The state of video games these days can be summed up by the incomparable country twang of Brad Paisley, in his song Welcome to the Future.
A line from the song says – “I’d have given anything/to have my own Pac-Man game at home/I used to have to get a ride down to the arcade/now I’ve got in on my phone.”
I managed to skip the video arcade generation, but one of the first memories I have of playing a video game was on my parent’s old Windows 95-run computer in our basement.
Links LS 98 featuring Arnold Palmer kept me entertained for many an hour taking me away to the famous golf links of Kapalua and Latrobe, long before Tiger Woods paired up with EA Sports.
IGN GameSpy called Links LS 1998 “the sequel to one of the greatest golf titles of 1997 […] Even though the courses are the same, the enhancements make the playing experience new once more. New to Links LS 1998 is what Access calls ‘look ahead rendering,’ which calculates your ball’s final resting position and begins to load the correct scenery into memory as the ball is in flight.”
Ah yes. To borrow another classic music quote, the times they are a-changing.
On March 29, EA Sports will release another version of their wildly successful golf video game franchise: Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 12: The Masters and this time the game will include a feature that no one thought would ever occur.
Players will be able to tee it up on the famous and exclusive links of Augusta National Golf Club, virtually strolling the hallowed grounds down Magnolia Lane, serenaded by the soothing baritone of Jim Nantz.
The game has featured many of the world’s most famous courses before, including St. Andrews, TPC Sawgrass, Pebble Beach, and Bethpage Black, just to name a few.
Other games have tried to top the success of EA Sports but the TW franchise continues to have a stranglehold on the market, even without having Augusta on its famed list of places-to-play.
In an announcement made in early January, Augusta National Chairman Billy Payne said that as a result from the partnership with EA Sports, 100 per cent of Augusta National’s proceeds will be contributed to the newly created Masters Tournament Foundation, which is designed to annually invest in development programs for the game of golf worldwide.
It was an attempt to foster an appreciation in the history and traditions of The Masters which led to Augusta’s partnership with EA Sports three years ago. Just as EA approached Tiger to be the face of their franchise beginning in 1999, Augusta has done the same here, in order to capitalize on “one of the popular entertainment choices of kids today.”
With all due respect to Mr. Payne, the release of Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12 will not only keep the younger generation entertained, but people of all ages who are finally able to get as close to Augusta National as most ever will in their entire life.
Peter Moore, president of EA Sports, said in a statement that “for more than a decade, the Masters tournament has been the most requested and coveted feature for (the franchise) among our fans.”
Not only do players get the hallmark gameplay of the Tiger Woods franchise, this year’s edition features a collection of Masters-specific challenges including ‘Masters Moments’ (playing through historic moments as players measure up against some of golf’s legends) or ‘Tiger at the Masters’ (reliving each of Tiger’s four wins at the Masters by attempting to equal or beat his scores in each round of the tournament).
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12 retails for $59.99 and is available at video game retailers everywhere for the PS3, Xbox 360, and Nintendo Wii beginning March 29.
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