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EA's Record-Breaking Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12: The Masters Is A Hole In One (ERTS)

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Sports games are frequently centered on upgrades. Whether they are graphical or physical, the annual sequels are more often tweaked than they are completely rebuilt from the ground up.

Occasionally, the genre is taken in another direction due to a special event (such as the Olympics) or some other major occurrence. In Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12: The Masters, EA Sports (NASDAQ: ERTS) has remade the franchise for the most prestigious tournament of the sport: the Masters Tournament.

Every element – from the Masters flag and logo on the cover of the box to the in-game menus and Masters-driven career mode – is catered to the Masters Tournament. This is a great addition for golf enthusiasts and average gamers alike, as they will have more to conquer in their quest for career mode supremacy.

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If you are simply looking for a great game of virtual golf, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12: The Masters has that covered as well. The swing stick, adjustable camera views, putting mechanics, putting meter, ball spin, and virtually every other feature from last year's game (Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11) are back in full force. Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12: The Masters includes a caddie feature that provides players with a virtual helper who will offer advice on selecting a club, make other recommendations, and perform a host of intuitive duties should you choose to take advantage of them. This makes it easy for beginners to jump into the game with little more than an eager thumb that can't wait to test out the precise swing controls.

But alas, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12: The Masters is likely to be most popular with those who have previously enjoyed a game in the series. Knowing this, the developers have given players the option to turn off the caddie, allowing them to bypass the helpful tips and auto selections.

Graphically, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12: The Masters is on par with its predecessor. Character faces are rich, realistic, and finely detailed with intricate features. The facial expressions are a tad stiff at times (no doubt a byproduct of the current generation of game consoles), but the character animations are top of the line. The golf course layouts and designs are wonderful; next to stepping onto a real course, this is the most beautiful golfing experience a person can get.

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As an added bonus, the Nintendo Wii and PlayStation 3 versions of the game support real-time motion control features that allow players to swing their controllers (a PS Move on PlayStation 3; a standard controller with MotionPlus on Wii) as they would a real golf club.

Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12: The Masters isn't a mammoth step above the last tour, but as far as annual updates are concerned, you won't find many that are more rewarding than EA's latest iteration of golf. The gameplay is stellar, the controls are well made, the graphics are polished, the replay value is high, and the Masters Tournament helps ensure that golf enthusiasts are going to be playing this game for a very long time.

Posted-In: EA Sports electronic arts Golf Masters Tournament Nintendo Wii PlayStation 3 Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11Tech

 

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