Fore! Should Bleacher Report Have a Sports Video Games Section?

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Fore! Should Bleacher Report Have a Sports Video Games Section?
(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Should Bleacher Report include a section about sports video games? 

Perhaps or perhaps not, but it is an entertaining thought to me tonight because I've been playing the demo for Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10 this Memorial Day weekend.

I wanted to write about  my thoughts and experiences.  So here I am and here is my article: Fore! My Tiger Woods PGA Tour Preview: The Demo.

After playing the demo for Tiger Woods PGA Tour demo on my Xbox 360 a few times, I can already inform you that in terms of game play and controls, the most significant change and upgrade is in the putting game. It is called Precision Putting.

However, the general feel of the game, particularly drives, approach shots, and chips, are very similar to its predecessors of 09 and 08; even in the rain. Rain?

The demo, as the full game, supports dynamic weather conditions, a new commentary team and broadcast style introductions. Of course, rain, along with wind, adds to the realism and feel of this game.

Over and over, on the replay, I enjoying watching the rain water “spit” and splash as my golf ball barreled its way for my birdie at Turnberry, in Scotland. However, I saw no caddy to hand me my golf umbrella afterwards. LOL :-)

On the full version, we will be able to select the actual weather conditions for a course’s location via the Weather Channel or manually select our weather conditions for certain modes of play.

The demo provides four holes from two of this game’s new golf courses: Turnberry (home of this year's British Open) and Bethpage Black (home of this year's U.S. Open). The demo also permits us to take part in a two hole practice round at these two courses.

The demo also previews the new Tournament Challenge mode by offering the famous 17th hole at The Players Stadium Course: TPC Sawgrass, to play.

In Tournament Challenge we can participate in a single challenge from this feature in order to get a preview of the mode.

There are a number of feature preview screens for us to read about the other features in Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10.

A demo is not the quality of a finished, published edition, but it provides a significant snapshot of coming attractions for me, especially in terms of controls.

Playing this demo helps because for me, this old gamer, Precision Putting requires a learning curve in terms of both adjusting my reads to prepare for a putt and then actually executing a successful putt.

In Tiger Woods video games from the past, the player had various putter options that needed to be selected depending on the distance from the hole. For example, a putt of ten feet could not be made with a putter of a fixed length of five feet and below.

Of course, this scenario was very unrealistic in terms of the real game of golf.  And the problem with a system like this is that feel suffers, since the user needs to be constantly aware of the maximum distance that the chosen putter can go and thus, adjust accordingly.

With Precision Putting, the player only carries around one putter that has a maximum distance of somewhere over 100 feet.

After a learning curve, we will get used to reading greens in terms of slope and weather conditions in order to choose the amount of force imparted on the ball, rather than having to do percentage-based math such as trying to hit, for example, 60 percent of a 10-foot putter for an six-foot putt.

In the Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10 demo, my reads at first seemed as easy as previous editions, but the putts are somewhat more difficult to make, coming up a foot or five short. Determining a solid line in the pre-putt view takes more precision thinking and adjusting now. 

Yes, putts are more difficult to sink; so I am hitting more pars when I used to sink birdies and birdies when I used to sink eagles.

I’ve had about five hole-in-one shots in 09 so far.  Will these also be fewer and farther between on these beautiful par 3s? 

This demo is available for both the Xbox 360 and the PS3.

From playing the demo, I instantly noticed the different camera angles and broadcast presentation. The broadcast style of the game has also been tweaked to enhance that sense of playing in a huge match.

ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt has been added to the booth to offer up his expert, pre-recorded opinions on the action. Camera replays have changed to seem more like we are watching it on television too, giving the game an overall feeling of playing a real golf match.

I found an interesting note regarding this  new commentary team, featuring Van Pelt and Kelly Tilghman. Wasn’t Tilghman briefly suspended for making a poorly-judged comment about lynching Tiger Woods in last year?

New courses and competitions are on offer as well, with the US Open the big draw among the new options, but USGA rules and structure are also available.

Among the 16 courses in the game, five will be new: Turnberry , Bethpage Black, Oakmont, Hazeltine, and Torrey Pines.

The other 11 courses: Bay Hill, Firestone, Pinehurst No. 2, East Lake, Pebble Beach, TPC Sawgrass, Saint Andrews, Doral, Wentworth, Harbor Town, and TPC Boston.

If the past is any indication, there will be more courses available post-launch as downloadable content, but only for those willing to shell out the money.

The EA Sports Live Tournaments, the game’s biggest new feature, will be set to allow players to compete against one another in sanctioned competitions and even to go up against professional golfers.  EA Sports Live Tournaments comes with three choices.

There are daily tournaments, where we have to shoot 18 holes and can compare our scores on leaderboards. There are weekly tournaments, where you play for four days out of a week and also compare scores with other players.

There are the Pro Tournaments, which are set to be special events taking place during real life pro tours. We will see the players compare their scores with those of the ones registered by real pro players.

 


Quote of the Day:
The degree of one's emotion varies inversely with one's knowledge of the facts: the less you know the hotter you get.
--Bertrand Russell

 

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