Last night at an event held at the Swig nightclub, EA Sports allowed us to take a few swings with Tiger Woods' debut on the Nintendo Wii. Surprisingly, the game feels quite natural, and if it wasn't for the fact that the club was so crowded, we were this close -- THIS CLOSE -- to scoring a few birdies.The game features some pretty good visuals, including a strong representation of Tiger himself. The real treat, however, lies within the game play. Instead of using the typical analog stick mechanics within the game, players initiate and execute a golf swing with actual arm motions. This means bringing the arms back to set up the power, and then coming straight through with a full-blown swing to execute the shot. The game features a "practice swing" option, giving you an analysis of your swing and letting you know the power and accuracy behind it. We sliced the first couple of swings, but soon found a natural flow that let us nail one right onto the green with ease.
The game also features great control over the aiming reticule. Pressing A allows the player to see where their ball will end up with the right swing, and holding down A and the trigger button with the Wii-mote while tilting it adjusts the reticule, moving it closer (or farther away) section of the hole. This works reasonably well, and has been properly adjusted for the Wii's control set-up.
The only problem with playing the game was not within the software itself, but the surroundings. People kept passing by us from behind, forcing the Wii remote to think that we were setting off the swing early. That resulted in a few missed birdies (grumble). Ah, well, players will be able to swing to their heart's content in the comfort of their own home when the game ships next week. Look for a full review shortly, along with less excuses for our golf game. (Really, the Wii sun was in my eyes. Honest!)