Tiger Woods 12 For iPod and iPhone
Teacher’s Comments: A major time suck.
I have been wasting far too much time of late playing Tiger Woods 12 on my iPod Touch
One of the platforms for the EA Tiger Woods franchise, the iPod Touch version is perfect for a quick couple of holes in a down moment. It is easy to learn to play and also relatively easy to master. While some may see the relative ease as a negative, I see it as a good thing. I have neither the time nor the patience to master all the fiddly controls on console golf games, such as on my PlayStation. I haven’t played a PlayStation game in more than a year, but iPod Touch version is addictive.
The consoles and televisions are also much more difficult to fit in a pocket.
TW 12 for iPod has four game modes, only two of which I bother with. The first is the quick game, in which you can play a practice round on Pebble Beach, St. Andrews, TPC Sawgrass, Hazeltine, Doral, TPC Boston,, Greenbrier or the “fantasy” (nightmare, really) Predator. The other is the PGA Tour mode, in which you compete on a tournament schedule against a virtual field of PGA Tour players.
In both games, you earn virtual cash for accomplishing feats, such as birdies or better, greens in regulation or better, long putts, hazard saves, and fairways hit. The cash then can be used to purchase skill upgrades in power, power boost, drive control, impact, approach, putting, recovery and spin.
It is also possible to just use real cash to purchase upgrades, but what is the fun in that?
The other modes are the “Take on the Tiger Challenge, consisting of over 20 mini-games designed to test your skills+ and a head-to-head game for WiFi or bluetooth.
Controlling the golfer is simple. First, you use the targeting function to choose a landing zone. This also will indicate which club you should use. Depending up on the wind, elevation, obstacles, etc. you may want to play either more or less club, and swing a little more or less. You also can choose a full swing, punch shot, chip, pitch or lob. In terms of strategy, it’s a lot like real golf.
Once the target and club are picked, you then are presented with a slide graphic. To swing, you swipe the ball down the slide, then swipe it up again. A nice smooth rhythm will produce a nice smooth swing. You can move the ball left or right by swiping down to one side of center, and then swiping up left or right. Pausing at the bottom ever so slightly causes the slide’s edges to glow red, indicating that you’re using a power boost. Pause too long, however, and the edges turn blue, indicating a power loss.
As you can see from the screen captures, the graphics are adequate, but not up to the photo realistic standards of the console games. That’s ok with me. I am more concerned with game play than realism.
Even so, the game also can suffer a bit of lag from all the processing. I’ve found it helps to force-close all of the other apps running on the iPod before playing. (That’s the trick where you double click the button to bring up the list of recent programs. Then, you press and hold one of the icons until they all start wiggling and show a “minus” in the upper left corner. Clicking on the “minus” force closes the app.)
My one big beef with the game is the “fantasy” course, The Predator. It is ridiculous and obviously designed by someone who knows nothing about golf. The only thing that clown course is missing is a windmill. Gamers would have been much better served if EA had added another “real” course to the list. I play it only when it comes up on the “Tour mode” schedule, and then I deliberately tank my first two rounds so that I miss the cut and don’t have to suffer through two more.