Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11 (Wii): Both harder and easier

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We really dug last year’s Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10. It was one of the first games that used Nintendo’s Wii Motion Plus controller addition. It added an increased control sensibility that really made you feel like you had some realistic control over your virtual golf club. In our review we said that this game made it seem like they invented Wii Motion Plus just for golf!

For PGA Tour 11, EA Sports took the whole realism thing and ran with it. For me, it seems like increased realism usually leads to increased difficulty. That’s not to say that PGA Tour 11 is impossible to play, though. Just know that in the game’s most realistic control modes, you can actually miss the ball on your swing. And you will sometimes.

The new control mode they’ve added to PGA Tour 11 is called True View. It’s a first-person view of your club and the ball. Imagine yourself looking down towards your feet and that’s exactly what you’ll see. This makes the experience even more interactive, and it made me a bit more nervous. Along with this view, the swing mechanics have been beefed up to be even more realistic, which means that you’ll need to follow through with something close to what a real golf swing would be like.

In this mode you’ll have to be mindful of the point of contact on the ball, which EA tells me is as close as they could get it to 1:1 motion. It certainly feels like it — it feels authentic, though I’m no golf pro. In the game’s Advanced and Tour Pro modes, you’ll be looking at the ball and lining up your club for a real swing that makes you feel like a pro when it connects nicely, and like an amateur when it barely clips and veers off to the left, into the sand. It really seems to follow the path of your club swing, which makes it feel much more like you’re playing a golf game, and less like you’re triggering an automatic golf swing. And if that’s not hard enough, in the most difficult mode, even the on-screen cues are removed, forcing you to play solely by feel.

So how did PGA Tour 11 get easier? They added minigolf to the game. That’s not to say that the minigolf is too easy, but they did include a completely different physics engine, and it’s more geared toward family fun than it is to realistic golf. There’s four courses in the game, including a racing speedway, an ice land, and the one I tried, called Mini Predator. All of the windmills and waterfalls and fun scenery you’d expect make it into the minigolf, as does all the teeth-gritting and fist shaking from just missing the hole. It’s a lot of fun, and makes for a nice break after some tense holes in the standard game.

As for the rest of the game, there’s a new Ryder Cup Challenge on the Celtic Manor resort in Wales in this version. The fantastic disc golf mode is also back, and now it’s fully online compatible. They’ve beefed this year’s version up quite a bit. We’ll go into further detail next week, when we’ll run our full review of Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11 for the Wii.


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