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Review: Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12: The Masters for the Wii

I’ve been thinking about buying a Tiger Woods Golf game for the Wii for several years now. The moment I saw that this years edition would include Augusta National, I knew this would be the year to take the plunge.

Note on this review: This is my first true experience with Tiger Woods for the Wii (or any actual game console version).  I had a PC version at one time, but that had to be 10 years ago. Thus, I can’t really directly compare this edition with previous Wii.

Overview

As the title would indicate, the game focuses heavily around the Masters tournament, You can, however, choose from 23 different courses to play. (See the complete list later in the post). There are also a variety of pros to choose from in addition to Tiger. You can also, of course, create your own profile. Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12: The Masters utilizes the Wii Motion Plus, but you can still play the game without it. There are five levels of swing difficulty, All-Play, Standard, Advanced, Advanced Plus, and Tour Pro. The Advanced Plus and Tour Pro levels require the Wii Motion Plus. You can also utilize the Wii Balance board if you have one.

Announcers

Jim Nance, the long time voice of the Masters, does the announcing for the game bringing a real feel for the Masters tournament. David Feherty also add color commentary.

Game Play

The game play with the Wii Motion Plus is fantastic. Its very accurate and responsive when you try to manually hook or draw the ball by rotating the Wii remote as you swing. When hitting shots, you don’t have to swing like Happy Gilmore to hit full power shot. A nice easy swing will serve you just fine. I did find that putting and hitting accurate half and three-quarters type shots takes some practice. When I first played I was blasting wedge shots over the green because I couldn’t get the hang of how hard to swing if the shot called for less than 100%. To me a three-quarters shot (75% power) feels more like a 50% swing. When you hold down the “A” button and take practice swings, your swing percentage is displayed, so you use the practice swings to gauge your power .

If you are new to Tiger Woods golf, I highly recommend checking out the Video Tutorials before you get too far into the game. They are short,simple, and very helpful. You can find them in the Options section.

Augusta National

If you are a golf enthusiast, or even a casual fan who enjoys watching the Masters, you’re going to love this experience. Augusta National really is the killer feature of this game. Playing the back 9 at Augusta on this game is perhaps the most enjoyable experience I’ve had playing any video game, ever.

Here’s a look from the tee at the Par 3 – #12

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The ball in flight towards the green at #12…

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Tiger on the Tee at the Par 3 – #16.

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You’ll even have to hit shots from the pine needles when your tee shot goes awry on certain holes.

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Caddie

One of the new features is the caddie. He stands along your golfer, and when playing Augusta National, he is fully decked out in the traditional caddie attire. The caddie will give you suggestions on what shots to play or what club to hit when you select “Caddie Tip.”

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It’s usually a safe and aggressive option. Although, sometimes he has just one suggestion for you. This can be set to always, occasional, or turned off completely in the settings

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The caddie tips feature can be quite helpful, but his chattering can get a little annoying after a while. His verbal advice isn’t anything terribly helpful. Its mostly generalisms like “this put should break right…”

Road to the Masters

The “Road to the Masters” allows you to create a profile and play your way into The Masters by competing (and succeeding) in a handful of events and Tours. You begin on the Amateur tour, move to the Nationwide Tour, the PGA, and finally the Masters.

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Masters Moments

The Masters Moments are found within the Road to the Masters section. There are nine classic “Masters Moments” that you can attempt to recreate. They range from Gene Saranzan’s double eagle in 1935, to Tiger holing out at 16 in 2005, to Larry Mize’s chip in to beat Greg Norman back in 1987. Don’t worry. In many cases you don’t actually have to match the feat exactly. For instance, you need only hit three chip shots within a certain distance from the hole to pass the Larry Mize challenge.

These Masters Moments are fun and challenging. Unfortunately, you have to complete them in order so you can’t just skip ahead to your favorite moment. I didn’t get this far yet, but I’ve read on message boards that recreating Phil Mickelson’s shot from the pine needles on #13 to within 4 feet is extremely difficult.

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Other Games

There is more than just standard 18 hole rounds of golf to play. There is Frisbee golf, which you can play on most of the included courses except Augusta, Mini-golf on a variety of themed courses, Party Golf, and Arcade golf which often a variety of games that mainly require two or more players.

Playing some mini-golf with Tiger…

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Players

Naturally you’ve got Tiger, but sadly, there is no Phil Mickelson. The other pro golfers are Paul Casey, Rhys Davies, Chris DiMarco, Nick Dougherty, Rickie Fowler, Jim Furyk, Zach Johnson, Anthony Kim, Rocco Mediate, Edoardo Molinari, Francesco Molinari, Ian Poulter, Justin Rose, Adam Scott, Henrik Stenson, Camilo Villegas, Bubba Watson, and Boo Weekley. There is also a handful of top women golfers like Paula Creamer, Natlaie Gulbis, and Suzann Pettersen, and about a half dozen made-up golfers.

Courses

In addition to Augusta National, you also get the Masters Par-3 course, which is traditionally played on Wednesday before the Masters begins. Other courses are Banff Springs (Alberta, Canada), Bethpage State Park (Farmindale, NY), Celtc Manor Resort (Newport Wales) Costa Navarino (Dunes Course), East Lake Golf Club (Atlanta, GA), The Els Club Dubai GC (Dubai, UAE), Emerald Dragon (Honshu, Japan), The Greenbriar (White Sulpher Springs, WV), Harbour Town Golf Links (Hilton Head, SC), The Highlands (Stonehaven, Scotland), Liberty National (Jersey City, NJ), Pebble Beach (Pebble Beach, CA), Pinehurst #2 (Pinehurst, NC), Royal Melbourne (Black Rock, Australia), Sheshan Golf Club (Shanghai, CHina), St. Andrews (St. Andrews, Scotland), Torrey Pines (San Diego, CA), TPC Sawgrass (Ponte Vedra Beach, FL), TPC Sawgrass (Scottsdale, AZ), Turnberry Resort (Ayrshire, Scotland), Whistling Straits (Kohler, WI), Wolf Creek (Mesquite, NV). There is also one called the Predator and a Random 18 hole option.

Overview

Anyway you slice it (ha!) Tiger Woods PGA Tour: The Masters is a big winner. If you been on the fence about buying previous editions of this series, its time to take the plunge.

Buy Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 12: The Masters at Amazon.com

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  • http://twitter.com/goodygoodberg David Goodberg

    is there a way to play this without the motion controls? (IE – like a normal controller?). I can’t stand golf games I have to wave my arms around.

    • sportsgeekery

      Yes, you can play that way as well.