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Senior PGA Tour Golf (PC) Review

Publisher: EA Sports

Saying that EA Sports' Senior PGA Tour Golf utilizes the same game engine as their "main" golf title, Tiger Woods '99 PGA Tour, would not only be a misnomer but an understatement. It literally IS the same game with minimal differences only in the game setup mode.

That being said, I would advise anyone interested in reading the remainder of this review to first read my previous review of Tiger Woods '99. That review will give you an overview of graphics, gameplay, etc. - i.e. the game engine, the game itself and the game that is also Senior PGA Tour. (I know, I's like starting a new class and realizing you needed to take a "prerequisite" first - but trust me on this one...)

I approached playing Senior PGA Tour Golf knowing that the game engine and the game itself would be virtually similar to the Tiger Woods title. After playing a few rounds my initial knowledge was confirmed and the questions before me became evident. First, why purchase this almost identical game when a very good (although not great, in my opinion...again...see my review of TW '99) EA Sports golf title already exists? Second, if one already owns Tiger Woods '99, is there any reason to even consider this game?

With regard to the first query, I must point out that EA Sports is producing this new title with a suggested retail price of $19.99 - considerably less than TW '99. Furthermore, despite what the media may have led many to believe over the past few years, there ARE other golfers out there besides Tiger (anyone heard of David Duval?) and there are other professional tours beyond the PGA. So if you are an "older" PC golfer (although I think we're all really kids in our hearts) and you have an eye on your wallet, the answer soon becomes obvious. Yes...this is worth considering. I played a round as Chi Chi Rodriguez and had more fun than playing as the "souped-up, arcadized" namesake on TW '99! Touché with the putter, Chi Chi!

What are the downsides to purchasing the title as opposed to TW '99? The major one is the availability of courses for the Senior game. The game disc ships with the TPC at Sawgrass (love it or hate it), the TPC at the Canyons (blah...) and the Colonial Country Club, Ben Hogan's old stomping grounds and a classic, great course. Unfortunately, you cannot purchase any of the TW '99 add-on course discs to supplement these three. So until/unless EA Sports chooses to release add-on course discs specifically for use with the Senior game, your course options are very limited. As is the case with the courses for TW '99, you also cannot import any of the player animations from that game to the Senior title. Other than that, as stated before, the game is virtually the same (the only difference I noticed was in game setup mode, where you could click a "handicap" option for your cyberplayer on/off). There are seven Senior PGA pros whose animations come with the game as well as the ability to create your own golfer.

What about my second question? Well, for hardcore TW '99 fans, the Senior game could be viewed as a potential add-on disc. Why? You can import the Senior Pro animations as well as the courses mentioned above. However, unless you absolutely cannot live without the Senior Pro animations, your money would be better spent on one of aforementioned TW '99 add-on course discs. Currently available are: "The TPC Courses," featuring the TPC courses at Las Colinas, Southwind and Scottsdale - all current PGA Tour venues; "The Tournament Courses," featuring Colonial, Cog Hill #4 (Dubsdread) and Bay Hill - again, all current PGA Tour Venues; "The Vegas Courses," featuring the TPC at the Canyons, Badlands and the Las Vegas Country Club; and "The Monterey Courses," featuring the famed Pebble Beach Golf Links (with its new 5th hole), Spyglass Hill and Poppy Hills. I rank them in the following order: "Monterey," "Tournament," "TPC" and "Vegas". (The TPC at Sawgrass ships with TW' 99).

My final impressions? If you are in the market for a low-priced, solid PC golf game, not obsessed with having Tiger as a player option and OK with the fact that, at this point, you will only have three courses to choose from (although, in Colonial, one of THE best in the EA series), this may be the game for you! If you are a TW'99 owner and solely interested in more courses on which to tee it up, choose from one of the available add-on discs. Whatever you decide, may you hit 'em straight and avoid the yips!

Graphics: 93
Audio: 83
Interface/Options: 92
Gameplay: 88
Difficulty: 75
Overall: 85

By: Chris C. 6/2/99

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