The Sneak Peak is Out
EA Sports has just released an announcement about their newest version of the blockbuster game Tiger Woods PGA Tour. This makes #14. To get the excitement going about who will be appearing on the cover besides Tiger, there is a guessing game going and you can find that on the official Facebook page. Do you really care who is on the cover or do you care more about the content and the mechanics? For me it is the latter. I have not been too fond of the direction of the game since the new generation of game consoles. It has become more of a sim and less of a game. Sims are great for a while but I get bored with them quick. Games tend to hold my interest longer and thus I feel I get more for my money. Either way, a the full cover will be revealed this coming Thursday. Do you think you know the mystery man or woman on the cover?
Absence of Fantasy Courses – Good or Bad?
Now, about the new generation of Tiger Woods PGA Tour. It seems that over the years, after EA introduced the game, there was a backlash from folks that thought that the “fantasy courses” were over the top and unrealistic. There was no doubt about that. It seemed that EA listened to that crowd and suddenly one day, there were no more fantasy courses. New generations of consoles were coming out allowing for ultra-realistic graphics and EA appears to have taken the course towards a simulation rather than a game. The game mechanics began changing to make the controls more realistically emulate the phases of the game with the stance, grip, and stroke.
So now are gone the challenge mini-games and the fantasy courses that made a golf game really fun with variety while still being challenging. Whether you wanted to stroll down fabled Pebble Beach or hit unbelievable shots through castle ruins in The Highlands, the game had it all. EA catered towards one crowd and completely left the other out to dry. The games now are stale themselves for many, the music puts you to sleep, and you might as well go play a real round of golf.
I have no problem with most of the realistic elements. I believe the series could and should cater to both markets. In fact, I think most people like a balance and a variety and being able to experience some of the great courses in the world but at other times want the exaggeration that only a digital environment can bring for maximum enjoyment. I know few people that simulate a full season or spend hours indulging into reality on their game system. It is a shame that EA has created a market then suddenly dropped it.
I can remember playing some of those courses with friends over and over because they were designed to offer do-or-die shots that could make or break your round. You were rewarded greatly with success and penalized for making bad choices. All of this led to breathtaking anticipation as you watched your ball in flight. The fantasy courses provided spectacular scenery that is hard to simulate in a game because of the lack of the 360 degree environment. These fantastic links offered spectacular shots off high cliffs onto rocky islands, tense drives over tropical lagoons, and blind tee shots over mountains and trees if you wanted to attempt to shave strokes off your scores instead of playing it safe. Now you hit the ball well and you step back and watch the expected happen just hoping you don’t slice or hook into the rough.
EA, if you are listening, give us back a few fantasy courses in your games from year to year.
– by J.Wade Harrell,