Last year, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09 All-Play for the Nintendo Wii just missed the green. Despite its mostly stellar re-creation of a real golf swing with the Wii Remote, annoying issues with putting sensitivity cost it a couple of strokes. That isn't a problem anymore. The 2010 edition of Tiger is as close to perfect as any golf game ever made, with dead-on swing mechanics thanks to fine-tuned controls and the use of the new Wii MotionPlus add-on. This is a brilliant re-creation of real golf, loaded with little touches and tweaks that make it an addictive pastime whether you're a low handicapper, a weekend hacker, or a first-timer who doesn't know one end of a putter from the other. In short, videogame golf doesn't get any better than this.
Thanks to Wii MotionPlus and Precision Putting, greens are no longer a source of unnecessary frustration.
With that said, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10 is more of an intensive refinement of last year's game than an overhaul. You can't slam the game for suffering from sequelitis, though, because the many changes improve the quality of play across the board. The most noteworthy upgrade is of course the controls. As in the 09 game, gripping and ripping are still handled with the Wii Remote, although you can attach a nunchuk and swing in a more traditional videogame fashion if you prefer. To take a shot, you simply stand up, take the remote in both hands like a real golf club, and then go through a lifelike swing motion to blast little dimpled balls into the great blue yonder. It's all very realistic and addictive, and the challenge is almost on a par with real golf. The lack of a ball on your floor is the only thing spoiling the illusion, because in real golf you need to keep your head down when swinging, while here you find yourself torn between keeping your head tucked away properly and watching the screen to see if your movements are being accurately tracked by your avatar.
And they almost always are. The addition of Wii MotionPlus support has made swing sensitivity more authentic than it was last year. Simply plug the MotionPlus hardware (available both separately and in a special cut-price combo pack with Tiger 10) into the base of the remote, and every little wiggle and waggle of the controller is perfectly mimicked onscreen. This is particularly vital when it comes to approach shots and putting. Last year, Tiger 09 came up a little short in these areas. Lack of remote sensitivity occasionally made playing around holes an exercise in frustration. Approach shots from under 100 yards were tough to finesse, and putting required an absurd amount of effort to get even routine flat-lie 15-footers to the cup. At times, it didn't seem possible to even hit the ball hard enough to get it to the hole. This put you in bizarre situations where you had to swing the remote like you were wielding a driver, and it required adopting a lag-putting philosophy from distances as close in as 30 feet.
Neither are problems anymore. Greater control sensitivity allows you to put a more accurate touch on the ball on approach shots, letting you better handle in-close situations where you need to take a little off your swing to get close to the pin. Turning the remote even slightly is now all that you need to do to perform a fade or draw shot, which is often necessary when you're shooting for the green. Putting is completely different this year. The new Precision Putting mechanic causes the onscreen putter to move with every little twitch of the remote, allowing you to apply the same amount of oomph here that you would use on a real golf course. If you have any experience with putting in the real world, you don't even need to look up at the screen to putt; just check the distance and lie, and then lock your head to the ground just like you would on a real green and shoot. Tap-ins are tap-ins. Ten-footers are ten-footers. Sixty-footers are sixty-footers. These improvements are even noticeable without the MotionPlus gadget installed, although club responsiveness is noticeably better with it in place. The bottom line is that you no longer need to worry about clunky controls, just the greens. They are a real handful, too, with a lot of sculpted features and the kind of incredible speed that gives nightmares to even the finest PGA Tour pros.
Multiplayer tournaments give Tiger 10 a much beefier online presence than it had last year.