Published and Developed by EA Sports
"If its in the game, then its in the game (and about 20 bazillion other things)"
On the surface, this is the typical EA Sports production. A solid continuation of near perfection from a previous year's title with enough additions to be worth re-purchase. Unfortunately the extensive attempts at replayability create a game far to elementary to hardcore gamers.
To be fair, you must work at finding flaws in any modern EA Sports game, which is the case here. The seemingly limitless amount of customization of created golfers nearly creates a game within a game, the huge number of courses make you wonder how they fit everything onto a single DVD, and special extras such as scenarios, unlockable characters, real time events (varying gameplay depending on the day listed in the XBOX internal clock), and entertainment based arcade-style modes (whew, catch my breath) looks like a game of endless depth.
Very interestingly this game compares very well with my last review of WWE Raw 2. Fun gameplay with much diversity in game types, enormous customization options for create-a-player, and a fundamentally flawed season mode that kills the replayability (the one attribute that has immensly grown in importance in the latest generation of consoles).
The PGA Tour season mode should be the heart of the game. Creating your own golfer, creating your own course, unlocking new characters in the World Tour mode, and various arcade-style modes are meant for nothing more than the occasional break from the PGA. Unfortunately, within this heart of the game lies the most considerable flaw, difficulty.
Imagine a golfer that can drive over 350 yards without sweating, nail every iron shot within 15 feet of the pin, and can score under 50 on any course regardless of pin position and tee location; sounds like fun eh? Hardly. Playing nearly 2 months of one PGA year is like pulling teeth when on a bad day you score at least 10 shots better than everyone else in the field. Winning a major by over 50 strokes is a lot less fun than it sounds. The unfortunate thing is that it doesn't take long for a created golfer to reach this caliber. By simply completing the World Tour mode you will earn enough money to raise your golfer to at least as tough as Tiger Woods (Which is interesting itself since Tiger is near unbeatable one vs one, with birdies or better on nearly every hole on even the most difficult courses, but scores measily 2 or 3 under par rounds in season mode).
Gameplay - 10 / 10
Untouchable golf. No other game on the market, for any system, compares. 'Nuff said.
Graphics - 9 / 10
Create-a-golfer's look phenomenal, and some of the courses make you feel like you are watching a promotional tourist video rather than a hole in a golf game.
Sound - 7 / 10
You will be quite suprised upon firing up your new TW2004 to see an intro-movie with background music "Party Up" by DMX. Regardless of your taste in music, and even though the target audience of the game most likely owns an album of his, it was an odd choice (especially considering Madden contains much more 'feminine' music).
Overall - 8.5 / 10
Solid game, very good addition to any collection. This game goes out of its way to be fun for those who have never even picken up a golf club. Don't expect to be playing this game forever though, the PGA tour mode is a snooze and it isn't fun to play just to make more money and unlock things you won't use.
Suggestions for Developers
- XBOX Live, come on guys just make a deal with M$ already
- More advanced difficulty settings by scaling down player characters. Don't boost up others. I don't want to see Tiger shooting 20 under rounds, but rather have myself struggle to break par on the hardest difficulty.
- Different spin system. Too easy that you can change direction and magnitude of it while the ball is in the air.