[floatleft]http://www.snackbar-games.com/images/reviews/tw2003/cover.jpg[/floatleft]Although I’m not a terribly huge fan of golf, I do enjoy a good golf game from time to time. Never having played any of the previous entries in the Tiger Woods series I really didn’t know what to expect from this game.
Since I was about to play this game on the PS2, I really didn’t expect much from the graphics on Tiger Woods 2003. In no way was I prepared for what I was about to see. From the cheesy pre-rendered cinematic with Tiger Woods in the intro to the craptacular background landscapes, the graphics in this game are terrible. Terrible with a capital “T”. The only thing about the graphics in Tiger Woods 2003 that is quasi-acceptable is the character models. I would consider this game to have the worst graphics I have ever seen in any golf game, and among the worst I have ever seen on the PS2. The fairways looked like concrete painted green and the greens look like ponds with some sort of green sludge floating on top of them. In summary, get yourself a 5 year old, give him a green crayon, and you’ll be able to generate graphics better than this game.
[floatright]http://www.snackbar-games.com/images/reviews/tw2003/ss03_thumb.jpg[/floatright]This EA Sports Trax thing has got to go. It seems like whoever selected the music for Tiger Woods 2003 had no idea what the demographic for this game was going to be. The soundtrack is chocked full of metal and rock. That’s right, metal and rock; on a golf game. Insert your own blank stare here. Aside from the soundtrack that seems completely out of place, the actual golf sounds aren’t bad, although there are a few oddities that pop up from time to time. Pickle and I were playing on a course in England and we kept hearing this strange sound in the background. After about an hour of this Pickle blurts out, “Was that a cow?” Strangely enough, it was a cow. This game’s sound wierds me out.
Control is Tiger Woods 2003 solo strong point. It only took me a few minutes to get the hang of the angles and the spin control. I still don’t feel like the controls were very realistic though. You have to tap the L2 button repeatedly while the ball is in the air to get the ball to spin the direction you want it to. I don’t know of any pro golfers who have psycho-kinetic powers and are able to adjust a ball’s spin in midair. Additionally, I don’t think that the PS2’s analog joystick lends itself very well to this type of game. You pull back on the joystick to start your back swing and slide to forward to complete your swing. The PS2 analog joystick seems too “sticky” to do this motion fluidly.
Tiger Woods 2003 presents little or no challenge whatsoever. It took me less than an hour to get good enough with the controls to win my first tournament. The putting in this game is the only thing that presents any sort of challenge at all, and that is only due to the fact that you have no grid or any other type of device to line up your putts with. The only thing you have to work with is your “caddy tips.” Your caddy tips will be something ridiculous like “5 ft. 4 in. long and 4 in. right.” This would be great if you had any point of reference. You spend a lot of time asking yourself “Does that look like 2 feet?”
[floatleft]http://www.snackbar-games.com/images/reviews/tw2003/ss07_thumb.jpg[/floatleft]To be honest, Tiger Woods 2003 just isn’t very much fun. There are several mini-games included in the game, but none of them represent any real challenge. After about an hour or so into this game you’ll be wondering why you’re still playing. It doesn’t take long to master the controls, and Pickle was holing out from 30 yards less than 30 minutes after we started. A visit to the dentist for a root canal or two would be more entertaining than an afternoon playing Tiger Woods 2003. If you’re looking for a fun golf game I would recommend Outlaw Golf for the XBox.
My best advice would be to avoid Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2003 altogether. Don’t rent it, buy it, or even borrow it from a friend. This game is just the icing on the cake from a series of sub-par games from EA Sports as of late. It just seems like they are rushing everything and not taking the time to make the game quality. Hopefully they will fix these issues soon because in the past I have been a huge fan of EA.