If you’re going to re-release what, at its core, is basically the same game every year and expect fans to keep forking over their $60 again and again, you’d better add something worthwhile.

The crew behind the Tiger Woods games is finally starting to get it, having added the Masters last year and now taken a cue from the 2K Sports NBA games by letting us relive its star’s greatest moments.

The ‘This is Your Life’-like Tiger Legacy Challenge, which for our money is the most engaging addition in ‘Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13,’ lets you rehash Tiger’s milestones, starting at age 2, when he sank a putt on the ‘Mike Douglas Show.’ Along the way, you learn some fascinating stuff about the wunderkind, who clearly became better at golf than us by age 5, when he sank his first hole-in-one.

Having to replicate Tiger’s kindergarten feat is near-impossible in real life at our robust ages, and while it’s more realistic to try it in video game form, it’s still too rich for our blood. Now that the analog stick swing method has totally replaced the all-too-easy three-button-click mode, you have to rock the left stick just right to nail the backswing and follow-through. There are several alterations you can make before you address the ball, ranging from stance, to tweaking the point on the ball you’re aiming at.

Go too fast, too slow or let a trace of misdirection creep into your thumb-swing and you’re totally screwed. Which left us trying and failing to match Tiger’s ace as a 5-year-old more nights last week than we’d care to mention.

The later tasks aren’t quite as difficult but just as memorable, although we were disappointed we weren’t able to sex up a Perkins waitress, crash a car in Tiger’s neighborhood or lose $750 million in a divorce settlement.

Tiger Legacy Challenge aside, there’s not a whole lot to differentiate this game from previous Tiger rounds. It’s also obnoxious that there’s a $70 Masters Collectors Edition that adds loads of new courses and other goodies that easily could have been included with the regular game. And there’s little excuse for EA not to spring for proper licensing deals to round up all key tournaments, meaning you’ll have to settle for the “EA Sports Championship” rather than the PGA Championship.

It’s a good thing for the series that the nuts and bolts of the golf are unrivaled. If you want to play a realistic round and not have your character be some dopey cartoon creation, Tiger is your game. And thanks to the Legacy mode, there’s a compelling reason to re-up this season.

It’s just a shame that the game is only available on Xbox 360 and PS3. There’s no version this year for the Wii, Vita or 3DS. Hopefully Tiger is preparing for a comeback on other systems, as well as on the course, as the PGA season rolls on.

Rating: 8/10

Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13 ($60), available on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, was developed by EA Tiburon, published by Electronic Arts Inc. and rated E. The publisher provided a copy of the game for review. For this review, we played the PS3 version for six hours.

Read Phil Villarreal’s blog at becauseitoldyouso.com and follow him on Twitter:@philvillarreal


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