Becoming an Xbox exclusive, Links 2004, sees the transition from the PC to the console. It's a strange move, as the majority of computer golf gamers are business users bored on the road, but then the transition isn't as bad as it sounds.

Microsoft has given the game the usual Xbox graphical shine and the courses (there are 30 of them including real ones like St Andrews) have been recreated so players of the actual courses might have some hope in getting around with a decent score. Rather than rely on a skilful mouse control as in previous versions, it's down to your prowess of the gamepad controller and taking the shot will see it vibrate just to throw you off a little bit more.

As with most golf games the more you play the better you become and the game allows you to hone your skills and improve your handicap as well as opening up further elements of the game such as players and more courses.

For the multiplayer fan Links 2004 adds a much needed golf game to the online XSN Sports Arena and you can spend hours online challenging other players across the globe. With so many other Microsoft online titles offering extra bits and bobs to online subscribers, no doubt extra courses and players will follow shortly.

Verdict

Overall the game doesn't build immensely on previous versions and the move to the console will annoy the businessman looking to get a few quite hours of gameplay when in his hotel room with time to kill. Yet for the golf fans out there with an Xbox this is good clean fun and does warrant a play.