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Links 2004


Golf is a game of patience, precision, accuracy, and brains. It's one of those sports that I'll probably never get a chance to participate in. I really lack the patience and I really don't want to invest the necessary funds for the funny clothes, clubs, country club membership, and so on. Fortunately, this is one sport that Microsoft, for many years, has been producing a great product for PC gamers. Since the Xbox gaming console has gained a great deal of popularity, Microsoft ports the golfing series to the Xbox. Golfing sports fans now have a chance to play golf through Microsoft's eyes. You won't even have to get up off the couch to play this game. Sports fans, this is for you.

Gameplay:
In general, the control to this game is similar to EA Sport's Tiger Wood series, where Links 2004 relies on the use of an analog thumb stick. Roll back the stick to charge up power and quickly (or slowly) move it forward to swing, as well as move the stick to sides to get different angles, slice, cut, hook, and so on. Overall, I found it took some getting used too. I repeatedly found myself slicing the ball (of course there was no wind) instead of driving the ball straight to the green. After some serious practice and getting used to it, I found I really liked it. It is a substantial improvement over the older method of click-button-to-power-up-swing and click-button-to-release-and-hit-ball. The rest of the controls let you change your view, your aim, your clubs, and so on. The changing of your view is slightly restriction and you won't always get to see the putting green as you want.

Besides the controls, the actual game has a few different modes. Some of the most notables include, career mode, single round mode, system link multiplayer, and online play via Xbox Live. The career mode is pretty short, but takes some patience and practice to get through. But it can definitely be fun to play through. During career mode you can unlock new balls and club types to increase your performance. As well, you can customize your player's appearance and performance by buying upgrades.

The real strength of this game focuses upon the multiplayer capabilities. In single round mode, you can play a round of golf with 1-4 players on your local machine. The different match types include Stroke, Match Play, Nassau, Skins, Stableford, Bestball Stroke, Bestball Match, Bestball Nassau, Bestball Skins, Alt Shot Stroke, Alt Stroke Match, Alt Shot Nassau, and Alt Shot Skins. In addition you can take advantage of the online multiplayer options. In addition, Link 2004 be used on a local area network using system link to compete against your friends. The game also supports Xbox Live!, which enables you to play people from all over the world. The Live! Support also allows you to download additional gaming content.

Overall, Links 2004 can be a very fun game. The game play can get slightly repetitive after a while, but there is definitely enough variety to keep you busy for many hours. The career mode is a fairly fun introduction to the game, but the real excitement comes from the online multiplay.

Graphics:
The graphics in this game look pretty good. The textures look to be defined pretty clearly. Although some of the details in scenery are slightly rough. But overall, Links 2004's visuals won't be a disappointment.

Audio:
In terms of quality, the audio sounds great. Everything sounds clear and crisp. You're given the option to control things like the background music, volume levels, and so on. The only real disappointment is the in-game commentary, which can get slightly repetitive and annoying.

Conclusion:
When I first started playing Links 2004, I was pretty disappointed with the game. It took a while to get used to the controls and I thought it was too simple and too easy. But when I came back to the game and started playing on high difficulty levels, I found the game was not as simple or easy as I had once believed. The game was quite challenging and I found it was also pretty addictive. Now I'm pretty hooked on golf sports games and can't wait to try out more. If you haven't yet, Links 2004 is definitely worth picking up.