Search For Posters!
  Join the SGN staff!
Help Wanted
Release Dates


About Us

The Sports

Partner Links
Auto Insurance Quote
Irvine Moving Companies
LA Moving Companies
Brand Name Shoes

[an error occurred while processing the directive]

Tiger Woods 2000 PGA Tour (PSX) Review

Publisher: EA Sports

Background Info

Just the second weekend into the New Year and the professional golfers are already at it in Hawaii. So it seems timely that EA Sports has delivered its newest golf game, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2000, in time for the new golf season. This year, Tiger gives us basically the same features as the 1999 edition, but several improvements have been made along the way to make this year's package a fun play.

Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2000 features five courses and eight events. With one to four players, there is enough variety to keep even the discriminating golfer happy. You can put yourself in the shoes of professional golfers Tiger (of course), Justin Leonard, Brad Faxon, Lee Janzen, and Mark O'Meara. Golfing takes place at five PGA courses - Poppy Hills, Sawgrass, Summerlin, Badlands, and The Canyons. Throw in a well-implemented analog swing control, and you've got virtual golfing bliss.

Presentation/Graphics : 95
The courses in Tiger Woods 2000 have a mixed amount of detail. The golfers themselves look gorgeous on the aging Playstation. EA opted for motion captured scenes of the five golfers. When hitting with the woods and irons, golfers may take huge swings. The animations are done perfectly. The pants and shirts crease as the backswing starts, and the swing of the club is very realistic.

Golfer animations after the ball is hit vary, although there are a limited number of variations. Tiger occasionally pumps his fists after a great putt. All the golfers throw their putters down after barely missing a long putt. I particularly like the animations when trapped in a bunker off the green. If the cup is much higher than the ball, once the ball is hit Tiger will jump up and down trying to see where the ball has landed.

The course graphics vary depending on the type of course played. Courses range from desert to the more traditional ones typical of Augusta. Trees look natural, and there is plenty of variety in the flora. The fairways are bordered with tall and short trees and even the occasional shrub. The trees have a mixture of shapes and colors that lead to a natural look for the courses. In addition to the horticultural aspect of the courses, expect all the golf trimmings - cart paths, bunkers, roughs, and on and on. In fact, on some holes you may even find a perch for the television crews. On the desert courses, the landscape has a mixture of desert plant life and rocks. The backgrounds are not as well-defined as the course graphics, but ultimately they provide a sense of the location being played.

Fairways have the freshly mowed look to them, as they appear as alternating stripes of two hues of green. Sand traps have a natural beach sand color to them, and roughs are a lush green. The greens have a quilted look. By having many squares with various shades of green, the effect is to both break up the natural flat texture of the greens and to serve as an indicator of how the putting green breaks.

The ball animations add to the total graphics package. On the fairways, picking a higher number club may result in a divot. A few chunks of dirt and grass fly through the air and land a few yards up the course. If playing in a multiplayer mode, you'll notice the divots have not been replaced. I have yet to see a professional golfer replace a divot in real golf, and EA simulates the subtleties of the game exactly. Shanking a ball into water hazards results in a short splash, and of course a penalty. Finally, balls travel in realistic trajectories. Depending on the club and type of stroke selected, balls have low to high angles, and they are modeled with perfection in Tiger Woods 2000.

Since the game is pretty much static, the traditional issues which plague other titles is not an issue. The game moves at a fast pace, even as the camera follows the ball down the course. About the only issue that can be raised is the occasional clipping of graphics in some spots, although it never affects the gameplay.

Presentation/Audio : 96
I had the privilege to play the pre-release version of Tiger Woods 2000, and at that time I was blown away by the audio. Fortunately EA did not mess with the audio much more. I thought it was near perfect then, and I think the same now. By default, there is no in-game soundtrack. The sound during play is all ambient, much like the NCAA Football series from EA. Fans of that series will definitely appreciate Tiger 2000. The golfers bark out descriptions of their shots, although the majority of statements are made by Tiger. In fact, he ends up commenting on the other golfer's strokes. I don't know if it's a flaw in the programming or intentional, but sometimes Tiger will say "Great shot" when an opponent's ball goes off the fairway. Maybe it's sarcasm, but I have the feeling it's just a random comment. The comments made by Tiger about his own shots are right on. Hooks and slices are greeted with an "Ooooh Tiger" comment.

But the real beauty in the audio department are the other sound effects. While unseen, the off-course gallery cheers on good shots and laments with you on poor shots. For those of us who don't quite have the talent level to hear those cries of joy and despair, we will find the other golf course sounds recognizable. Planes fly overhead with incredible realism. Birds quietly chirp, insects sound out, and cars pass in the distance.

Likewise the ball sounds enhance the total experience. Balls get whacked off the tee, and woods, irons, and putters each have different sounds to them. Splashes are heard when a ball lands in a water hazard. When a balls impacts a solid obstruction, the sound depends on the hazard. Rocks sound different compared to trees. Furthermore, you can hit through some of the smaller trees and shrubs. When the ball gets hung up by the leaves or goes through, you'll hear a rustling of leaves.

The whole audio package really makes Tiger Woods 2000. In this particular case, EA stood by their mantra - If It's in the Game, It's in the Game.

Interface/Options : 95
Tiger Woods has plenty of options to keep you busy for some time. When the game starts, the opening menu prompts the user for Single or Tour modes. In Single mode, one round of golf or specialty games are accessed. In Tour mode, you play in a five-tournament championship. Selecting Single mode, a second screen opens up revealing the types of play available. At any menu, additional options can be invoked with the square button. However, options change from menu to menu, and even some types of games have unique options. Once a game mode is selected, you can choose up to four golfers for play, and the golfers may be CPU or human controlled. Supporting the Multi Tap, Tiger 2000 allows play with four human players.

Once on the course, pressing the start button brings up yet another options menu. Some of the available options include checking your golfing stats, such as putting average, average distance, and your average number of strokes on holes. This menu can be displayed at any time during a match, and it also provides the ability to instantly save your progress. Thus, you don't have to wait until the end of a match. The in-game options menu also gives you the opportunity to tune your analog controller.

If you have an analog controller, by all means use it, as the game plays so much better with it. If you don't have an analog controller, Tiger 2000 utilizes the traditional button-click approach to swings. The first click of the X button starts the swing on a swing meter. By pressing the X button again to set the power of the shot, the swing starts back and you must center it perfectly for a straight shot. Any mistake and it's a hook or slice.

Using the analog stick, the gameplay is enhanced and gives a better experience. The analog controller can be set up to your swing tendencies. If you've got perfect up and down motion on the stick, you'll be fine. But if you tend to move the stick slightly to the left or right when moving the stick, your final position can be used as the neutral position. Thus, the slight left or right motion may have previously resulted in a hook or slice. Now the ball flies straight.

When pulling back on the stick, a meter at the bottom of the screen starts to count from 0 percent upwards. The maximum I have gotten the backswing to is 109 percent. At any time between the maximum and minimum values, you can start your downswing by pressing the stick forward. Alternatively, you can quickly let go of the stick when it gets to the point you like and then press forward. This is a good technique for finessing shots.

Aside from using the controller to hit the ball, the controller has several other features. The L1 and L2 switch clubs in your bag, and the square button determines the type of shot to use (full, pitch, chip, or punch). Aiming the shot is done with the digital pad. Getting a view of the hole from above is achieved with the circle button, and the R1 and R2 buttons can be used to alter the view. Finally, the elevation changes on the hole can be read by pressing the triangle button. This is of particular importance on the putting greens, where the game exaggerates the elevation gradients to give you a sense of how the ball will break.

Moving through the menus is easy, and the number of options is decent. The manual does a thorough job of explaining all the available options. The manual provides pointers for executing better swings in both the digital and analog modes. Finally, memory card usage is light. Game saves require only two blocks of memory.

One final note on the analog controllers is that for some reason I have difficulty with one particular third-party controller. The first-party Sony analog controllers work like a charm, but there may be some problems with other pads. The problem is that it is difficult to initiate a backswing in analog mode, even after setting up the analog characteristics. There's no way to know which controllers have this problem beforehand, but by all means make every attempt to play the game in analog mode.

Gameplay : 95
As mentioned earlier, Tiger Wood PGA Tour 2000 has several game modes. The Single mode games include Stroke Play, Tournament, Practice, Range, Foursomes, Four Ball, Shoot-Out, and The Skins Game. The Range mode is the only pure single player mode. In Range mode, you can work on your driving, chipping, and putting. Once in this mode, you can select your lie and practice to your heart's content.

Stroke Play is traditional golf with up to four human or CPU controlled golfers. In this mode, you play a round of golf where the lowest score wins. In Tournament mode, you play for the cash in an 18-, 36-, or 72-hole tournament at one course. Practice mode lets you and any others play on particular holes from any course. For some team golf play, the Foursomes competition involves alternating players for each stroke in a game of match play. Teams score a point for winning the hole, regardless of the stroke differential. Matches end prematurely if it's impossible for one team to catch up. Four Ball is another team competition. However, in this mode, each golfer on the team plays his own ball, and the low-stroker on the hole nets a point for his team. Like the Foursomes mode, Four Ball is match play competition.

The Shoot-Out game is a quick, three-hole event. Four golfers play the first hole, and the high scorer gets kicked out. The next three play the next hole, and the high scorer gets dropped. On the next hole, the field is reduced to two players, with the high scorer again getting dropped. Of course, byy the end of the third hole, only one golfer remains. Ties are broken by a skills-type competition. For example, golfers involved in a deciding tie may have to come closest to the pin from some point on the course.

Finally, The Skins Game is a replica of the popular golf shoot-out. Each hole is worth some dollar amount and a skin. The winner of the hole picks up the cash and skin. If two or more players have identical low scores, the money and skins are rolled over to the next hole. And just like the real Skins Game, the virtual one packs an equal amount of suspense and entertainment.

If you are in the game for the long haul, the Tour mode provides hours of enjoyment. To become the Tour champion, you must win the most money over the course of five tournaments. With four round tournaments, the Tour mode keeps you busy with a total of 20 18-hole rounds of golf. And with single-player golf rounds taking approximately 30 minutes, you're guaranteed to be at this mode for over ten hours.

The game certainly has plenty of modes, and the play equals the options. Golfing in Tiger Woods 2000 is an exercise in relaxation and fun, much like real golf. As far as hitting the ball around the course, the AI automatically selects a club for you. Of course you can override the default at any time, but more times than not, it's the correct club for the situation. The physics of the struck balls seem right on. Depending on the type of club and shot, the trajectories change. For high-numbered irons and the wedges, the balls have little travel after they hit the ground. Conversely, woods and low irons have low trajectories and roll on the ground for nearly 20 percent of their total distance.

The key to winning in Tiger Woods 2000 is understanding how each club works in various conditions. The mechanics change if the ball has a good lie as opposed to when the ball is in the rough or a sand trap. Furthermore, each club has a yardage potential associated with it. For example, your lie may be such that the pin is 65 yards away. The club selected may be a pitching wedge with a distance potential of 100 yards. To effectively reach the green, you simply can't whack the ball with the maximum power. With this example, one would estimate a shot needs 60-70 percent power. In analog mode, this is easily done. Starting the backswing, the power increases. As it hits the right number, let go of the stick and then hit the stick forward. If, when you let go on the backswing, the power is not what you want leave the stick alone. A second or two later the golfer will bring his swing back down and you can try again. No penalty.

Even with this tremendous control over the amount of power in a shot, the courses present plenty of challenges. The terrain of some holes causes balls to roll great distances, and sometimes into the rough or behind hazards. To counteract poor shots, Tiger Woods 2000 utilizes a feature called Tiger Control. The default option is to have Tiger Control activated, and its purpose is to add spin to the ball once the ball is in the air. You can view this feature in two ways. First, it's a way to cheat and try to recover from bad shots. The other is to add strategy to the game. It's difficult to nail a cup from off the green with a direct hit, but by adding some backspin to a shot the ball may roll into the cup. Golf purists can turn the option off.

Once on the putting greens, the analog control keeps getting better. Using the digital or analog methods, you have to estimate how much power a putt needs to travel a certain distance. A movable target is shown on the green with a distance indicator. Hitting with full power on a flat green will make the ball travel to the indicator. Going uphill maximum power leaves the ball short of the target, and going downhill leaves the ball long. Thus, you use both the target and the shot power to sink the putt. With the digital control, you use the standard three-click method. But in analog mode, the putt visualization is slightly better. As you pull back on the analog stick, a bar travels from your putter to the target, giving you an indication of the shot's potential power. While essentially the same as the three-click method, it seems more natural.

The AI opponents play like their human counterparts. No golfer is going to be the best on the course at all times. And in Tiger Woods 2000, golfers make mistakes. Hooks and slices occur as the game progresses, and you'll quickly discover who has the best short game. I found playing a round of golf with three AI controlled golfers to be very balanced and never thought for a moment that the computer was cheating. In fact, on one hole, the AI seemed flawed. Brad Faxson had a terrible lie, and the pin was about 100 yards away across a lake. On about four or five consecutive shots he sunk his ball. It seemed a better strategy at the time would have been to hit backwards onto the course and try again.

Replay Value : 88
Depending on the type of gamer you are, Tiger Woods 2000 either has plenty of replay value or limited value. While the Tour mode will take at least ten hours to complete, some may be put off playing the same course four straight times. But even with that said, the Skins Game mode is incredibly fun, especially as you root for or against the AI or human controlled golfers to carry a skin you can't win over to the next hole. For the golf fan, I can't imagine the replay value being anything but high.

I view a game like Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2000 in a way similar to fishing games. Not that that's a knock against this game. On the contrary. I personally find games like Sega Bass Fishing on the Dreamcast to be very relaxing. In much the same way, I found Tiger Woods 2000 to be relaxing to the point of being therapeutic. Some games in your library will keep your fingers busy or brain moving at light speed, but this game has a slow enough pace to be relaxing, but not too slow to take away from the fun of the game.

Overall : 94
So while some of you will never watch a golf tournament on television (much like many don't watch bass tournaments), Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2000 is the type of game that will keep you coming back. The variety of the game modes and relaxing pace will endear all but the high-strung gamer. Perhaps the only thing holding the game back is the limited number of courses. However, the courses that are present are incredibly challenging. The ambient sound on the course is shockingly realistic, and the course graphics approach PSX eye candy. Throw in a well-implemented analog control scheme, and you have yourself one dandy golf package on the Playstation.

By: James Smith 1/11/00

© 1998-2006 Sports Gaming Network. Entire legal statement. Feedback

Other Links:
[Free Credit Report  |   Car Insurance Quotes  |   Designer Shoes  |   Outdoor Equipment

MVP Baseball 2003
Street Hoops
Mad Catz Xbox Hardware

Inside Pitch 2003
MLB Slugfest 20-04
Tennis Masters Series