e. "Here is how you swing") to get to the game? Couldn't that save file have allowed me to bypass that too? Bah.

Anyway, the game itself, broken down into the things I feel are important (or at least different):

World Tour has replaced Tiger Challenge. Now there are four or five (six?) regions in the world, each with three levels or so. For example, there are three European one-on-one matches (9, 18, and 18 holes of match play). In other words, Tiger Challenge exists, but you can choose your own play order.

Courses have been tweaked, and several new ones have been added. The additions are great courses, and this is perhaps my single biggest "yay!" for this version. Some of the new ones, like Sahalee, are great courses. I've always been a fan of golf course architecture, and even considered going into that field of work at one point, and the new courses are both well chosen for diversity and playability.

The PGA Tour now actually seems to "exist." In other words, it seems as though you can play through an entire year (or ten) of a PGA tour, winning money, fame, and accolades along the way. Awesome! This was a sore point with last year's game, and it will increase the longevity of the game for single players.

Real-Time Events, or RTEs, are special events that are only playable on the real-life day. Today, in fact, was an RTE. To win (some money and some custom color shafts), I had to score a 29 on the back 9 at… I forget the name. Black Rock Cove, I think. Anyway, my best was a 31 after three tries. It's a difficult course and I've only improved my player to about 75% of his capabilities. I'm wondering if I'll be changing the date on my GameCube often to get at the other RTEs. If they're all this difficult, I may not! This also increases the longevity of the game, and gives me a reason to turn the game on every day. I won't, but I applaud EA for their sneaky efforts. 🙂

Customizability is awesome! I've created a player that - swear to $DEITY - looks just like me. The glasses my player is wearing are currently a little bit different, but other than that, it's me! It's awesome to see myself in a game, and to play as myself. I always felt a bit odd playing as Tiger, but I have that problem no more. Perhaps I'll post a screenshot of myself some time in the future. Those that know me and have seen my created player say that I've got a pretty accurate mental picture of myself.

Too Much Equipment, too little time. In addition to upgrading your skills, you can put your hard-earned cash towards buying new clubs, new shafts, new grips, new eyeglasses, new hats, new shirts, new pants, new socks, new balls, new necklaces, new everything. I'm surprised you can't buy a new plane to take you to the tournaments.

Frankly, the equipment system is entirely too big. There are no Titleist products, and the equipment is either generic (EA Brand irons, putters, balls, wedges, woods, hats, shirts, etc.?) or far too sparse (Taylor Made, Cleveland, and Callaway are represented - very few other companies are). Much of the equipment seems rated the same, and a lot of it is ugly. Who wants bright blue irons? Ugh. I can't even find more than one or two shirts that I like. I've kept one of my free shirts and pants (and shoes, and socks) since I started. I bought a hat and some glasses - because I wear glasses and a hat - and I bought a glove to increase my player's "Recoverability" rating.

I'm also sponsored because I wear a Tag Heuer watch and a Nike shirt, pants, shoes, and hat. When I begin playing tournaments, they'll give me money for wearing their stuff. I've got a Nike putter, too (the only mallet putter I could find). The sponsorship thing seems a bit cheesy, especially since Titleist isn't included. Hrmph. I'm a Titleist kinda guy!

I can't think of much else to say right now, and frankly, I'm at the point now where I want to go play some more instead of sitting here typing. Oh, wait, one last thing: Screw You, Nintendo, for not allowing me to play against my friends online.

I'll write up a small Mario Kart review tomorrow, perhaps.

2 Responses to "Tiger Woods 2004"

  1. My roommate has 2002 on PS2 and I'm a big fan. Lowest score is a 46 (best game of my life!) I was reading up on 2004 for a while now and will probably pick it up eventually. Good to hear your thoughts. Thanks!

    I too am Mario Karting and am hoping to get up a small review tonight.

  2. Your a friggen idiot.