Links Championship Edition
Written by Daniel Westerstal   
Wednesday, 21 September 2005
When people hear the words golf game they almost instantly think of the Links and PGA series. Both are very successful sports series, personally I always thought that the Links series was a bit better. We decided to take Links Championship Edition 2001 for a test ride to see if the brand Links still stand for good golf games.

We really had our hopes for this game both for its playability and extensiveness. Links Championship Edt comes on four CDs, when installing the game it’s a lot of juggling discs, it should have been on a DVD. It was highly uncommon in 2001 to publish a game on a DVD though.

The four CDs are packing a lot of heat. There are a number of different courses, not just two or three as in ordinary golf games, Links comes with thirteen courses. The courses vary from really easy ones to hard ones. The easy ones are sometimes so easy it’s almost childish. However the harder courses are littered with bunkers and water, quite a challenge.

Hitting in Links might be a bit frustrating if you are playing for the first time. As always you are using the mouse when swinging. Clicking the mouse button after aiming will cause a slider to start moving, when it moves to a certain point you click once and then you click again and off it goes, hopefully. Using this method the developers have made it possible to fail miserably or make superb shots if you master the technique. In the game there are three different swing methods that you can use; easy, classic and pstroke.

The graphics hasn’t come that far. Sure the scenery is beautiful with trees, water and detailed grass. The problem is the characters, they look like videotaped humans inserted into the scenery, and that’s exactly what they are.

There are a number of pro players you can choose to be or play against, including Annika Sorenstam, Mike Weir and Arnold Palmer. But there is no Tiger Woods, not very surprising since he has his own golf game over at EA Sports.

This game is very frustrating when you start playing it. But after just 30 minutes of play you will be able to grasp it pretty good and the fun begins. Playing Links Championship Edition is actually quite relaxing, it does feel like real golf, still virtual though. The funny thing is that the playability lasts, the game doesn’t get boring after a couple of rounds.

The game has pretty much all the feature that you would like in a modern golf game. You can choose to play against the computer, a friend at the same computer or over the Internet. It’s possible to design your own courses, which is a standard feature but nevertheless nice.

Playing against friends is actually one of the better parts of the game. It’s almost like going out and taking a real round of golf.

Overall Links Championship Edition is equipped with everything a good golf game need, playability, a bunch of features, nice environments and it’s possible to play against friends. This game is one of the better golf games out there, if you like golf you should get it.

Links Championship Edition contains 4 previously unreleased courses, as well as the original 5 courses and the 4 courses from the Links 2001 Expansion Pack. It also includes the Arnold Palmer Course Designer wherein you can build your own courses.

Related: Sim Golf
Developer: Microsoft Game Studios
Website for Game: N/A
Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios
O/S: Windows 95/98/ME/2000/XP (Does not support NT)
Cost of Full Game: N/A
Year of Release: 2001

Pentium II 266 MHz, 48 MB RAM, 4 MB VRAM
Tested on:
AMD Athlon 64 2.2 GHz, 2x512 MB RAM, Geforce 4 64 MB

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