Want to take up the ultimate golfing challenge? US Gold gives you the chance with World Class Leaderboard, the follow-up to the original Leaderboard.
Now you can revel in four totally different courses contained on two cassettes. Three of these courses exist somewhere out there in the big bad world, but the fourth, named the Gauntlet, is specially designed to be the toughest son-of-a-gun you ever laid a three wood on!
World Class Leaderboard's main departure from the original it in the graphics. Gone are the endless blue plains that made the first game a bit of a bore. In its place check out the natty woodland scenes that edge every hole. Gone too are the long, pregnant pauses between each shot. Things move along at a fair old gallop when you are playing a hole. Unfortunately each new hole, and course even, has to be loaded in from the tape (a perfect advert for a +3 version!). This can take some of the enjoyment out of the play as it means constantly getting up to mess about with the tape recorder. I couldn't see why a 128K version was ignored, surely each hole doesn't take up that much memory. Anyway, its a small price to pay for the entertainment contained in this package.
As in the original, the golfer's ability can be entered at the beginning. If you hate to see your ball constantly in the rough because of a bad hook or slice, try out the soppy kiddies' level, the professional level makes things much harder, and even gives you a touch of wind!
Tee up tor the first course - Champions Cypress Creek. This is an American mega-large set-up and contains some of the longest fairways in the world. The first thing you notice is the wood. No, not the wood in your hand, but the millions of trees dotted along the hole. Each is lovingly drawn by the old Spectrum, blue bark and all! The trees can create something of a problem if they obscure part of the hole from the tee shot. If you drive into the top of a tree, the ball falls down dead. If you hit the trunk, it rebounds off into the distance. Shots have to be thought out with a lot of care. If you play a loose shot into the trees it creates all kinds of problems! Luckily the programmers have included the 'punch shot'. This allows the golfer to hit the ball low, under the branches of any nearby tree. A very useful little inclusion.
Cypress Creek is pretty tame next to the second course in the line up - Doral Country Club. This comprises some wicked, twisty holes, plus the generous addition of our old friend the water hazard. The next course is St Andrews, with some of the largest greens in the world. You can easily take three shots just trying to reach the hole from the edge of a green! The Gauntlet is the final course, and what a course. Designed to be the ultimate golf challenge, it certainly lives up to this promise. Pixel-perfect accuracy is needed on most of the fairways to stay on the right side of par. In fact US Gold thinks this course is so difficult that it has created a competition to see who can score the lowest possible round on the Gauntlet. If you feel lucky, there may be a set of new golf clubs waiting for you.
World Class Leaderboard is a vast improvement on the already excellent original. It gives the chance to play real, and famous golf courses in authentic style, from the comfort of your own home. A first-class simulation that will take hours to complete, and even longer to master. For all you budding Faldos and Lyles out there it's a must. Just remember to drive carefully.
Excellent follow-up to the original Leaderboard. The inclusion of longer fairways and trees give it a truly authentic feel.