And so we return to this most exclusive of golf clubs, the one with no sign of any expensive German saloon cars in the car park, no luridly-patterned Ronnie Corbett-style pullovers, and no real book of rules. Outlaw Golf is back for another round in the imaginatively-titled ...2. Developer Hypnotix has delivered a golf game that - for all its irreverence towards the sport - is well above par. There's no case of sequel-itis to treat here, just a fun golf game with a host of amusing diversions and flavours. Here's just a few modes, briefly described for your pleasure, just a taste of what to expect from OG2:
Baseball mode invites you to play a round of golf with said sport's rules and up to four players on the course. Instead of the usual stroke-based scoring system, in this mode, a picture of the four bases determines how well you're doing. How you play on each hole will decide the type of hit you get, and to score, you'll need to get one of your men to round the bases back to home.
Next up is a multiplayer delight called Bingo Bango. For many people, the most frustrating part of golf is putting. You can do everything right up until that point: fantastic drive, good approach shot, find yourself putting for birdie, and then fall to pieces with a three putt and finish with a bogey. In Bingo Bango mode, the end result isn't the only thing that matters. Two to four players can get it on in Bingo Bango, and there are three ways to score in this game:
A) Be the first player to reach the green and you will get a point added to your Bingo bank. B) Be the closest player to the pin when reaching the green and you will get a point added to your Bango bank. C) Be the player with the lowest number of strokes and you will get a point added to your Bingo bank.
Add the points up at the end of the round to determine the winner.
Pick Up Sticks is a two-player only mode, which gives you the opportunity to stick the boot in on your opponent when he/she is down. The winner of each hole gets to take a club from the loser. Start by taking away their driver, and it's almost certainly curtains. After a few holes, the fun really starts. Of course, if you lose a hole, your opponent can choose to get one of their stolen clubs back, or if they're feeling really vindictive, they can steal one of yours out of sheer spite.
If the frustration of having your clubs taken away from you one-by-one is too much, you might want to give the 'My One and Only' mode a try. This mode - for one to four players - invites you to play through a course with just one club and one putter. You get to choose which club you use, but pick wisely, because once you're on the course, you're stuck with it. Fortunately for you, so is everyone else, so you won't look like a total dork when you miss the green from ten yards with your choice of club that seemed like a good idea at the time.
In Time Attack, it's not the quality of your game that counts, it's how quickly you can get through the course. The timer begins as soon as the player addresses the ball and stops as soon as the club makes contact with it. This goes on until the ball finds the hole. So take as many strokes as you like, don't aim, don't worry about hitting the water: just concentrate on getting there as quickly as possible.
Vegas is an unnecessarily complicated (in our humble opinion, anyway) team-based game for four people. It's played like a regular stroke-based game, except at the end of each hole, your team's scores are combined, with the lowest score becoming the first digit, and the highest becoming the second. The team with the lowest combined score wins the hole, and is awarded money in the amount of the difference between the two teams' scores. Is that clear? Ahem...
Finally, before we run out of space on our corner of the Internet, in Casino mode, gambling types put up cash stakes for every shot taken. At the conclusion of the hole, the player with the lowest number of strokes takes the pot, although you can fold at any time if you're scared of losing your shirt. Just remember: this is golf, so bluffing won't do you a whole lot of good here.
This is just the tip of the iceberg: there's plenty to do in OG2, and if golf game fans out there can tear themselves away from their yawnsome Tiger Woods sims for a short time, Outlaw Golf 2 may just get the respect it deserves.