Simon Miller reports:
When it comes to yearly franchises, we seem to ask the same question every 12 months: just what can a developer do to really push the series forward? With a smaller window than most other games, is it ever possible to really enhance the product? Well, if Tiger Woods 09 is anything to go by then yes, yes it is!
It's no secret that 08's effort was met with a mixed reaction. Many claimed EA's tweaks to the analogue swing had made it far too sensitive, meaning any other positive changes were overlooked. Listening to the criticism, EA has twiddled with the control system once more, but this time got it right.
Little touches such as a swing feedback meter and the ability to add fade or draw to your shot before swinging, instantly enabling you to counteract any bad habits you may have, allow Tiger Woods to feel more like 18 holes than ever before. Just to ensure the golf obsessed can really go to town, there's even the option to adjust irons, woods and such to respond how you want. To please this clientele even further, and in a bid to extract as many videogame clichés as possible, your stats now react to your performance. Play like a pro and your skills will improve; start making mistakes, however, and you will see them decrease. It's a model we would advise the majority of sports titles to borrow because it really adds an extra incentive to constantly try to progress.''