Sega Master System / Mark III / Game Gear
Les Ellis, the oldest swinger in town, gets out those plaid trousers again
Golf games are a bit of an oddity on consoles. The irony is that most of the people who vehemently defend their existence would be the last people to spend a Sunday afternoon actually traipsing around a real golf course, hitting real golf balls. Still, that's electronic entertainment for you: if it involves any effort then the console equivalent will take all that out of it. Indeed, we, the public, devoured the computer versions of the Leaderboard series with relish. Never before could anyone know so much about the sport without actually setting foot on a course.
It comes as quite a surprise that we should have to wait till now to get a Leaderboard version on the Master System; the version was originally planned a year ago. Meanwhile, games such as Golfamania have provided a steady diet, but none have entirely satisfied the appetite of Master System golfers.
World Class Leaderboard is no different in play from the original Leaderboard, However, it does contain some extras and improvements over the original. For a start, the graphics are enhanced, featuring complex reconstructions of trees, bushes, lakes and even sand bunkers. The game itself is also far larger than Leaderboard, containing four courses. The first three are accurate representations of real courses from around the world (although the RAZE travel budget won't allow me to verify this): the world famous St Andrew's, Florida's Blue Monster at the Doral Country Club and the massive course of Cyprus Creek. The last course is specifically designed for World Class and combines all the toughest elements of the world's courses with the finest greens and longest fairways that any golfer could hope for.
Up to four players can compete in a stroke play tournament: ie, the player who takes the least shots to complete the 18 holes is the winner. There are three levels of difficulty, and a practice range where you can hone your putting and driving skills.
All said and done this is a perfect translation of the original World Class Leaderboard - as far as I can remember the old stalwart. In comparison, Golfamania is purely a simple arcade game. For a real challenge, settle for the original and best golfing series from Access/US Gold.
✔ World class swinging animation.
✔ Heavy detail on the courses.
✔ Outstanding digitised speech.
✔ Neat title music and realistic effects.
✔ Tough enough for seasoned golfers.
✔ Compulsive action in multi-payer mode.
ACCESS/US GOLD 84%
£29.99 • OUT NOW