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Tiger Woods PGA Tour

Rory McIlroy PGA Tour photo
Rory McIlroy PGA Tour

Rory McIlroy replaces Tiger Woods on EA's PGA Tour

Rory McIlroy PGA Tour
Mar 17
// Steven Hansen
Tiger Woods' name has gone from being synonymous with golf to being a different kind of pop culture reference. I'm not even sure if he golfs anymore. I just know he shows up to places missing teeth. Of course, EA's PGA Tour ...

Review: Tiger Woods PGA Tour 14

Mar 26 // Patrick Hancock
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 14 (PlayStation 3 [reviewed], Xbox 360)Developer: EA TiburonPublisher: Electronic ArtsRelease Date: March 26, 2013 (North America), March 28, 2013 (Worldwide)MSRP: $59.99  My attraction to the Tiger Woods series isn't based on a prior love of the sport of golf. I've never followed the sport and don't ever watch tournaments. The Tiger Woods games, however, have always had such satisfying gameplay that it didn't matter. Each swing in Tiger Woods PGA Tour 14 is mimicked with one of the analog sticks. To make the on-screen character bring the club back for a backswing, the player must pull the analog stick down. To complete the swing, the player pushes the stick forward. Ideally these actions are performed in straight lines in order to pull off the perfect swing, but it is not uncommon to botch a swing from time to time. When swinging, the controller will vibrate if the swing isn't straight, allowing the player to reset the analog stick and the club and try again. If the player goes through with an inaccurate swing, the ball will curve left or right depending on which direction the swing was off. The game will even show the player their analog stick's path in order to help correct future swings. It is possible to add Draw or Fade to a shot, curving it towards a certain direction, which then requires the player to maneuver the analog stick diagonally instead of straight down and up. This all takes place after aiming the shot and picking where it should ideally end up. "Ideally" is the key word here, as variables like wind and spin will alter the ball's trajectory after it is hit. Spin can be added by rapidly tapping the L1 button while holding the left analog stick in the direction of the spin. [embed]249642:47783:0[/embed] There is a Career Mode, as always, which consists of creating a character and leveling them up over the course of their rise to fame and fortune, but let's focus on what is actually new in PGA 14. To start with, the Career Mode now supports the LPGA, allowing players to take their created female golfer into the female-only tournament. Furthermore, a new "Simulation" difficulty has been added for those who found the past games to be too easy. This new difficulty disables the game settings that aid the player, like post-swing spin or the topography grid on the putting green. The biggest addition, however, is the inclusion of the "Legends of the Majors" game mode, which spans from 1873 to 2013 and features over 50 key moments in golf history represented. These moments all play out as challenges, requiring the player to use a specific golfer and recreate their achievements, scored on a scale of either Legend (gold) or Win (silver). Some of these can be pretty difficult, especially when trying to achieve the better of the two ratings. Each challenge is accompanied by a brief paragraph describing what exactly went down and why it was so important, which is a really nice feature to have for us non-golfers. During these challenges, I could recognize the impact and achievements of what I was doing, even though I had never heard of those particular events prior. I now know that Arnold Palmer is way more than a tasty beverage. There are also Connected Tournaments, allowing the player to play alongside others at the same time, without waiting for them to make their shots. If a player is on the same exact hole during a Live Tournament, their shot arcs will appear on the screen as they happen. If no one is on the same hole, it plays out exactly like any other offline tournament, which can make the Connected Tournaments feel very disconnected. Country Clubs, which are essentially guilds or clans, also make their return with a few improvements. The max size has been increased from 25 to 40, and it is now possible to voice chat with anyone in your Club, even if you are in separate parts of the game itself. And yes, I did make a Destructoid Country Club and am currently the absolute best (and only) player in it. Country Clubs won't have much effect on the game for most users, but it's a nice feature to have for those groups who want to play together. Each golfer now has a dedicated Swing Style to act as the starting point for every swing, resulting in characters playing a bit more uniquely from each other. When creating a character, the player can shape their Swing Style to their liking. Choosing Power vs. Control and a low-, medium-, or high-ball trajectory allows for a greater sense of customization, and thankfully the game does a decent enough job of explaining what the various differences are. For example, choosing a low-ball trajectory helps to avoid wind, but limits the distance the ball can travel. There are some less-than-appealing aspects to PGA 14 as well. The load times can border on insultingly long at times, especially when altering a created character. Loading the next hole in a tournament isn't so bad, but loading into the tournament itself takes way too long. Even just navigating the menus feels slow and clunky. The game is also terrible at getting necessary camera angles for certain shots. Putting, in particular, is covered by the worst cameraman in the world! There have been plenty of instances in which I had to squint at my television screen just to make out where the ball and the cup even were, which was especially infuriating when a long putt had the potential to go in. The camera for putting is usually so zoomed out that they may as well not even show the player what's happening, removing any sort of tension from the shot. A replay can be viewed of any shot, but there's a little bit of weirdness in doing so. Immediately after the player hits the "View Replay" button, the replay screen will come up, showing the golfer from a certain angle. Shortly after, the EA Sports logo will wipe across the screen meant to be a transition to the replay that is already on the screen. Obviously that wipe is supposed to happen a bit earlier, but the end result is jarring and reeks of clumsiness. It is also impossible to save replays, which is a total bummer since some of my shots were pretty damn impressive. The visuals also leave a lot to be desired. The courses and characters look fine, but everything around them looks awful. The textures of trees are PlayStation 2-quality, and can be seen popping in quite often. Spectators are sparse, but models and animations are reused as if there were hundreds in a stadium. Satisfying gameplay is the crux of the Tiger Woods franchise. All the new modes in the world wouldn't matter if it didn't feel so amazing to actually play. Luckily, Tiger Woods PGA 14 stays true to the core gameplay, and adds a very worthwhile mode with Legends of the Majors. All of the other new bells and whistles are either mediocre or long overdue. The game is hard to recommend to someone who picked up last year's outing, except perhaps to the big golf enthusiasts among you who would appreciate the Legends of the Masters mode more than anyone else. If you're like me, though, and haven't picked up a Tiger Woods game in a while, PGA 14 has the classic gameplay that made the series stand out from its competitors, even if it is starting to show its age graphically.
PGA Tour 14 review photo
You can play as Marshall Faulk!
The Tiger Woods series has always been my favorite of EA's annual sports games. Ever since I performed my first virtual swing with the analog sticks, I became hooked. I don't like it enough to even think about paying every si...

New releases photo
New releases

New releases: BioShock Infinite finally arrives

Plus Luigi's Mansion, Army of Two, more Pocket Monsters, and some golf
Mar 25
// Fraser Brown
This week, I welcome Monday with open arms, inviting it into my living room, and even introducing it to my parents. Strictly speaking, it's really Tuesday I want to embrace, because that's when BioShock Infinite launches. Bu...
Tiger Woods demo photo
Tiger Woods demo

Tiger Woods PGA Tour 14 demo available now

Swing those analog sticks
Mar 05
// Patrick Hancock
The demo for Tiger Woods PGA Tour 14 is available today on both Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, and includes the "Legends of the Majors" mode. In the demo, this mode will bring the player back to 1961, which of course every...

Review: Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13

Apr 03 // Samit Sarkar
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13 (Xbox 360 [reviewed], PlayStation 3) Developer: EA Tiburon Publisher: EA Sports Release: March 27, 2012 (NA) / March 30, 2012 (worldwide) MSRP: $59.99 / $69.99 (The Masters Collector’s Edition) EA Tiburon has made sweeping control changes in PGA Tour 13 that vastly expand shot variety and the effects of user input. Called “Total Swing Control,” the revamped setup is a new paragon of control refinement in sports simulations, presenting a system that’s fundamentally familiar while offering a greater degree of control over shots than in any golf game to date. A golf shot consists of two discrete segments: the setup and the swing. In aiming mode, the D-pad moves the ball’s landing spot, while the right stick controls the position of the ball in your stance (which affects the shot’s trajectory) and how open or closed that stance is (which affects fade and draw, respectively). Having settled on your shot, you address the ball and prepare to swing. Here, you move one analog stick to determine the height of the club’s sweet spot in relation to the ball -- this further affects trajectory, and can also be used to dig a ball out of a bunker or pick it out of the rough -- and swing with the other stick. Once you enter address mode, a white trail that represents the ideal arc of your swing appears around your golfer. PGA Tour 13’s updated animation system works in concert with Total Swing Control to present realistic visual cues to a swing’s potential for success. The game now translates your exact analog-stick motion into a swing: if you pull back and to the left, you’ll notice your golfer’s arms and club follow a red trail that deviates from the white arc. Upon swinging, an on-screen graphic provides feedback on the accuracy, power, and tempo of your flicking motion. Total Swing Control instantly makes every other simulation golf game obsolete. Tiburon has removed the shackles of previous Tiger Woods games, which limited you to certain situational shot types, and the result is astounding in that it lets you do almost anything a real golfer can do. PGA Tour 13 gives you the freedom to succeed or fail, depending solely on your skill with a controller. I’ve recovered from bad lies in the rough or the sand in ways that simply weren’t possible until PGA Tour 13. (Sadly, you still can’t save replays of highlight-reel-worthy shots.) Total Swing Control is a rare innovation, the kind that makes you wonder how you got along all this time without it. I do wish the game did a better job of explaining it, though. One of last year’s new additions was the caddie, who offered shot suggestions based on current conditions. There’s now an option to see your caddie’s advice and go with it or alter your shot in a way that suits you. He usually provides valuable advice, proposing shots that take into account factors you may not have considered. But a lot of his suggestions made me scratch my head -- he tends to over-complicate tee shots with draw and fade, as well as overshoot approach and chip shots. I often found myself ignoring his advice and setting up shots myself; perhaps Tiburon didn’t want players to rely completely on his suggestions. New in PGA Tour 13 is a mode called Tiger Legacy Challenge, in which you follow the arc of Woods’ career from his toddler years all the way through the rest of this decade. You play as Woods at seven different ages in ten eras of his career, reliving some of his most significant golfing milestones and creating some future ones. Each segment of his career includes an audio clip of Woods talking about the challenges he faced and the memories he has of those special moments, and it’s truly endearing to see one man’s passionate, lifelong pursuit of golfing greatness. Legacy Challenge offers 53 events with enough variety to keep things fresh. But some of that variety manifests in odd difficulty spikes. You’ll struggle to keep pace in repeated matches against Woods’ fictional rival, a stoic redheaded kid named Scott Ratchman, but one challenge sees Tiger return to his backyard as a teenager to practice a few straight ten-foot putts. You will have had to sink many much more difficult putts just to reach that point in Legacy Challenge. Road to the PGA Tour, the traditional create-a-golfer career mode, has similar quirks. You start out as an amateur, with the promise of an invitation to The Masters if you can win a regional Amateur Championship. I destroyed the amateur competition in tournaments, once going 14-under while everyone below me was at least a few strokes above par. Yet opponents in one-on-one games such as sponsor challenges kept up with every shot I made. Even so, few videogame thrills compare with the accomplished joy I felt upon winning the Masters’ coveted green jacket as an amateur. The most irritating aspect of the career mode -- and indeed, the entire game -- is the pervasive intrusion of paid content. It’s painfully obvious that EA really wants you to spend money in PGA Tour 13, whether it’s the in-game currency of Coins or real money in the form of Microsoft Points. The disc includes 16 courses, and EA is selling another 16 downloadable courses; the six additional courses exclusive to the Masters Collector’s Edition are not currently available for purchase. Tiburon had the audacity to integrate DLC courses into the career regardless of whether you have access to them, so you’ll occasionally come upon an event that you can’t initially play because you haven’t unlocked or purchased the course at which it’s taking place. (Thankfully, you can at least change the venue to an available course.) This year, you don’t have to buy a DLC course outright (for at least $5 each; less in packs) if you want to play it. You can use your Coins -- which you can earn by playing any mode of PGA Tour 13, or buy with real money (at $5 for 15,000 Coins) -- to purchase rounds on downloadable courses. You can also spend Coins on Pin Packs. Consumable Pins are limited-use items that confer bonuses such as attribute or equipment boosts, while Collectable Pins can be hoarded as a way to unlock courses. Completing all of the objectives to achieve “Gold Mastery” on a particular course is the other way to unlock it for unlimited use. That may sound appealing, but it’s actually insidious. While it’s great that you can try out a DLC course without buying it, you’re better off just paying the $5 to own it if you think you might play it more than once. A single round on a downloadable course costs 6,000 Coins; you get two plays for 9,000, and three tries for 12,000. But you earn Coins at a pitifully slow rate: only about 600 per 18-hole round. And the Gold Mastery unlock is something of a charade: most of the Gold objectives are cumulative goals, like achieving 100 pars or hitting 80 greens in regulation, that are difficult and require numerous rounds to complete. The math just doesn’t work out. And what’s particularly grating is that PGA Tour 13 goes out of its way to remind you at every turn that you’re missing out on content, like by leaving downloadable courses in the course select menu as grayed-out options. The best way to earn Coins more quickly is to join friends in an online Country Club, essentially a clan. You can compare in-game accomplishments with members of your Club and compete for Club Champion titles, or join with your teammates to take on other Clubs and make your way up the leaderboards. It’s a fun setup that encourages each member of the Club to play as well as possible, and since it incorporates offline progress, you can be a social golfer without ever playing online. Thanks to the new swing setup, I’ve had more fun playing Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13 than any previous entry in the series. By putting the onus on you to think like a real golfer and execute every shot, PGA Tour 13 makes successful play more rewarding than ever before and gives you the closest possible feeling to mastering a world-class golf course in real life. EA’s bothersome money-grubbing tactics resemble annoying flies that keep buzzing in your ear, threatening to ruin the golfing experience, until you smack them into oblivion with a perfectly played tee shot.

If baseball is a game of inches, golf is a game of degrees. The loft of a driver; the slope of a fairway; whether a ball lies above or below your feet; an open or closed club face -- even a few degrees’ variation in any...


Win a Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13 Xbox 360 at Best Buy

Mar 20
// Samit Sarkar
EA Sports' Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13 is the latest game to get the limited-edition Xbox 360 treatment, with a console featuring cover athletes Tiger Woods and Rickie Fowler against the backdrop of a grayscale golf course. ...

Put your body into it: Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13 on Kinect

Feb 23 // Samit Sarkar
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13 (Xbox 360 [previewed], PlayStation 3)Developer: EA TiburonPublisher: EA SportsRelease: March 27, 2012 (NA) / March 30, 2012 (worldwide) Tiburon has been contemplating Kinect support for Tiger Woods PGA Tour since before the peripheral’s debut in November 2010. But a couple of important considerations prevented them from implementing it until this year. For one thing, the studio “wanted to make sure that Microsoft was far enough along in advancing their [Kinect] libraries,” Nielsen explained, referring to the software side of Kinect upon which developers build their games. In addition, Tiburon had to work with a compressed development period for Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12: The Masters; EA had moved up its ship date from the series’ traditional mid-summer release to the end of March, so it would coincide with the Masters Tournament. “We wanted to make sure that we had the full cycle to do the proper R&D, to investigate the different types of things that we wanted to do to capture that golf swing. And we’ve spent basically this entire year working on that,” said Nielsen. The fruits of their labors are impressive: PGA Tour 13 boasts full Kinect support, and in-game voice functionality to boot. The only thing you can’t do without a controller is aim the club’s sweet spot at a specific point on the ball. Otherwise, the whole game is Kinect-enabled, with gestures that mimic a golfer’s actions in ways that I occasionally even found amusing. Unlike the setup on Wii or PlayStation Move, you don’t swing toward your TV; since Kinect has to track your entire body, you stand with your feet pointing ahead, and swing across the screen from right to left (or left to right, if you’re a lefty). Here’s how you might play a hole on Kinect. Before taking your tee shot, you say “aim shot” out loud, then hold your left hand to your brow -- as if to block the sun’s rays while you squint into the distance -- to zoom the camera to the general landing zone. Here, you hold out your open left hand, then close it into a fist to drag the aiming reticle around. Once you’re satisfied with the location, you clasp your hands together around your invisible golf club and swing away. (Psst... If it’s more comfortable, you can actually play the game with a real club in your hands. Microsoft won’t tell you that, since their marketing for Kinect hinges on the device obviating the need for any extra peripherals, but don’t let them stop you.) After your drive lands safely on the fairway, you look to switch to an iron for the approach shot. “Change club, 5-iron,” you tell the game, and proceed to send the ball flying toward the back of the green. But the pin’s near the front, so you point your fist at the bottom of the screen to put backspin on the ball in mid-air. Once the ball’s on the green, you crouch in front of your TV to check the lie of the green. Now you’re ready to putt -- but everything’s riding on a birdie here, so you ask the game for a “putt preview” to check the ball’s path before proceeding. With a smooth, controlled motion, you sink the putt; your only regret is that Kinect doesn’t render your triumphant fist-pump in the game. I found the experience’s fidelity remarkable. On the higher difficulty levels, Kinect translates your entire body’s movement to your on-screen golfer’s swing. Rotating your hips and arms too far will send the ball off course; overextending your backswing or swinging too quickly will add too much power to your swing when you might have been looking for some touch; a herky-jerky, stuttering motion will provide less reliable results than one with a smooth cadence. As you swing, you’ll see the same trail that shows up when you play PGA Tour 13 with a controller -- a visual cue that offers feedback on your motion. The motion controls gave me very little trouble. After a quick tutorial from Nielsen, I followed the copious on-screen prompts and managed to birdie the first hole I played. The aiming mode sometimes held on too long, failing to detect when I had opened my fist to signify that I’d finished moving the cursor. Other than that, the game never felt unresponsive or did anything I didn’t want it to do. According to Nielsen, Kinect’s machine learning technology made that possible. “We [got] six-year-old kids, adults, big, small, tall -- all shapes and sizes -- and we had them record their swings, gestures, putts, chips, [and] full swings,” he told me. The developers tagged that data, and used it to teach Kinect to differentiate between golf swings and other motions. “When we first started doing it,” said Nielsen, “you could do a baseball swing, and it would hit [the ball].” That’s not the case anymore. Golfing isn’t the only place where Kinect comes into play. Tiburon has redesigned the game’s menus for Kinect, taking cues from Harmonix’s Dance Central interface and the PlayStation 3’s XMB, so you almost never have to pick up a controller. You navigate tabs to the left and right, scrolling up and down through options within tabs. A right-hand swipe to the left selects, while a left-hand gesture backs out. I had a modicum of skepticism about the Kinect functionality in PGA Tour 13, but once I played last year’s iteration with PlayStation Move, I figured Tiburon knew what they were doing. After trying Kinect with this game -- the peripheral’s first-ever sports simulation title -- I won’t soon doubt the studio again.

Most core gamers saw Microsoft’s Kinect sensor and scoffed, dismissing out of hand its potential for use in anything but kids’ games and casual experiences. The people at EA Tiburon, however -- having already impl...


PGA Tour 13's Tiger Legacy Challenge makes you go 'awww'

Feb 21
// Samit Sarkar
In his 2008 best-seller, Outliers: The Story of Success, journalist Malcolm Gladwell posited a theory that he called the "10,000-Hour Rule." Achieving success in any field, he asserted, depends largely upon amassing 10,000 h...

Make the shot you want in Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13

Feb 21 // Samit Sarkar
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13 (Xbox 360 [previewed], PlayStation 3)Developer: EA TiburonPublisher: EA SportsRelease: March 27, 2012 (NA) / March 30, 2012 (worldwide)Situations like the one I outlined above, along with PGA Tour 13's vastly expanded shot controls (dubbed Total Swing Control), serve to highlight how severely previous games in the franchise limited your shot-making ability. The new mechanics give you full control over a virtual golfer's swing with both analog sticks, opening up the possibilities and putting the onus on you to execute the perfect shot. The left stick, as ever, governs the arc of your swing, while the right stick aims your club at a particular point on the ball.In past Tiger Woods games, you might have flicked the left stick forward as hard as possible, in an effort to add power to your shot. But I'm going to let you in on a little secret, courtesy of Brent Nielsen, the game's Executive Producer at EA Tiburon: all you were doing was wearing down your left stick more quickly. This year, the game translates your exact left-stick motion into a swing, and it provides useful pre- and post-shot feedback to help you fine-tune that swing. An on-screen trail represents the arc your backswing should follow to execute your shot; a notch on the arc signifies the point at which you should begin swinging forward. You can extend your backswing or swing your club forward more quickly for extra power, but that will afford you a smaller margin of error on the accuracy of your follow-through. Tempo is important, too; a smooth back-and-forth motion is your best bet. Note that the arc of your swing will follow your left-stick motion exactly, thanks to new animations. I pulled back on the stick in all kinds of directions, and watched as my golfer changed his motion to reflect the new swing planes. After the shot, the game will tell you how well you executed your shot, providing information about over/underswinging, tempo, and accuracy.The right stick points your club's sweet spot at different spots on the ball; this aspect of the swing will vary with the ball's lie. Until now, sitting in deep sand, for example, only affected a shot's power -- all you had to do was swing harder to send the ball flying farther. "It was a math equation," Nielsen told me, lamenting that you had no fine control over a shot's trajectory. Previous Tiger Woods games compensated for that by offering a variety of shot types, such as punch, flop, and pitch, but they couldn't hide the fact that the short game has always been the weakest part of videogame golf. In PGA Tour 13, hitting the top of the ball will produce a line drive, while aiming low will result in a shot with a high arc. (Of course, you can aim anywhere in between.) On the lower difficulty levels (Amateur and Pro), all you have to do is use the right stick to move the sweet spot cursor to a particular place. But Tour Pro and Tournament require you to hold the right stick in place at that spot while swinging with the left! You can keep the shot even lower -- say, to avoid tree branches -- by moving the ball back in your stance and hitting it from your back foot. The game also lets you open or close your stance to add draw or fade, respectively, to your shot. According to EA, all the permutations provided by Total Swing Control add up to about 62.5 million possible shots.Also new this year is the Tiger Legacy Challenge mode, which lets you relive important milestones in Woods' storied career. You start out practicing in Tiger's backyard as a toddler, whacking balls into a net and aiming for the kiddie pool. The next step for toddler Tiger is a 1978 appearance on The Mike Douglas Show with his father, where he shows off his skills for the host, and guests Bob Hope and Jimmy Stewart. EA Tiburon created seven different models of Woods at various ages, and you play through ten eras over the course of his career. It seems like a charming way to illustrate Woods' path from two-year-old wunderkind to the top of the golfing world. Last year, EA Tiburon redesigned the game around The Masters, delivering an experience like no other in a truncated development cycle. With a full year in the oven, PGA Tour 13 looks like it could provide the franchise's most significant change since the introduction of analog-stick swinging.

Imagine yourself on Tea Olive, the first hole of the famed Masters course at Augusta National. Trying to avoid the bunker on the right side of the fairway, you aim your tee shot to the left -- but alas, you push it a bit too ...


Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13 swinging to stores March 27

Jan 10
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
You know, swinging. Like a golf club. SPORTS JOKES! Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13 is coming to the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 on March 27 and is set to have some new features. The biggest change is the swing mechanics where player...

EA offering refunds for the PC version of PGA Tour 12

Sep 12
// Alasdair Duncan
Poor old golfing millionaire Tigers Woods can't seem to catch a break; plummeting to number 46 in golf's world rankings and now there's the news that EA seems to have botched the PC version of Tiger Woods PGA Tour 1...

EA launches 'season ticket' subscription service

Aug 02 // Jim Sterling
Early Full-Game Digital Access: Three days before a game’s scheduled release, fans will be able to download and play the full version of all five participating titles on  Xbox 360 and PS3™**. The digitally downloaded game will time out when the game is available at retail and consumers have the option to purchase the same full game on disc at retail.  EA SPORTS Season Ticket subscribers can transfer all achievements earned during the three-day download period to the purchased disc, resulting in an early edge over the competition.    Discounted Downloadable Content: Subscribers will get a 20-percent discount on all available downloadable content for participating EA SPORTS titles. Downloadable content, which enhances and refreshes the core game experience, includes such items as Ultimate Team packs, accelerator packs and gear upgrades.  Free Premium Web Content: Premium web content extends the game experience beyond the console to a web browser. All participating titles will feature premium web content that will be free to EA SPORTS Season Ticket members beginning with the premium Creation Center packs for FIFA Soccer 12. These packs provide a deeper set of customization tools and abilities within Creation Center to build your own teams and tournaments, and will be available to the consumer until the membership to the program has expired. Membership Recognition: Subscribers are easily identifiable with an exclusive membership recognition badge displayed both in-game and on their profile.  

Electronic Arts has revealed its latest get-rich-quick scheme, with EA Sports unleashing the "Season Ticket" subscription service. It launches today on both PS3 and Xbox 360, and will offer 20% DLC discounts, early digital ac...


Electronic Arts shutting down online for older games

Jul 13
// Jim Sterling
EA is performing a cull of online components for a number of older titles, including entries in the Battlefield, Need for Speed and Medal of Honor series. The most tragic shutdown is, of course, Army of Two. The dedicated co-...

EA scores franchise-best week-1 sales with Tiger Woods 12

Apr 12
// Samit Sarkar
It appears that EA Sports didn't need to do all that much with its long-running Tiger Woods PGA Tour series in order to raise its flagging sales numbers. Oh, y'know, nothing aside from the biggest possible "get" for the franc...

Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12 demo coming March 8

Feb 23
// Nick Chester
EA Sports has announced that a demo for its upcoming Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12: The Masters is headed to Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 on March 8. Hit the links as Woods himself, with two available modes: "Play Now" and "Road to t...

Caddies are a big part of Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12

Jan 31
// Samit Sarkar
One of the major new features in Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12: The Masters -- aside from the whole, uh, Masters Tournament thing -- is something that EA is calling "The Caddy Experience." Real golfers often ask their caddies for ...

EA Sports announces Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12: The Masters

Jan 04
// Samit Sarkar
EA Sports has announced the next installment in its annual golf franchise, Tiger Woods PGA Tour. The game still bears the name of the embattled golfer, but this year's iteration doesn't even feature him on the cover (check i...

EA adds games to Google Chrome's Web Store

Dec 08
// Nick Chester
Yesterday, Google launched its "Web Store," an online destination for extensions and "apps" for its Google Chrome web browser. Videogame publishing giant Electronic Arts is hopping on this train early. EA has added a number o...

Rained-in Ryder Cup pros play Tiger Woods PGA instead

Oct 01
// Dale North
The Ryder Cup Golf tournament is being beaten down by heavy rain, forcing the golfers indoors. What would you do in that situation? I'd get some drinks at the clubhouse, for starters. I'm sure the Ryder Cup guys also got a fe...

At a Sony press event in New York City last week, I was able to try out PlayStation Move for the first time. Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11 was among the games I played, and it was immediately impressive. Here's how it works. Y...

Review: Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11

Jul 20 // Samit Sarkar
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11 (PlayStation 3 [reviewed], Xbox 360, Wii, iPhone) Developer: EA Tiburon Publisher: EA Sports Released: June 8, 2010 MSRP: $59.99 (PS3/360) / $49.99 (Wii) / $9.99 (iPhone) The entries in EA’s Tiger Woods PGA Tour series tend to offer marginal improvements over their immediate predecessors. That’s not to say that any of the games are mediocre -- quite the opposite, in fact, since few long-running videogame franchises can boast the steady level of quality that PGA Tour has achieved. While you’d be hard-pressed to point to any particular version as the definitive best-of-the-best title, a strongly iterative design philosophy underlies the dependable success of the franchise. PGA Tour 11 is impressive for its focus on both improving gameplay (primarily by upping the challenge for series veterans) and bringing new ways to play. EA says that they put McIlroy on the box this year to highlight the first-time inclusion of the Ryder Cup in the franchise, although cynics might believe otherwise. A biennial tournament between the US and Europe, the Ryder Cup is a series of golf matches: foursomes (2-on-2; team members alternate shots on the same ball), fourball (2-on-2; each golfer has their own ball), and singles. The game offers an accurate representation of the competition -- two twelve-person teams go at it -- and you can customize the setup as you please. Playing through a Ryder Cup with my created (American) golfer, I definitely felt some patriotic sentiment stirring within me and pushing me to win. The mode works well because you don’t have to rely on your CPU teammates. A scorecard between holes lets you know how your side’s other two-person teams are doing; if you notice that a group is struggling, you can take control of them yourself and lend a hand. The only thing I didn’t like about the Cup’s implementation is that once you begin a match, you’re in for the long haul. There’s no way to save your progress during a round; you have to play all 18 holes in one sitting and can only back out to the main menu after completing one of the five rounds. It can take quite a long time to make your way through a full course, especially when four players are involved, so this is a maddening oversight. A major all-around improvement is the unified experience-point system for your created golfer. Practically everything you do both offline and online earns you XP, which you can use to adjust your attributes, tune your clubs, or buy clothing (much of which boosts your skills). If you’re pressed for time (or just lazy), you can purchase XP on the Xbox Live Marketplace or PlayStation Store, but thanks to the Skills Challenge, you shouldn’t need to resort to that. You can take part in any of 48 Skills Challenges, which task you with matching or besting real golfers in events that test your Power, Accuracy, Control, or Putting. Once you start completing the upper-level challenges, you’ll be rolling in XP. The plentiful experience points may allow you to advance your attributes quickly, but EA Tiburon has scaled up the gameplay challenge accordingly. No longer can you play the game by magicking your ball around the course -- boosting a shot’s power and accuracy, adding spin in midair, or previewing the exact line of a putt -- with impunity. In PGA Tour 11, each of these videogame-y assists has a cost associated with it: Focus. The Focus meter is depleted in chunks as you use the aids, and it refills partially each time you hit a shot without help. This brings in a game-changing strategic element: do you utilize the accuracy boost to hit a narrow fairway, or save your Focus for a preview of a sure-to-be-difficult putt on an undulating green? Longtime PGA Tour players who find the core shot-making mechanic too easy finally have an option available to provide a tougher challenge: the new True-Aim mode. Here, you won’t have an aiming circle that shows your shot’s approximate landing area; instead, all you’ll get are distance markers along the course. From there, you have to take into account your ball’s lie, the wind, draw/fade, and elevation, in order to select the proper club for your shot. In addition, you’ll see variable wind this year (i.e., the wind won’t be a constant 5 mph; instead, it might range from 4–8 mph with gusts up to 11 mph), and even if you hit your ball perfectly, it’s no longer guaranteed to land dead center in the aiming circle. With the usual videogame concessions taken away, you feel much more like a real golfer. PGA Tour 11 is the first game under the EA Sports Online Pass program. The painless activation process involved redeeming the code on the back of the game manual in the PlayStation Store for a 101-KB download key, and within a minute, I was ready to go. This year, the Ryder Cup has expanded online play; you can play a Cup with a full contingent of 24 human players. Live play-with-the-pros tournaments are back, and there are more EA GamerNet challenges than ever. I played through many matches in the US East lobby and had a completely lag-free experience. Unfortunately, the game still doesn’t allow for custom soundtracks on the PS3, which meant that I was forced to listen to the EA TRAX (at least the PGA Tour series uses instrumental versions of songs). In addition, the commentary pairing of The Golf Channel’s Kelly Tilghman and ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt remains dull and repetitive; I understand that golf is a sport where the commentators don’t blather on endlessly, but I’d still like to hear a more lively and talkative duo. And in the wake of games such as LittleBigPlanet and ModNation Racers, which are driven by user-generated content, I’d love to see the PGA Tour franchise introduce at least a rudimentary course creator. Like Tiger before the scandal, the PGA Tour series is a paradigm of consistency. Year in and year out, EA Tiburon delivers reliably solid, if unremarkable, golf games. This year is no different: there isn’t anything about Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11 that will blow you away, but a host of notable improvements and additions make this a worthwhile upgrade for die-hard fans of the series and a great choice for golf lovers everywhere. Woods himself may be struggling to regain his form, but Tiburon hasn’t lost its stroke. Score: 8.5 -- Great (8s are impressive efforts with a few noticeable problems holding them back. Won't astound everyone, but is worth your time and cash.)

Tiger Woods’ extramarital affairs made headlines last year, but in spite of his off-the-golf-course troubles, EA Sports forged ahead with the 2010 release of their annual golf franchise. However, Tiger shares the cover ...


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