This review is more of a specific view of this games major fault, as I see it, which underlines a problem EA have been forcing on its customers and is getting worse. As for the game play and modes, I see no real change from previous additions that warrant a new game or reviewing for that matter, which has long since been the norm with the Tiger Woods series (and similarly other EA Sports titles).
EA and Tiger Woods 13 pushes the limit to what gamers are prepared to accept in terms of a one off payment for a game, to the point where this year's incarnation gives the gamer starting out little to pick from but lots to pay for. Of the 36 courses on offer there are only 17 available to play.
Of the courses that are locked you can pay to play a round of golf on them. One round will either cost you 6000 in game coins (earned as you play, 6000 coins will take about 7-8 rounds of 18 holes to gain) or you can pay one pound 59 of real money to play one round of 18 holes on that course. To unlock the course outright takes a large task of completing a set of objectives at that course (paying for rounds so you can complete them). Alternatively you can unlock unlimited play at one course for 18,000 coins (the earnings of about 20-25 rounds of 18). Unlocking eleven of the locked courses can be paid for at around thirty two pounds (or for the pretty much unobtainable 150,000 coins). Put basically it will take a large investment of your time to unlock courses.
Additionally, pin packs (in game boosts) can be bought for a large sum of in game coins or again for real money. As an example if you were just starting out a 15 pin pack would cost nearly four pounds with a 4-5 rounds of 18 at an unlocked course to afford. It's worth noting it would take a huge amount of playing to save enough in game coins for bonuses if you are constantly paying for rounds of golf or attempting to unlock locked courses (a lot of the online challenges are played at locked courses as well).
EA once again allow you to pay real money to level up in career mode, which some may decide to do rather than trudge through this completely unchanged mode again. two pounds 39 of real money will grant you instant access to the next level. Golfer attire can also be paid for, a set of largely uninteresting t-shirts and clubs can set you back nearly four pounds.
Of course you don't have to pay for these extras but those returning to the games will be dismayed at having to earn the same equipment and attire, the same levels etc that they had previously already achieved. There's no new incentive to play.
EA now view games as just the beginning of a cash cow that potentially could make them double what was originally paid by the customer, with nothing new or exciting added to warrant any investment. Tiger Woods 13 takes this to a new quite unbelievable low making you buy mere rounds at courses or trawling through hours and hours of play to get unlimited rounds on one course (being able to unlock courses through reasonable play is not too much to ask). What you get when you buy the game is really not enough and is not transparent to the customer as to what they're really getting.
Fans of these titles would be wise to hold onto older copies and more importantly stop buying these newer games until EA get the message that it's simply not acceptable business practice.