Links Ls 1999
It's almost impossible to make a bad golf game these days. The history of the genre has tended to fluctuate, starting in the early days with simple and fun titles such as Leaderboard anti PGA Tour Golf, moving on in later years to more complex games such as Links and David Leadbetter's, then veering wildly for a (mercifully) short time into the realms of the bizarre and experimental - International Open Golf, for example. Fortunately the organ grinder is back in control of the monkey and things appear to be getting back to normal.
The Golf Clone
Maybe too much so, since it appears that the formula for creating the Cperfect' golf game has been found. I've played many different titles in the past half a year, including Links LS '99, and frankly they're all the same. All have practically photographicquality graphics, all have a wealth of single and tournament play options, all have fully customisable players, and all apparently have the same choice of three control methods - the two-click, the three-click and the slide-the-mouse-around-wildly-and-hope-you-hit-the-damned-ball. Designers of golf games please note: this mouse-swing thing doesn't work. It was a novelty that was sort of okay in Empire's The Golf Pro, but it just hasn't really caught on. Unless you're designing your whole game around it and providing all sorts of options to deal with it, it's a complete waste of time.
He Ain't Tiger Woods
Links LS '99 is the latest in this incredibly long-running series, and to be honest, even Arnold Palmer's wrinkled face on the box seems to be suggesting that retirement would be an ideal option round about now. Obviously you're looking at the score and thinking it's a bit harsh. Well let me explain. Links LS '99 does very, very little that sets it apart from: a) any other golf game currently out there, or b) any previous version of Links. A few multiplayer Internet options sure, butthen PGA Tour Pro, did the same thing ages ago. Slightly improved graphics? Well, frankly I've taken a long and hard look at both this and the last version of Links and been hard pressed to tell the difference. The 30-odd customisable modes of play are a nice idea, but a redundant one, since you know full well that when you've got a few mates round to play a golf game prior to now, you'd always make up your own rules anyway.
More than that, Links LS '99 still hasn't addressed the problems all the previous versions had: a confusing and unfriendly aiming system, an impossible-to-judge power meter, and a lack of shot adjustment options (eg no foot stances or club face adjustments). Links LS '99 is exactly what every other Links title has been - all style and no real substance.
Download Links Ls 1999
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP
Golf-hating individuals are in for a surprise - they could find themselves actually liking a game like Links LS. Even without thumbing through the manual, it's easy enough to just thwack your way around the courses, pretending you know what you're doing. But then you notice things like foot-placing, and realise that the angle of the club might actually affect where the ball ends up; you start thinking, 'Hang on, I'll look that up in the comprehensive manual which came free with the game. Thank you, Eidos. Thank you.' Before long you're getting into the physics of the thing, and not only is it dark outside, but you've also grown a beard and the Millennium Dome has crumbled to dust.
It's your pretty typical 'hit small ball into small hole' stuff, incorporating the usual plethora of digital golfing paraphernalia. You've got your gratuitous fly-bys, FMV-captured golfers in pastel-coloured sweaters, and banal voiceovers from an American star commentator - who's probably famous only to golfing aficionados and the Sky Sports Couch Potato Club.
What is so unique to Links LS is the attention to detail and the wealth of options. Before wheeling your clubs around the Kapalua or Latrobe courses, you can take a virtual tour around them or even swot up on Arnold Palmer's aviation history. If all this 'multimeeja' stuff excites you, then consider it a bonus; everyone else would be advised to avoid it. But in no way use this as a stick with which to beat the game, because it's a most impressive example of how to produce a golfing sim that should appeal to almost everybody.