For me, the EASports Season Opener was dominated by Tiger Woods. I got a special preview of the Wii version of Tiger Woods PGATour 10 which hits stores on June 16th. I’ll have a detailed article on that version when we get past the embargo date for features I most want to talk about. For now, I can tell you that it is very cool, and has a lot of new features that really put this release in a better class of update than some things that come out every year.
But, what really woke me up (yeah, call me crazy) was the chance to play a preview of the Tiger Woods game coming to the iPhone. The only release date information I could get was a hesitant and vague “this summer,” but the app already looked like things were solidly put together.
Just to start off, compared to a lot of other iPhone games, the thing looked amazing. The 3D graphics were sharp, and things like following the ball in flight were surprisingly clear.
It uses a finger-drag swing, which allows for hooks and slices. You also have the ability to spin the ball while its in flight by swiping across the screen.
Now, I have to point out that this was pretty early exposure to the game, so nothing should be considered full information about the game. Beyond the normal, “things we aren’t going to tell you yet,” I think it was pretty clear that there were aspects of the game that weren’t decided yet. I got the distinct impression that the full version of the game was something that was still being played with in order to figure out what combination of features worked best.
For example, you’ll be able to play Pebble Beach, TPC Sawgrass, and St. Andrews, but is that the full list? I don’t know. You will also be able to complete achievements in the game and earn “Bragging Rights” which are in quotes when EA mentions them, but what they are and what that concept even means is unclear. What modes of play there might be was another thing that was left a bit vague. And, you can play as or against Tiger Woods, Vijay Singh, and a couple others, but exactly how many pros will be in the game seems unsure.
On the other hand, the most important things were very clear. The look of the game was incredible, and the response of the controls was everything you could hope for. There is a point-and-drag style aiming system that functioned well and fit the idea of an iPhone version. And, while some people might wonder at the exclusion of motion controls, the truth is, swinging your phone around is a bit ridiculous.
Overall, this is a great game, that really pushes the limites of what’s possible in an iPhone app.
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