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Scene, Sunday, September 9, 2007

It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing.

That’s why I don’t see any point in playing “Tiger Woods PGA Tour 08” on anything but the Wii.

Sure, the E-rated game from EA Sports is available on most other systems — and it looks really cool on the Xbox 360 — but I’m not going to sit and adjust a knob and poke a few buttons when I can really swing at a digital golf ball.

The game takes advantage of Nintendo’s motion-sensitive controller to permit a full swing for most strokes and a gentle wave for putts. Angle, speed and follow-through are all important — making the video game a very satisfying simulation of the real thing.

However, if that’s too much action for you, sit down and set the controller to work with smaller wrist movements. If that’s still too much, attach the Nunchuck controller to mimic the thumb-twiddling controls used in other systems.

Of course, most of this was available in the original Wii version of the game that was released last season. In fact, there isn’t a whole lot that’s new.

The biggest additions include an interesting putting mini-game, a simulation of the FedEx Cup playoffs and some tweaks to the game play involving “confidence” and “taunting.”

When taking “confidence” into consideration, the console analyzes a hole and the player’s past performance in similar situations. It then adjusts the size of the circle that marks the ball’s target. Higher confidence results in better shots.

In “taunting,” opponents in multi-player games can blow horns, increase the wind speed, cause the screen to blur or cause a ball to spin more. Of course, this is the sort of unsportsmanlike conduct that could prompt someone to launch a Wii remote into the back of your head.

Graphically, the game is a little disappointing. Last year, the backgrounds and animations seemed serviceable, but they haven’t improved much since then. In addition, the “Game Face” player-creation system delivers uneven results because it can be tricky to use. (An additional drawback is the inability to put glasses on your character — which may explain some of my shots.)

However, those who prefer graphics over game play won’t be playing “Tiger Woods” on the Wii anyway. They’ll be twiddling their thumbs.

Platforms: Wii, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable, Nintendo DS

On the Web: tigerwoods08/


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