Review by dancer62

"Is that a tiger in your tank, or are you just pleased to see me?"

There are realistic golf games and there are cute golf games. I've played golf games on the Genesis, PC, PlayStation, GameBoy, and Neo Geo Pocket Color, and found most of them absorbing. Tiger Woods 06 has real-world courses and competitors, and lots of choices of licensed equipment, clothing, and accessories. What does this mean to most of us, who will never set foot on world-class courses, and play on our local course with mismatched thrift shop clubs?

First, you are invited to create a profile which includes making an avatar, male or female, body size, face shape, hair color and eye color, skin tone. You can also set attributes, like power, driving and putting skill, and luck. You choose the clubs to carry in your golf bag, the clothes you wear and accessories (many of which also contribute to attribute points). Many items are initially locked, or priced out of reach. The customization options make the creative options in PSP Little Big Planet look sparse and trivial.

Music is soft techno, not at all objectionable, but certainly not inspiring. Sound effects are clear, and the announcer's comments are amusing.

There are 14 courses, 6 of which are initially locked. The Quickplay option includes traditional stroke play or a variety of other modes. The Rivals Challenge involves choosing an opponent, and beating them in a number of golfing challenges including tournament play, putting and driving challenges, a showdown match, a par 3 challenge, and a skins challenge . There are 14 golfers to play against, including the legendary Jack Nicklaus, Ben Hogan, and Arnold Palmer.

Courses offer rolling terrain, sand and water hazards, trees, and rough. The controls work well in general. The play mechanic of using the PSP analog stick for power and timing works nicely for driving, but lacks precision for putting. I much prefer the traditional tap-the-button-three-times approach to setting the swing.

The graphics are serviceable. Textures are sparse, your avatar looks like a cardboard cutout, as does scenery in the background. OTOH, the courses look good, greens, sand, rough, and fairway. Animation is wooden compared with the Hot Shots Golf games.

The bottom line is whether it's fun to play. I find it OK, but not particularly addictive. I much prefer the bright colors, traditional control, and sense of humor of the Hot Shots Golf series. Still, for a golf fix, since Tiger has had his troubles, you can find Tiger Woods games deeply discounted. It's a competent game, add a point if you care about customizing your golfer with name-brand gear.

Pros: incredible customization and equipment options

Cons: competent but uninspired gameplay
generally flat graphics

Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 11/22/10

Game Release: Tiger Woods PGA Tour 06 (US, 09/26/05)

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