E3 2008: PSP Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09 Hands-On

More golfers, more courses, more Tiger.

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Not to be outdone by the slick next-gen versions of Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09, or the slick motion-controlled Wii version of Tiger 09, the PlayStation Portable version of Tiger 09 is also, predictably, slick.

We got our hands on PSP Tiger 09 for the first time at E3 2008 in Los Angeles Tuesday and came away impressed. While not a dramatic improvement over last year's title--par for the course with this franchise--Tiger 09 ups the course count to 20 and the golfer count to 27. New courses include Sheshan in Shanghai and Nevada's Wolf Creek, while Steve Elkington and Darren Clarke headline the roster of new hackers.

Also new this year is the EA Sports Cup, a quick tournament mode meant to be played on the train on the way to work, or anywhere you want, really. That's because the Cup is set up like a soccer-style group stage in which you take on three different opponents in your group, only using a variety of different rules, like Stableford scoring over three holes. The entire cup can be finished in about an hour, just enough time for you to arrive at your stop. If not, you can save at any time.

Visually, Tiger looks as good as its PlayStation 2 counterpart. Our time on Pebble Beach looked crisp and sharp on the small screen. The new commentary duo of Kelly Tillman and Sam Torrance is knowledgeable, although the two are so monotonous in tone that they make Ben Stein sound like Robin Williams.

While the franchise is known to rest on its laurels, at least this version of Tiger adds the traditional three-click shot method in addition to the analog-nub golf shot. Our experience with the nub worked well, however. Simply pull back, fill up a power bar, and grip and rip it. It's not as intuitive as the analog sticks on the PS3 or 360, but it works well considering the limitations of the PSP. Either way, commuters and PSP golf fans will enjoy Tiger 09 on the PSP this fall.

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