Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09 PSP Review

Sports games should feature improvements over previous versions. Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09 for PSP has a couple of interesting features to keep golf enthusiasts happy, but a couple of nagging quirks take some zing out of Tiger's swing.

This year's edition has a new swing meter where you see exactly how much power goes into your analog motions with a color-coded bar located right beneath your player. For the most part, the golf physics are accurate and the game plays fine, up to the point you reach the green. It's here where the putting suffers. To putt with the right amount of power, you need to place your thumb in just the right spots and deal with the overly sensitive analog stick. Otherwise, you'll sail right past the hole, even if it's just a few feet in front of you. If this is too difficult, at least you can activate the old push-click controls, which work so well for Sony's Hot Shots Golf games.

Tiger Woods' presentation isn't amazing, but it gets the job done. The players look nice and there's a wide variety of courses to choose from, each with their own supply of dog legs, sand traps and trees. The announcing team is okay, but don't have much to say. The sound effects are suitable golf noises, but nothing more. Hey, it's not like we need honking car horns or something, right? It's golf.

Like previous releases, Tiger Woods 09 is all about building a better golfer. You work through the PGA Tour mode, defeating a certain number of opponents to land on the cover of Golf Digest magazine. You can also earn experience points each time you play, although the system's unbalanced, with games earning you more or less points for no particular reason.

Finally, there's the addition of the EA Sports Cup mode. Here, you work through a variety of pre-selected holes. Once you beat them, new holes open up for you to play. This mode has good variety and there are plenty of new challenges. Unfortunately, the fun mini-games from last year are a no-show.

Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09 has limitations, and something should've been done with the putting game outside of selecting a manual option. Aside from that, it's a decent golf offering for PSP owners, especially those seeking a challenge.

What's Hot: Decent fun, you can choose between analog or click-button swinging, great variety of courses, EA Sports Cup.

What's Not: Analog putting is frustrating, missing mini-games, broken stat system, not much changed from last year.

3/5