Links LS, by Microsoft
Posted: 05-Feb-2001

3 out of 5 Mice

Vendor: Microsoft Type: COMMERCIAL

Reviewer: Judd Spitzer Class: GAMES


Related Review: Links LS Review by John Larue

All right avid golfers, it's time to hit the links on your Mac! Since computer games have been around it seems there has been no lack of golf games on the scene to ensure the combination of simulation and skill could go hand in hand. Links LS introduces us to Pro Golfer Arnold Palmer, and if we choose, we can have him play along with our game. The CD comes with a quicktime video biography of his life, tours of private courses and golf resorts.

The good stuff Links LS has some very strong points as a golf game goes.

  • The vivid terrain, and golfer animation make this golf game very watchable. When a golfer gets upset it is visible in the animation, although I never saw my golfer throw a club.
  • Nice tool panel on the bottom of the screen. You can easily and quickly select the club that you are going to use just by a quick click of the mouse. You can also see your distance to the pin, check your score card, and more all from the game panel.
  • You can personalize your golfer to your specifications, from Pro golfer to never before played novice.
  • Mulligans, Rehits, and "Gimmes"!


Needs Improvement
The shooting interface is pretty typical of most golf games I've played. You hold the mouse button down until your are ready to bring your swing back, then release on the line for the perfect hit. This game however doesn't seem to be as forgiving on your hits, and many times you find yourself in the rough on your first swing off the tees.

Aiming your shot. I tried to use everything on the control panel to change the direction of my player's shot. Without the manual, I think I was at a disadvantage, because it was nearly impossible to change the direction of the player. I think if the online help was better, I would have easily overcome this problem. Other golf games seem to make it much easier to move the player to compensate for course conditions, however, I wished that this feature was more fully implemented.

Setting up the shot on the green. They say you shoot for show, and putt for dough. If that's true, then I'm not making any money playing against Mr. Palmer. It seemed as if the computer knew how to set up shots on the green perfect every time. I myself attempted to set up shots, but it was merely a frustrating visual attempted, compounded by not knowing how hard to hit the ball with the putter. Guess I need to use the practice session.

A gaming tutorial for at least shooting one hole would make this game much more pleasurable.

Scoring
Now for the scoring... scores based on 1 to 10, where 1 is the worst and 10 is the best.
Playability

8

Design

9

Interface

6

Keeping my interest

5

Use of Mac interfaces

3

Overall Score

6



Final Analysis
I think that I expected more from this golf game than it had to offer. I have played the Jack Nicholas Golf Game, which I bought for 25 bucks at an airport. It offers more bang for the bucks, such as a course creator program so I could design my own golf courses. While having the feeling of playing on REAL golf courses is great, I just don't think that the amateur necessarily appreciates or cares about it. Maybe if I had actually played that course in real life I would notice how the art imitated life. I do think that the frustrations that you feel on the real course will translate directly over to the computer game. By hole 5 you'll be +20, easily!