Rated “E” for Everyone
Tiger Woods PGA 2012 “The Masters” is a bit more polished than last year’s version. When it comes to sports though, there isn’t much to improve upon from year to year except for some tweaks and polish. PGA 2012 is no different. There are some improvements on graphics, but for the most part it’s still a clean game on pretty courses. One thing I noticed is that Tiger Woods’ name is much smaller on the cover than it used to be.
Some of the classic courses make a return. You get to start off your season with TPC Sawgrass; St, Andrews Links; Pebble Beach; East Lake; Celtic Manor Resort; Liberty National; The Greenbrier; TPC Scottsdale; Whistling Straits; Waialae; Costa Navarino; Atlanta Athletic Club; TPC San Antonio; Royal Melbourne GC; Augusta Par 3; and Augusta National. Graphically, the courses are all pretty and represent the courses in real life. Some are much harder than others as you will find out on your own as you begin your career.
During the game you have the opportunity to be sponsored. Based on how well you do, sponsors will approach you and ask to sponsor you. The benefit of being sponsored is that if you complete their goals you will be rewarded with equipment in the pro shop being unlocked for you to use. You do not need money or experience points (XP) to purchase items. Your sponsors make them available to you as you gain experience and improve your game. Each sponsor has four levels with certain objectives to complete that vary between the sponsors. So go ahead and get a sponsor you so you can use some expensive clubs and wear non-golf style (fun) clothing.
Prior to embarking on the PGA tour you have to work your way to getting your PGA card. You have the opportunity to start in the National Tournament. The better you do, the quicker you will earn your PGA card so you can start your season and PGA tour. I won the first two courses then was offered a chance to play the Q-course. I won that and got my card. So three courses and I was in.
During the PGA tour you have the opportunity to set up your season to play from 1-4 rounds. This all depends on how many games of golf you have time for. You accrue points throughout the season so finishing in 1st place is not always a necessity. Being consistent will get you the green jacket. One particular thing I found annoying was that I could not play the first round of the season because I did not qualify, yet I was unable to qualify because I couldn’t get back to the previous tournament I was involved in. Once I accepted my PGA card I moved up and then couldn’t play the first round. The other annoying thing was that some courses can only be played if you buy them…with real money. Yeah, that’s a croc if you ask me. You lose points when you do not play all the courses. Some courses have prerequisites before you can play on them. Once you skip an event though, you cannot go back to it later. You lose all potential points you could have earned on that course.
The lamest part of the game is your caddie. He is about as dumb as a box of rocks. He will offer suggestions for you and even if he says the ball will go in the cup; sometimes it doesn’t even if the putt preview shows the path going right into the cup. This is very frustrating and worthy of throwing your controller in a pond…if there is one near you. Your caddie will improve as you play on courses and earn course mastery points. Until that point, your caddie is largely unreliable. Before you head off on the tour, I would play the course mastery levels as practice and try to make your caddie a bit better at his job before you start the season where every shot counts.
There are a series of rounds called “Master the Moments” where you get to play in real life historic situations. There are about 8-10 situations to play in, some are multiple holes while about half of them are one or two precision shots. In some cases you need to tune your clubs or get better ones before you can master some of these moments.
You get XP when you play the game and this is how you improve your attributes. You get XP even if you lose and you also get XP if you play online against your friends in unranked matches. You also earn course mastery when you play online as well. Even if you are killing time with buddies, you earn XP and can complete course mastery objectives. That’s kind of nice to earn XP when just having fun. It’s a good way to build up your personal golfer.
Online play is not as boring as it might seem. You can play “simultaneous” which means the eye gouging experience of watching someone else tee-up and hit the ball is nonexistent. As you play you will see a streak from their ball crisscross the screen. The game goes by much quicker this way. There is also a shot clock so if someone is dragging their feet they will be penalized by being slow.
PGA 2012 has its moments of glory and it’s frustrations as any golf game real or fake. It’s slightly more polished than last year’s edition like most sports games get from year to year. PGA 2012 is sure to please any golfer who can’t actually get to Scotland to play at St. Andrews. If you decide to hit the links just beware of your caddie. Sometimes I think mine is a saboteur, but other than that the game is as good as other Tiger Woods golf experiences.8812abc09 1223