A Solid Upgrade !

User Rating: 9.2 | Tiger Woods PGA Tour 06 XBOX
Equipment -> Sony KV34HS510 HDTV (Component / Optical Hookup) / 5.1 Surround First let me start out by saying I have been a tiger fan for about 3 years solid now. The last 3 versions made very small changes and never brought anything really "new" to the plate or really made it worthwhile or necessarily to purchase every new version. Well if your one of those people who didn't bother with last years version or the year prior this is the release for YOU. Yes things have changed drastically namely the whole putting system. Forget ALL versions prior , this is a whole NEW experience. Things that are gone -> no more of that tiger vision crap ! The most obvious changes to the game is the addition of the dual analog swing action which they call the "Shape Stick". Now I will mention you don't HAVE to use the shape stick unless your trying to hit the ball above and over and object, OR under an object , and ofcourse for Fades left or right which is a gurantee use. Another nice little addition is the good old "gamebreaker" option which works like most of them out there, you use it , the ball goes in the hole no matter what. A neat twist to the gamebreaker is at points you can actually drain your opponents which adds a bit of fun to playing against your buddy sitting beside you. The graphics are pretty much what you would expect, as well as the sound effects overall a solid visual and audio experience. Rival Mode is basically the new addition to the gamemodes and in a nutshell you play different opponents to be the "best", the twist is you play a wide variety of people and jump from different "eras". Upgrades to your skills have taken a massive change in gears also , you can ONLY upgrade skills which you have gained money for ! ie. if you are awesome at drives and approaches but continually SUCK at putts you will never get any points for putt upgrades hence you can NEVER upgrade your putting skills. Another nice step forward in providing more depth to this golf simulator. So winning games / challenges / holes will provide you with 2 sets of "points" 1. money 2. skill points , money is for equipment / apparel and skills points ofcourse for upgrades. Navigation of equipment has become a little less clunky but very much like prior additions. The most revolutionary upgrade is the putting system!!! Putting is much more realistic forcing you to read the greens to measure adjustments and speed. In prior versions you were given the option to take an above view of the hole and you just simply "counted" the horizontal adjustments and vertical adjustments. This method got quite simple after awhile, although there was some sense of satisfaction in sinking some of the more complicated shots. Now your view is a slightly vertcial angle but nothing close to straight above, also you can hit the WHITE button and do a freeroam horizontally to see the real angle of the green. Other putting changes are a small icon in the bottom right showing you the slope of the green, as well as the option of putting spins on the putt with the right analog stick. The online mode has some nice matchmaking options were all firmiliar with such as Quick Match / Optimatch / Create Match and you can chill out in the lobby. You can also wager bets per game like in prior version , but can also wager a bet per hole if you would like to do that. The gameface engine has become more complex but there really isn't anything exiting about this years version. All in all if your like my friends who never even bothered buying last years version due to so little amount of change, then finally this Tiger Woods version has changed quite a few things and the putting alone is gigantic and warrants the purchase. Tiger Woods 2006 is a rock solid innovative new version taking realism even farther with its "simulation" like skill upgrade system , and a very challenging fresh putting system. It really does feel like a different game when playing and the learning curve is surprisinly low for veteren players. See you guys on the green!!!