SEATTLE--EA Sports is getting behind the Nintendo DS in a big way with upcoming editions of Madden NFL 2005 and Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2005. We got to see a work-in-progress version of the popular golf simulation and even tried our hand at a few holes to see how the game is shaping up, and, more importantly, how the developer is taking advantage of the unique hardware features of the DS.
Though the much-lauded GameFace system won't be available in the DS version of Tiger Woods, you'll still have plenty of options when creating your handheld persona. Face, hairstyle and color, body size, left- or right-handedness, and a variety of clothing will round out the customization options at the outset. The game will feature the standard assortment of game modes, including a legends tour and four-player multiplayer--though the multiplayer was sadly unavailable at today's demo.
Once you're actually on the course, you'll get a 3D player's-eye view on the top screen and a 2D map of the hole on the bottom screen. You can use the stylus to drag around the map screen and actually see the camera view up top flying around accordingly, affording you a better perspective on the topography of the hole. Once you're ready to swing, the touch screen really comes into play. To swing, you'll trace a large curved arrow on the bottom screen with the stylus, which will determine the swing and general trajectory of your shot. Before you do this, you can optionally use a boost meter, which you power up through vigorous rubbing, to give your swing some extra juice. Finally, while your ball is in flight, you'll see it up close and personal on the bottom screen, and you can rub it while it's in the air to give it a little extra spin when it lands.
It looks like Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2005 is shaping up to be a unique golf experience on the DS--we haven't seen a golf game that's played quite like this anywhere else. The game is slated to ship alongside the DS in late November, so stay tuned for more.
For more updates on the Nintendo DS and other impressions and media, check out GameSpot's coverage of Nintendo's Gamer's Summit.