Imagine my disappointment when I found out this is, in fact, not a game about virtual tiger maulings.
As one of the first games to feature famous golfer Tiger Woods, and the only Tiger Woods endorsed game on the Nintendo 64, CyberTiger is an odd mix of realistic-style golf with light fantasy elements. The main twist is in the form of powerups that can be used in a variety of ways. I don't know why EA didn't think that a traditional golf game was good enough, as there weren't many to choose from on the Nintendo 64.
The modes consist of the usual setups for golf, such as Stroke Play and Skins Match. However, as a videogame, there really isn't much difference between any of them; they all involve playing eighteen holes, and may or may not show the action of the other golfers in the form of AI. The only non-traditional mode on offer is the Driving Range. This special area consists of several points from which to whack a total of 25 balls, aiming for targets or moving vehicles or even carnival rides. It's a pretty strange mishmash of objects scattered around.
There appear to be three courses on offer, though one was locked and I didn't feel like playing enough to make it available. I don't know if the other two are real-world courses or designed for the game, but they are styled like real ones, with trees, sandpits, cart paths, clubhouses, etc. I don't know what's “cyber” about the the courses themselves, as I don't see anything special.
Once hitting the tee, the controls are pretty simple and work well. Left and right on the D-pad are used to aim the ball, and up and down are used to change clup. C-up is used to select from three shot types, and C-left and C-right are used to choose a powerup, if desired. Pulling back on the analogue stick makes the golfer pull the club back, then, once the desired power level is reached, pressing forward on the stick will hit the ball. Moving the stick to the left or right during this process can add draw or fade to the shot. If this control scheme sounds familiar, it is because it was later used in EA's Tiger Woods PGA Tour series.
Unfortunately, things start to get dicey after hitting the ball. Holding any direction on the stick when the ball is in flight will add an unnatural amount of spin to the ball when it lands, which can mess up just as many shots as it can save. Also unnatural are the huge bounces the ball will take when landing, as if it were some kind of superball bounding on a rubber surface. Oddly, the ball makes the sound of hitting wood when it hits the ground; maybe the “cyber” part of this is that it's actually a hologram or something. This adds a bit of unpredictability to each shot, as it's never easy to guess where the ball will bounce or roll. If it makes it to the green, the putting system doesn't have a way of “reading” the green, making putting largely a matter of guesswork.
For each hole completed under par, a powerup will be earned. These range from things like a rocket that makes the ball gain extra distance on a drive, a skipper that will make it bounce across water, and a rock that will prevent the ball from bouncing and rolling after landing. Some of them are also unpredictable, so they may end up hurting more than helping. On a par 4, the rocket carried the ball past the hole and into a mysterious black abyss beyond the borders of the rough, but on a par 5 it went only half the hole. They seem a bit out-of-place in what is otherwise a straight-forward golf game, but they at least provide something to break up the monotony. There are nine powerups in all, but I'm not clear on what they all do as there are no descriptions.
For its time, CyberTiger was a decent golf game with a nice control scheme. Today, its controls have been put to use in better, more feature-full golf games on the PS2/XBox/GameCube, and have also been surpassed with the motion controls of current systems that provide a more realistic approach.