Monday, October 23, 2006

Why is it about me?

Matt made reference to a game review in one of his comments, and I'm happy to oblige. My two latest pickups were both from the sports genre, NASCAR 07 and Tiger Woods PGA Tour 07, both from EA Sports.

Both are OK, but neither is exciting enough for me to be really pumped about them.

I'll start with Tiger, since that's the one I've played most recently - and the one that leads me to the title of this post.

Why does it have to be about me?

I've played several rounds in the PGA Tour season mode, and there are a few things that I don't get - things that don't jive with what happens over the course of a weekend of golf on the Tour.

First, regardless of my score, I always tee off last. This just doesn't happen; on Thursdays and Fridays, there's a draw to see who tees off when. And if I'm not in the lead after Friday's round, then I sure shouldn't be teeing off last.

I'd prefer a little more realism here. If I don't play well enough in the first two rounds, then I should have to sweat a little after the final round. Give me a screen that says, "Waiting for all rounds to be completed..." and let me know how I finished up.

Second, it seems as though the field tends to keep pace with however I'm playing. I played one course well, but it wasn't well enough to beat the final score - 38 under. A week later, on a harder course, I played horribly, yet the leaders hung right around even par.

Again, realism is needed. If I suck on one course, that doesn't mean the rest of the field will. If I don't play well enough, I don't make the cut. That's always how it's been, yet that's not how it is in the game.

Then, of course, there are the myriad problems that this game seems to have every year, particularly with the audio. No matter how you've played, Gary McCord likes to tell you you're tied atop the leaderboard after you hole out on 18 - even if you're not in the same ZIP code as the leaderboard. And, around the third hole of each Tour event I've played, McCord tells me it was a great/poor finish to my tournament.

This game had the same problem in the last version I bought - 2005. Surely two versions later the problem would be corrected, right? Hardly.

I keep looking for other, non-sports games that will hold my attention, but those games are pretty rare. I need something to keep me from buying another half-ass product from EA Sports.

NASCAR 07 isn't as bad on the inside, but the game's release date is. It comes near the end of the season. As a result, Elliott Sadler is on the cover. Not a problem, except Sadler changed teams in the middle of the season. So there we see him, proudly displaying that M&M's uniform when he was driving a Robert Yates Racing Ford.

Except now he's in an Evernham Motorsports Dodge. Oops.

The game included a new tryout mini-game that was supposed to help you advance to the top series, Nextel Cup, more quickly than before. Fair enough...I drove well enough that I earned a ride in the Busch series, the AAA cousin to the major-league Nextel Cup.

Except that I dominated Busch - around 15 wins, 20+ top 10s in 34 races. (Truth be told, I did as well as I did because all of the driving aids were turned on - only becuse I couldn't figure out how to turn them off. That is the absolute truth, I swear.) Cup teams would be lining up to get me in their stable, right?

Nope. I got a bunch of offers from second-tier teams. (Really, about fourth-tier teams, since they were all fictional.)

And the rival system has gotten out of hand. If I accidentally tag someone on the track, they understandably get pissed off at me. But then, if I happen to see them again, they ram into the side of my car.

If a scenario like this were to ever happen in real life, there would at least be a fine involved and many questions to answer later. Think about Tony Stewart's run-in with Clint Bowyer (and, eventually, Carl Edwards) at the July Pocono race this year.

Like Tiger, it's not a whole lot different than the game I purchased two years ago.

So, Matt, to answer your question: Ho-hum.


ME said...

Thanks for the reviews!

Does Tiger have the FedEx Cup? I know the 360 version does, just wondering about the PS2.

P.J. said...

Well, you've convinced me to stick with the NASCAR game I have and not go for the new one. I don't like the sound of some of those things!