For many, the Tiger Woods PGA Tour franchise regained a lot of appeal thanks to what the Nintendo Wii provided: motion control. Realism and approachability are two large aspects of Tiger Woods that EA continues to try and improve year after year. With motion control, the approachability and realism not only aim to appeal to casual gamers but the hardcore gamers as well – at least that is the idea.
With the Playstation Move making its way to store shelves in September, a more precise control experience atop an already solid title is a welcoming addition. As mentioned in the Sony press conference this morning, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11 will release a free update for Playstation Move support in time for its release. Surprisingly enough, topping the Wii version will be difficult due to the limitations of the Playstation Move controller.
After attempting the one-hole demo multiple times, it was quite relieving to see just how intuitive the controls are. As anticipated, the controls are very similar to that of the Nintendo Wii version: approach a swing by holding the trigger button and let her rip. However, because the Playstation Move allows for much more precise controls, fidelity and proper approach is key. In turn, the “zoom to aim” mechanic becomes much more critical than alternative versions of Tiger Woods.
It is at this point that I quickly realized the difficulty behind attempting to adjust the location during “zoom to aim.” Why? No D-pad on the Playstation Move controller. Because of this, you are forced to rely on adjusting the position by pointing the controller at the screen and moving the reticule with motion controls. Ultimately, this becomes extremely clumsy as it is quite easy to overshoot the position you desire.
While the default sensitivity of the motion “zoom to aim” feature varies depending on where the ball lies on the course, it was disappointing to learn that this sensitivity cannot be adjusted in the options menu. On the fairway this was not as much of a problem since the sensitivity is automatically set to high and the range in which you need to move the reticule isn’t as minute as on the green.
Once on the green, the impact of not having a D-pad becomes most apparent. Utilizing the new motion “zoom to aim” on the green currently feels extremely clumsy. Despite the fact the sensitivity is automatically set to low, adjusting the location of your putt ends up becoming a chore. Unfortunately this then results in frustration as one may find themselves resorting to using more focus for more putt previews just because of poor controls.
Another impact of not having a D-pad is spin. Speaking with one of the representatives from EA Sports, I was informed that as of today, the spin game mechanic has not been implemented and it has yet to be decided how that will be carried out in-game. A myriad of different choices came to mind, one of the simplest being the use of the navigation controller or the dual shock controller itself. However, there are currently no plans to use the navigation controller but I was informed that it isn’t out of the realm of possibility.
The implementation of the spin will surely be something that Gamer Limit will be following up on as the worst case scenario, omission, would be extremely devastating to the game. Please note though that the possibility of omission was never mentioned by representatives of EA Sports. Ideally, they follow through with my favorite idea of implementing spin by swinging your controller in a circular motion in the direction you wish spin to be executed. We shall see though.
Despite the disappointment in the “zoom to aim” feature, the 1:1 controls Playstation Move is capable of was implemented to near perfection from what I played. For me, being able to play an HD, more realistic looking version of Tiger Woods with true 1:1 motion controls was overwhelming. And while the lack of a D-pad has its negative impacts, it may very well be something that takes some getting used to. Whether it one-ups the Wii version though is something we will have to wait until September to find out.
Keep your eye on Gamer Limit for a full review of Playstation Move support in Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11 immediately following its release.