Tiger Woods PGA Tour '09

Key events

16th September 2008

Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09 All-Play

1st September 2008

Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09

Wii sports games still lagging behind

Peter Moore expects it to take a while.

EA Sports boss and correct football team supporter Peter Moore has said that his Wii games struggle because people are happy with Wii Sports - and that licensed sports games for Wii will lag behind other formats for some time.

MotorStorm and BIA demos on PSN

DLC for TW09, EoJ, other abbreviations.

Sony has updated the PlayStation Store with PS3 demos of MotorStorm: Pacific Rift and Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway, neither of which ask you for a penny.

Xbox 360 vs PS3 Face-Off: Round 14

Digital FoundryXbox 360 vs PS3 Face-Off: Round 14

SoulCalibur IV, Mercs 2, Kung Fu Panda, Beijing, GH Aerosmith, FaceBreaker, Hulk, EA Sports roundup.

No introduction is necessary for our latest console comparison feature; you all know the deal by now. Top notch 24-bit RGB screenshots? Check. HD-derived streaming video with crystal clear h.264 quality? Check. Flame-retardant clothing capable of withstanding the Human Torch's nova-blast? Double-check.

Just a couple of notes before the rows and bitter recriminations commence. Beginning with this latest feature, we're now embedding larger videos. There are also extended versions with even higher resolution available as clickthroughs via Eurogamer TV. Make sure you hit the 'high quality' button to get the full benefits of h.264 encoding. If the cropped, slow motion videos are not good enough for you, full 720p 60FPS downloads optimised for playback on both 360 and PS3 are available on the author's blog.

For more in-depth, studied comparisons, don't forget the exhaustive screenshot galleries that accompany each game. Thanks to Eurogamer screenshot viewer 2.0, you can switch the view between both versions of each game at the touch of a button. All games get 720p shots, with 1080p galleries added where support is available in the PS3 code.

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Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09 All-Play

Despite the perfectly snug fit between golf and the Wii, last year's Tiger Woods offering felt like a lazy PS2 port with some token motion control tacked on. The good news is that for the '09 edition, EA has made an appreciable effort to give the Wii a distinct Tiger to call its own. The excellent news is that they've also included most of the new features from the 360 and PS3 versions. The slightly disappointing news is that the motion control, while vastly improved from last year, remains likely to frustrate as many as it pleases.

This is partly because until the MotionPlus add-on arrives, the remote still isn't quite up to the job of truly replicating your swing on-screen. It does a good job of creating the illusion of true 1-to-1 motion capture, with your golfer's virtual arms moving in sync with your own, but the power still seems to be gauged more by the height and fluidity of the upswing than whatever effort you exert in real life. This makes gauging the power of short game strokes something of a dark art - and one the game seems reluctant to help you learn.

Putting is the other problem area. Some people love the new system. Some have come to accept its somewhat quirky nature. Plenty, however, have found it so counter-intuitive that they've dismissed it as broken. It's not broken, exactly, but nor is it particularly well implemented. Unlike the feedback-free drives, putts rely on a twitchy power bar and figuring out the relationship between the level of the gauge and the length of your shot can be a long and irritating process. I even found more success by landing deliberately off the green, and then chipping the ball into the hole from the border rather than racking up shots with the putter.

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EA and Gillette doing huge 360 tourney

Prizes are the best a man can get.

EA Sports and Gillette will be running an enormous Xbox Live competition in October to win a trip to Florida and chance to take on sports stars such as Tiger Woods at their own game.

Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09

Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09

Fairway to heaven.

The myth that EA Sports titles barely change through their various iterations, bar some perfunctory updates to the licensed names, is all too pervasive. So much so that I was planning to pad out this review with a lengthy introduction in which I complained that the biggest change this year was that the graphics for the tee had been blown up to ridiculous proportions, obscuring most of the action. Then I'd say "It's true, you really can't see Tiger Woods for the tees" and we'd all laugh. [And some of us would lose our jobs. - Ed]

Thankfully, that's not necessary (even though I just did it anyway - no way am I wasting a joke that good) since Tiger Woods 09 represents another compellingly polished update with more than enough to talk about. EA will never be able to please everybody - there are still those who cling to 04 as the pinnacle of the series, after all - but to say they're just churning out the same game every year is grossly unfair.

Sure, on paper this edition may just seem to tweak the features introduced in last year's version, but the tweaks are substantial and result in obvious and beneficial changes to the gameplay across the board. The EA GamerNet, for example, is now seamlessly integrated into the main gameplay, as well as having its own menu section. You can still save your favourite shots, holes or rounds and challenge other players to match your performance - but now you'll see these challenges popping up during normal solo play.

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Tiger Woods PSN demo tomorrow

No word on Live version yet.

European PS3 owners should be able to download a free demo of Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09 tomorrow, Eurogamer has been told.