By Al Giovetti, 04/23/97
Links LS 1998
Links LS won the 1997 Codie Award for the best Sports Software Game. The Links series is one of the most award winning series in computer sports game history.
Over the years, Links' production team at Access has produced over 20 Links Championship courses that can be played with the upcoming version of Links LS. The Championship courses are compatible but lack the level of detail seen on the Links LS 98 game.
How do you go further up when you're already on top of the mountain? You sprout wings and fly! After winning nearly every possible award for a sports simulation with Links 386, ACCESS Software had to dig deep and stretch the limits of technology to bring you the next generation of Links--Links LS. So what's new about Links LS? Every stroke, every blade of grass, every contour, every chirp...
Links LS 1998:Yes, The Best Can Get Better! The inside story of what the geniuses at Access Software Inc. are doing Curious about the future of your favorite golf software? Here's some GREAT news. Gone are the three-year waiting periods between Links golf simulator upgrades. Access Software President Bruce Carver has announced a new annual-upgrade schedule for the world's most popular golf simulator. Links LS 1998 Edition will be available June 1997 with more than 25 new features and enhancements. The tight-lipped designers at Access Software have a collective twinkle in their eye when you mention the next version of Links LS - the 16.7 million-color golf sim featuring Arnold Palmer that recently won the SPA CODIE Award for "Best Sports Software Game of the Year". "We won't relax our pressure on the envelope," says Carver, "This new version of LS will take realism to the next level, and it will redraw just shy of the speed of light." Unnamed sources within the company hint at a "more diverse" collection of golfers available in this Native Win95 version of the game. New modes of play and exciting new camera views are among the 25 additions to the world's most popular golf sim. Steve Witzel, VP of Marketing at Access adds "Those who purchase the currently-available 1997 version of Links LS will be pleased with a generous upgrade offer when the 1998 Edition is released."
Courses: Play the 36 holes of the Kapalua Plantation and Villiage Courses which include a Virtual reality tour of the Ritz Carlton, The Kapalua Bay Hotel, and Palmer's Office and Workshop. Also included are Palmer's home course, Latrobe. You can also play over 20 Links Championship courses that are not as beautiful as Kapalua or Latrobe, but are playable and a window into just how good the new courses look when compared to those of the past.
Play golf using the awkward stroke producer system that substitutes the unrealistic mouse for the real golf club, and a dusty computer screen for the wide outdoors. It has to be a miserable day out when you will prefer playing golf on a machine to the real thing, especially when we are talking about Hawaii. But then many of us cannot travel to these courses and the computer makes an economical, if less satisfactory, alternative.
Some of the games you can play include scramble, alternate shot, stroke, skins, match and best ball formats. These special rules golf games make the game more interesting and enjoyable.
The Kapalua course really restores your faith in computer virtual reality with everything litterally pretty as a picture. Resolutions start at 800x600 in this new game with over 8 camera views to enhance situational awareness and the illusion of being there. 16.7 million colors also enhances the picture and simulates reality better than ever before in any game, much less a sports simulation.
New stunningly beautiful water reflections make the game even more realistic. Textures, colors, and sky backgrounds add to the illusion of realism that has gone leagues closer to the real thing. Screen updates are even faster with the look ahead rendering of the next view while you are still playing on the prior view. This will cut screen load times in half and make the game more fun to play. Screen load times were the price you paid for the beautiful graphics, but they will now be more tolerable.
AnimationMotion capture of Arnold Palmer's swing, approach, and reactions after the follow through add a sense of realism. Now if they could only get Arnie and the caddies to walk or ride next to me as we move along the fairways and greens of the courses. Links LS 98 will have two additional animated golfers, a man and woman, in addition to Arnie and the three golfers seen in previous games.
Greens will have waving flags, airplanes, helicopters, birds, and animals moving over and through the courses.
Utilities\ Digitized scorecards can be viewed while playing and printed at any time. Scorecards look and print just like the ones from the real courses.
Multi-player FeaturesInternet and local area network support now includes up to 8 players on 8 stations with Microsoft Direct Play. Off-line and on-line tournaments and "Links Tour" play allow you to play against human and computer opponents and vie for top money.
Future PlansThe Access Links LS 98 team plan to digitize more courses and personalities for future games, including sites of the Ryder Cup, PGA Championship, US Open, and Golf Digest 100 Courses.
Cheats, Hints, Walkthrough
ReferencesAccess' Links LS 98 Web Site