While Tiger sits out another year on the DS, PSP fans receive another edition of the addictive golf franchise from EA Sports. Tiger Woods 07 doesn't vary the formula in the realm of game play in this edition. Changes this year come from game modes and the addition of full online play.
It doesn't matter what additions or changes are made to the game with a new release. It's become a small religion for die hard fans to eagerly anticipate creating their golfer with the intuitive, always expanding Gameface feature and take them onto the links. In true RPG fashion, players earn skills by winning and passing challenges. Money leads to better clubs and other items (like a +2 club shaft of power).
Instead of the stilted and awkward Rivals mode from 2006, Tiger 07 adds in PGA Tour season play, something that should have been standard. Specifically for the PSP, it's designed for shorter play sessions. Tournaments are only two rounds, and short challenges appear on the calendar to improve your golfers skill. An option to skip the opposing players shot and just see the result is something that should immediately be added to the home console versions.
The course number stays the same at a solid dozen, providing a nice selection and variety. Also, while the numbers provide the same stat on the box, the number of new courses is incredible. Bethpage is new to the PSP, as is a new fantasy course set in New York's Central Park. Deleted are two additional fantasy courses to make room for real ones like Pasatiempo and Cog Hill.
Detail has been increased all around, while the color has been brightened for a sharper experience for the eyes. Pebble Beach looks rebuilt thanks to the richness of the green used. This doesn't lead to easier greens. The slopes are still indicated by grid, though the controls have been mercifully improved. Analog putting with precision is now possible without overshooting on nearly every shot. Power can also be added to a putt for the first time. This eliminates some of the irritation when you're stuck between putter levels.
On the fairways, power and spin are handled on the R trigger. Using the analog stick while applying an additional blast to the ball is difficult, and for some it may even seem unfair. Other versions have moved the boost to a face button, and this causes the PSP to be slightly left behind. A new meter shows whether or not the ball was hit straight, though its value is minimal when the stick has a mind of its own.
As with 06, this update comes with an exclusive mini-game, and it's a definite highlight. Shooting gallery sticks the player with a wall of glass and each pane has a value (or de-value). By racking up multipliers and points, the goal is a simple high score – it's a mad rush when in multi-player to score points. The putting frenzy from 06 is also back, though the excitement level isn't there when the shooting gallery is available.
Online via infrastructure is smooth, easy to set up, and nicely varied. The number of tweaks and changes to the difficulty keep things fair and level. While it does take a little of the excitement, both players play alongside each other at the same time. This erases the need to load a new golfer each swing. It's only mildly distracting when on the greens, since you can see the other player's ball moving towards its goal.
Unlike other PSP ports, Tiger sets itself apart. This is not just another year of Tiger Woods. The handheld version varies enough to warrant a purchase of this in addition to a console version (or two). Woods 07 is an original PSP product, and the extra care taken to make it a success is evident from the first swing.
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 07 is rated E (Everyone) by the ESRB. This game can also be found on: PC, PS2, PS3, Xbox, Xbox 360 and Mobile Phone.