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Game Reviews
Links LS 2000 10 Course Pack
by Access Software/Microsoft


The Links golf series has always managed to hold some measure of backward compatibility with its old courses. For years, I have had quite a collection of courses as new ones were added to the game as the latest version of Links arrived, and the old courses just kept right on working. In fact, the first version of the game to carry the "Links LS" name, the 1997 version, offered upgraded SVGA versions of many courses for owners of the old Links 386 series. Microsoft owns the Links franchise now, and in addition to continuing the greatest golf series to grace the PC, they are compiling a large collection of (mostly) older courses compatible with Links LS 2000.

The Links LS 2000 10 Course Pack is precisely what it sounds like - 10 courses not included with the Links LS 2000 full game. You will find versions of the Bountiful Golf Club, Castle Pines Golf Club, Entrada at Snow Canyon, Firestone Country Club, Kapalua Plantation, Kapalua Village, Latrobe Country Club, Pinehurst NO. 2, Sea Island (The Cloister), and the Three Canyons Fantasy Course. If these names sound familiar, it's because most if not all of them are previous courses offered either as part of an older Links title or as an add-on course. My memory isn't perfect but I do know that Entrada at Snow Canyon and Latrobe Country Club came with Links 99 and that Kapalua Plantation and Village were part of the 1998 package. I remember playing some of the others as add-on courses way back in Links 386 - in fact, I don't know if there ever was a SVGA version of the Firestone course.

All ten courses have been upgraded to the visual specs for Links LS 2000, even those that were never part of the "LS" series. It is nice seeing the Firestone course in all its glory and the Three Canyons fantasy course is both beautiful and fiendishly clever in its design.

You can do a lot worse than shell out $20 for 10 Links courses, even if you've seen some of them before. If you think about it, that's only $2 per course. If you're anything like me and have been following the Links series through its upgrades as long as I have, you might even own most of these courses already. That is the only case where I might suggest not grabbing this package. Since these may be installed into the game without copying data from the CD, it is convenient to be able to pop it in and have access to 10 courses without taking up hard drive space.

Graphics
Sounds
Gameplay
Interface
Overall Impression

Bottom Line: 10 Links courses upgraded for use with the Links 2000 game engine. If you don't own previous versions of the game, $2 per course is a good deal.

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