Many sports game manufacturers, such as Midway, work hard to provide arcade style games that provide the most enjoyable experience for the user but in turn sacrifice some of the realistic quality of the game. Conversely, Electronic Arts focuses instead on making software games as realistic as possible, hoping customers will respect and enjoy this attention to quality play.
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2000 is no exception. From the faces of the nine included professional golfers and the details of the numerous courses to the difficulties of mastering golf and famous fist pumps and exclamations from Tiger Woods, the game is one of the most realistic golf simulations on the market.
This reality, though, comes with a price, as it can create frustration on the course. Finding the "sweet spot" on the standard swing meter is a must, as is finding the fairway since reaching the green from the rough is nearly impossible. Achieving perfect swings by using either mouse buttons or the spacebar can be challenging at first. The swing meter can be adjusted to add spin to the shots or execute a fade or draw, another challenging endeavor requiring practice.
Putting is perhaps the only aspect of the game that fails to measure up. Distances and breaks are very inconsistent in that the same exact putt can be struck two times in a row from the same location with one finishing short and to the right while the other goes long and to the left. Like real life golf, three putts are common and a lot of work on the practice green is a necessity to score well in the tournaments.
The overall graphics are superb, especially in the movements of the professional golfers, which almost perfectly mirror their real-life swings. The game flows nicely from the player's contact with the ball to its final destination and several camera views are offered. The ability to change the weather setting is a worthwhile attribute and the terrific graphics accompanying this option help make the game even more realistic.
During tournament play, announcers provide shot-by-shot commentary, although at times they become repetitious and occasionally comments don't match the shot. Positive aspects of the sound package include comments made by the players when they pull off a miraculous or not-so-great shot and the introduction, which is packed with video footage and music. While tournament play can be challenging, the game offers plenty of other ways to enjoy golf without the frustration. You can hone skills at the driving range, play in a foursome with other human or computer players (or a mix of both), gamble for money in a Skins Game or take on the computer in match play, plus a few other competitive options.
The best addition to this installment of the Tiger Woods golf series, though, is the Course Architect. Consistent with the rest of the game, it is hard to master at first. However, it is a great way to be creative and learn more about the game while having fun at the same time. Courses can be constructed to any difficulty level and shared online. Be prepared to commit a lot of time for a good course, though, since the process is long and tedious.
If a sports game could ever be too realistic, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2000 might fill the bill. While this does make the game challenging, it is entertaining to play and a superb game for anyone who wants to compete with the pros using their computer.
Graphics: Colors, textures and environments are very realistic.
Sound: Quality effects though announcer comments become repetitious quickly.
Enjoyment: Although hard, the game is a great deal of fun with its many different game modes to play and tournaments to enter. Playing online is a great way to match against the pros.
Replay Value: Courses offered in the game are good and, with the inherent nature of golf, never get old. Even when mastered, additional courses are available for download over the Internet or through personal design.
People who downloaded Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2000 have also downloaded:
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2002, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2004, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 08, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 06, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 07, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12: Masters, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2005, Microsoft Golf 1998 Edition
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