Reminder: Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12 Demo up today

by: Peter Skeritt -
Although it's early enough in the morning where you might have an actual tee time, don't forget that Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 owners can elect to have a virtual tee time with a demo of Tiger Woods PGA Tour Golf 12: The Masters as the demo is live today. It's already available for the Xbox 360 and will be up on the PlayStation Store later this evening. The demo will give players a small taste of what the retail version of the game will bring when it hits stores on March 29th.

The demo presents some changes from the way that Tiger Woods PGA Tour Golf games have been played in recent years. Virtual golfers are now joined by caddies, who offer shot advice and tips on how to play each hole. Using the caddies is optional, although it's recommended for new players to the series or less-skilled players. One area that caddies become very important in is putting. Caddies help players read greens and plot an aiming circle that players can use either as guidance or as a target, depending on the caddy's level of course knowledge. The more you play a course, the more knowledge your caddy gains-- and the better advice that he can give. 

There are some minor control changes to learn for Tiger Woods PGA Tour Golf game veterans. Aiming shots is now done by pressing the left stick up, rather than pressing the B button or Circle button (for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, respectively). It's key to learn this change, especially if you're planning on taking manual shots instead of following your caddy's advice. The Focus meter-- which was an unwelcome staple of Tiger Woods PGA Tour Golf 11-- has been relegated in the demo to calming nerves for long or important putts. This change opens up the game again for fans instead of forcing players into a less-enjoyable game of micromanaging power stats. 

Although the demo does have a Play Now option, the meat of the demo lies in the Road To The Masters mode. In the demo, Road To The Masters is comprised of two parts. The first part takes players to the 18th hole at Augusta National and casts them in the role of Tiger Woods as he attempts to break a tie with Anthony Kim and win his fifth Masters title. Once that hole is complete, the demo shifts to the first five holes of TPC San Antonio. Once those holes are completed, the demo ends and a special reward is unlocked for the retail version, should you decide to buy it. As with the demo for Tiger 11, the Tiger 12 demo allows players to continually gain experience points as they replay it and those XP will follow the player into the retail version of Tiger 12. 

The Tiger 12 demo also shows off substantial improvements in visuals and sound over last year's game. The courses look sharper and great detail seems to have been paid to the virtual holes of Augusta National. The presentation values of Tiger 12 have been greatly increased. Kelly Tilghman and Scott Van Pelt are out on the commentary front while Jim Nantz and David Feherty are in. Nantz and Feherty work together on CBS' coverage of the PGA Tour, and there's no denying that Nantz brings his A game to Tiger 12. Feherty has experience providing on-course commentary for Tiger Woods games, and the two work well together here. The aesthetic package feels closer to a televised event than any previous PGA Tour Golf game has been able to get before. 

The demo is a fairly large one-- over 1.5GB in size-- but is well worth the download if you have even a passing interest in golf or the PGA Tour Golf games. The PlayStation 3 demo will also have PlayStation Move support, for those of you who have already invested in the motion technology. 

Look for a full preview of Tiger Woods PGA Tour Golf 12: The Masters soon, followed by our full review in early April. 

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