Hello kiddies! It’s your good old pal Joker here again with another review. This week I will be taking a look at The Masters or Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12, whichever you prefer. Before continuing I would like to add that the much talked about “How to Fuck a Porn star” mode has been removed. Also not included in the final title was the mini game I really was looking forward to where you get to play as Elin Woods and smash the shit out of Tiger’s Buick with his Nike branded 7 iron. But I’m sure there will be plenty of amazing action in store for all 17 people who purchase this game every year.
Now at first you might be saying, “Joker I have been having so much fun playing Tiger’s 2011 edition of the annual golfing simulator. What’s in this year’s version that warrants me shelling out another $60 for a game I basically already own?” Well I will tell you. As the games title suggests for the first time in the franchises storied history you will finally get to play in The Masters at Augusta National Golf Club. Fans of the series have long asked for the addition of The Masters and finally at long last EA has decided to shut them the fuck up by throwing a bone the consumer’s way. The game also features the debut of commentary by the one and only Jim Nantz and the return of David Feherty. There have also been a few new golfers added to this year’s roster. Rickie Fowler, Bubba Watson and Zach Johnson will be featured in the game along with the already stellar list of golfing talent.
If you’ve played even a single Tiger Woods game over the years, then the game mechanics of The Masters should be familiar to you. It’s always as if no time has passed between iterations of the game, and that’s in a good way. Sure, every year comes with tweaks and ‘improvements,’ but the core gameplay has remained the same for a long, long time now. This means that, if you’ve spent the time and effort to get good at the game, it will still come pretty easy to you, and you should be able to get to the meat of it quickly.
It is for you, then, that the new caddie function will seem especially useless. Instead of you choosing your club length and aim yourself, there’s now a little helper that tells you what he thinks would be the best scenario, given your lie and distance. And, to his credit, he gives you a couple of choices, which essentially breaks down to you taking the easy way out and losing a stroke or two, or being a little more bold and trying to tear the course a new one. Here’s the problem, however, with that. After years of playing the game, you will already be likely to attempt (and make) shots that no actual golfer in their right mind would even try.
Now, this is a risk/reward scenario, and you might shoot yourself in the foot, but when it pays off, it pays off in a big way. Your caddie, however, doesn’t seem to see things the way you do, and even the ‘risky’ shots he suggests are going to put you in a hole, from which you might never recover. You can disable the caddie function, and I highly suggest you do so, especially if you’re a veteran player, because you’ll be looking at a lot of long, difficult putting if you listen to your caddy. This is especially true since, and you are not told this at the start, your caddie improves his judgment with your gameplay, so he starts off not being a particularly good one. I can be my own not-particularly-good caddie, thank you very much.
Speaking of putting. Putting in The Masters might actually be harder than putting in real life. I have played a lot of mini golf arcade games in my day and fancy myself to be pretty damn good at them. But this fucking game is in another galaxy when it comes to putting. Several times I would find myself on the green with just two strokes on a par 5 only having to five put my way into the fucking cup no thanks to my dumb shit of a god damned caddie. But I digress. Goosfraba. Goosfraba.
The problem with the putting is that it can be really difficult to read the greens on your own. And on the other hand if you put trust in your caddie it can usually wind up bad, because as I stated earlier the quality of your caddies advice may vary. So when he tells you to aim over here and hit it this hard and you do all those things expecting a good outcome only to find your ball rolling 35 feet past the fucking cup, the word frustrating often comes to mind. Or maybe I would like to take my digital golf club and shove it sideways directly up my caddie’s digital corn hole.
Putting aside the putting there are some good things about this year’s installment. The “Road to the Masters” mode is extremely deep. Almost as deep as my caddies ass hole after I’ve performed my 7 iron colonoscopy. You will be able to take part in 16 events leading up to The Masters tournament. Starting at the bottom in Pro Am events, than joining the pros and eventually being invited to Q school where after completion you can participate in the Masters.
I should add that if you want to 100 percent complete this game you will need to crack open your wallet for a hefty amount of DLC. Day 1 this game launched with an additional $230 worth of content available. Now I have heard of day 1 DLC before but EA has just taken it too far. With online passes, day 1 dlc, and content specific to certain consoles it seems there is no end to the amount of greed EA has when it comes to collect our hard earned money. Now while you don’t need any of this DLC to complete the game, if you don’t it will leave a glaring hole in your career progression and leaving a 100% completion rating impossible with out shelling out some serious cash.
Beyond the career mode there are also quick game modes, versus where you can play locally or online against a buddy. The Online mode isn’t particularly deep but you can earn career xp to level up your created golfer and spend those experience points on leveling up or unlocking new clothing items from the pro shop.
From a presentation stand point I would personally say the game feels slightly dated. There hasn’t been much done in the realm of updating the graphics. Character models look dreadful even the games star player Tiger Woods doesn’t look as good as he should when you look at the treatment players have gotten in other EA games. The grass looks sort of flat and there isn’t any real detail. The audio however is top notch. Commentary by Nantz and Doherty is fantastic and really helps to set the mood in The Masters.
Overall I would say that Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2012 is a pretty good bang for your buck. Even if you purchased last years installment I would think that fans of the series and newcomers alike will be drawn in by a chance to finally chase down and win the coveted Green Jacket. And while there are some rough patches in the gameplay I would still find it hard to get a better golfing experience without leaving the comfort of your living room.
|Amazing physics, good commentary, THE MASTERS!||Poor character models, too much downloadable content|