90Blast had its first go-round with Tiger Woods 10 on the Wii with the new MotionPlus accessory back at E3, and let us tell you that it’s a lot easier to play video game golf when your character is Tiger Woods — maxed out on specs and equipment — then when you’re amateur wannabe John Guilfoil with his lack of power and stock equipment.

There’s something else to consider. The MotionPlus accessory, bundled with this year’s game, makes the title a lot more realistic. Every arm and wrist movement can drastically alter the course of the ball. A swing that would have cut it in Tiger Woods 09 is in the trees in 10. Then you realize it…

Golf is a lot harder than we’re been led to believe all these years.

Publisher: EA Sports
Developer: EA Tiburon
June 8, 2009

Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10, Grand Slam Tennis and Red Steel 2 are the first major third party tests of the MotionPlus for us, and it gets a thumbs up so far. Tiger Woods 10 is a far reach harder than Tiger Woods 09, which is good considering nearly everything else about the two games are exactly the same — endlessly upgrading your clubs, picking corny celebratory animations, regretting setting your majors to four agonizing rounds, etc. etc. etc.

One thing we don’t like in Woods 10 right off the bat (or the club…) is the sheer lack of Scottish play-by-play announcers. It’s one of the few things that makes televised golf enjoyable. And, I’m sorry ESPN, but Scott Van Pelt saying “useful shot that” just doesn’t do it for me.

There are, ethnicity aside, some very nice new features in 10 besides MotionPlus, including actual live weather conditions and a mini game called Disc Golf played with a Frisbee that is exclusive to the Wii version. But the best new feature is the online live tournaments. You can challenge friends, play in EA tournaments, and match up with the pros with online tournaments during actual PGA events.

There are plenty of real courses in the game and plenty of tournaments but this series is missing things like The Masters and the US Open and some of the other “real majors” in golf. Because of that, career mode is that much less invigorating. You’ll spend a few weeks as an amateur, playing boring tournaments against idiotic computer characters just to get to the PGA TOUR where there’s really no reward — no green jackets or “Superbowls” of golf. You just play, get money, buy stuff, and play more. It’s a real problem with sports games.

You will get addicted though, and we highly recommend getting a golfing buddy, either at your home or online, because it’s kinda depressing to make an eagle and just stand there with the cat licking himself.

Just keep your wrists straight and follow through with your swing. This isn’t Wii Sports. You don’t just flick your wrist and five it 300 yards. Once you get used to it, you’ll be fading and punch shooting your way through the Fedex Cup. One thing about a harder game is that you really feel like you’ve accomplished something when you finally get good at it.

There are 28 courses and Wii’s “All Play” mode just in case you really, really can’t get used to the new controls. If you’re in a bad mood, turn on All Play and select Pebble Beach. In our tests, I shot two double eagles, two aces, and five eagles. But the announcing still sucks. I made a double eagle on 18 from about 200 yards, and all Van Pelt had to say was that my putting had been fantastic today.

Blast Factor: It’s Nerf or nothing. Tiger Woods is the only sim golf game out there, much like EA’s Madden franchise. It’s not the old days of six brands of computer golf that you play with your mouse. You actually have to get off the couch this time and swing the club like you mean it. The good thing is that Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10 is simply great. The verbose online options give you plenty to do, even for the most finicky video game golfer.

Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10 is available on the Nintendo Wii bundled with MotionPlus for $59.99, or without for $49.99

About The Author

John Guilfoil is the editor-in-chief of Blast: Boston's Online Magazine and the Blast Magazine Network. He can be reached at [email protected]. Tweet @johnguilfoil.

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