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August 25, 2005
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 06 - Preview
Release Date Publisher Developer Anticipation Players Price
12/10/2005EA SportsEA Sports1-4, 4 $89.95

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Animation is, as expected, superb.
Whether you love or hate Electronic Arts you can't deny that when they make a game it usually has more spit an polish then 10 other titles put together. Their sports titles in particular may be criticized for not making radical changes, but why should they. They work and why change it. In fact when you look at it they do make major revolutionary changes occasionally. This year the Madden NFL 06 introduces a rather unique quarterback field of view which allows more accurate passing. Tiger Woods PGA Tour 06 is also changing considerbly this year with new control systems and game modes.

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Tiger goes for the chip shot.
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 06 has it all. 21 licensed golfers including Chris DiMarco, Mike Weir, Ian Poulter, and Luke Donald, 14 superbly detailed courses (11 real and 3 fantasy courses). Seven new licensed courses include TPC Sawgrass (Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.) Reflection Bay (Las Vegas, Nev.), Cog Hill Golf Club (Chicago, Ill.), Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club (Portland, Ore.), Sahalee Country Club (Seattle, Was.) and Doral Golf Resort (Miami, Fla) Well, actually the gameplay has changed a little. For the first time, both analog sticks control each shot from tee to green. The left analog stick controls your swing, and the right analog Shape Stick dictates ball trajectory and putt strength. While putting, players will rely on "touch" and finesse as they swing the analog stick only as far as needed to make a putt. A new aiming mechanism also enables the user to line up and gauge putting speed.

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Taking the short cut...
As expected EA's extremely impressive Game Face technology is returning which allows you to create golfers to even the smallest details.This golfer can then be used in all the game modes, including the massive career mode which now apans the 52-week PGA TOUR calendar of events for up to 30 seasons. It will be possible to obtain sponsorships from real golf equipment manufacturers throughout your career and drive to surpass Tiger Woods as #1 on the overall money list. Also new to this years game is a Rival Mode which allows you to take on legends of the game including Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Ben Hogan and of course Tiger Woods. Also new is the ability to no wager on a shot or round, the bigger the accomplishment the bigger the odds.

Tiger Woods PGA Tour 06 also includes an all new gamebreaker meter. As with their other sports titles this allows you to boost your power and accuracy after building up enough confidence. This will be integral to achieving those low scores.

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In the bunker.
One question with the PAL release which is still a little in the air is inclusion of online gameplay. In America at least gamers will be able to play with up to four players with anyone across the country on the PlayStation 2. Compete in Online Tournament events complete with money lists, full stat tracking, and league leaders. The new handicapping system will allow gamers to find competitors at a formidable level, and players can post scores on ea.com for access to web tournament leader boards.

With graphics and audio at the very least matching last years title, and probably surpassing it by the final build, this game is one to show off to your mates. David Feherty and Gary McCord are on board to provide the commentary in the game. Sure, it may not be the quickest moving, nor the most action packed game, but when it comes to golf nothing comes close. Actually, there's not many other options - this series is so loaded and packed with quality that other companies don't even try to compete any more. Tiger Woods PGA Tour 06 should be released in mid October.