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Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2001
Score: 89%
ESRB: Everyone
Publisher: EA Sports
Developer: EA Games
Media: CD/1
Players: 1 - 4 (MultiTap)
Genre: Sports

Graphics & Sound:
If you've loved EA Sports' graphics so far this year, then get ready to appreciate Tiger Woods Golf 2001 even more. The 3-Dimensional courses and golfers are rendered about as beautifully as the actual Pebble Beach course itself. In fact, besides Pebble Beach, all six of the PGA Courses are designed perfectly, from the placement of trees all the way down to the rocks in the canyons. The player models compliment the graphics also, although their animations seem to look a little choppy in a few places. The only other slight flaw I found was when the ball came down from a drive, the ground itself did not smooth over, but more like rectangular shapes for a surface.

The sounds are just as great for Tiger Woods. Whether it be cheers or snickers from the gallery, or little spurts from Tiger himself, the audio is top notch. The biggest reason is because of the background noises, like the swinging of the clubs, the bouncing of the balls, and surroundings around you. I can't stand playing golf games where you are either bombarded with loud music or you feel like you're playing deaf because there's nothing to be heard for miles. Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2001 provides the best mixture of both scenarios.

TW PGA Tour 2001 provides the actual fist-pumping, adrenaline rushing golf that Tiger has brought to the game. Play as him or as the seven other pros on actual courses in a number of different styles of play, such as Practice, Tournament, Stroke Play, The Skins Game, Match Play, or even in a PGA Career. Throughout each match, you'll be able to fade, draw, or spin your shot for the best line of attack. You can even change your stance for the amount of power you want to give on each shot. It'll almost feel like you're actually out on the course.

If you play golf, then you probably already know what the games provided are, but in case you don't, today's your lucky day. Stroke, Tournament, and Match Play are all the same: shoot for the best score you can. The difference between the three is with Stroke, play with up to four players, Tournament is with everyone in the PGA, and Match is One-on-One. The Skins Game is for up to four players, and each hole is worth money. So for each particular hole, you are trying to beat everyone with a birdie while they get pars. That way, you get the cash. If you halve the hole (or tie with someone else), the money carries over to the next hole, making it that much more important to win as many as possible. The PGA Tour Challenge is one the best features I've seen for a golf game in a long time. You start out as an Amateur golfer, trying to make it to the bigs. However, the only way you'll make it to the pros is by matching the Amateur Tour challenges (i.e. beat these three guys in Skins play, etc.). Along the way, you earn money for your efforts, and when you finally make it to the Tour, you'll play to be the EA Sports PGA Tour Challenge Champion. What could be better?

Golf is never easy, no matter how you play it. With that said, I suck at putting in real life, and I sucked at putting in Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2001. I'm not saying it was incredibly hard to putt, but it wasn't incredibly easy either. To go along with that theme, the degrees of difficulty are Novice, Amateur, and Pro. Obviously, the biggest difference between the three is the distance of how far you can drive the ball. Besides those levels of toughness, golf consists of wind and other weather factors. Even the slightest pick up of wind will affect your shot, so be aware.

Game Mechanics:
From what I believe, this is the second year that EA Sports has made it possible to use the Analog stick on your Dual-Shock Controller, adding a certain degree of difficulty there too. You have to be very precise when pushing it forward, as that will determine the direction you send the ball. It is also possible to use the 3-Click Swing, which is considered standard for all golf games. Besides the controller, the loading time was impressively fast, and when you only have to use one memory block on an EA game, you know it's all good.

PS2: When I changed the settings on my PS2 of Disc Speed to Fast and Texture Mapping to Smooth, I found very little change. The loading time itself was still fast regardless. However, I did see a little smoothness in the player models themselves. I was hoping the rectangle thing on the courses would smooth over with the PS2, but apparently not.

Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2001 is one of the best golf games out there because it provides an entertaining and realistic golfing experience. If you're looking for a quicker way to get a tee time, then definitely focus, and get around to playing this game.

-Red Dawg, GameVortex Communications
AKA Alex Redmann

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