Sunday, June 21, 2009

Leader Board Golf

Leader Board golf is without a doubt the best golf game on the Commodore 64. It is in my opinion close to being the best sports game on the C64 and it figures in my top ten game list. The graphics are great, the swing control is well designed and the three levels of difficulty (novice, amateur and pro) along with the four available courses make it fun for everybody. By the way, up to four players can play using the same joystick.

The video has been sped up for maximum viewing pleasure. As you can see, I am by no means a golf virtuoso. And no, I am not walking on water ... it's just that when the ball lands near the water, the program draws you in the water but on a little round patch of land. Notice how you have time to see the polygons being drawn even when it’s going twice as fast as in real life :).

It’s quite an easy game to pick up. To swing the club, you press the button to start the back swing and release when the power meter (on the left) is where you want it to be (0 to 100%) and press again to actually hit the ball. If you hit the ball early (before the middle mark on the right), the ball will hook left, late and the ball will hook right. To help you select the right club, here’s the correspondence between clubs and the shortest/longest distances traveled (go through your bag using the directional pad up and down buttons):

* 1W 156/271 yards
* 3W 135/245
* 5W 128/234
* 1I 110/220
* 2I 100/210
* 3I 88/202
* 4I 70/189
* 5I 67/181
* 6I 55/169
* 7I 50/153
* 8I 36/138
* 9I 26/117
* PW 11/83
* PUTTER 1”/64′

In case you’re not too versed in golf club terminology, W stands for Wood, I is short for Iron and PW means Pitching Wedge. The shorter the maximum yardage, the more sensitive to wind the club is and the less roll the club gives to the ball upon landing.

In the pro mode, you have to worry about the wind so watch the wind sock for wind direction and force (the higher the stake, the more powerful the wind is). When putting, look at the slope indicator to adjust the direction and power of your putt (the higher the stake, the more slope).

After Leader Board golf came World Class Leader Board golf with more realistic courses based on real links (Champions Cypress Creek, Doral Country Club, St. Andrews and Gauntlet Country Club). To me, not as good as the original because it takes much more time to reload the graphics after each shot (with the trees and all). Plus, it’s kinda nice not to have to worry about sand traps or trees in the way of the shots ... but that’s just me.

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