Microsoft Flight Simulator X Deluxe Game Review

Danner - 2007-01-25 19:41:08 in Gaming
Category: Gaming
Reviewed by: Danner   
Reviewed on: March 13, 2007
Microsoft
GF City Computers
Price: $57.99

Introduction:



Almost everyone that has an interest in flying and owns a computer should be familiar with Microsoft Flight Simulator. This is Microsoft’s longest running franchise.

The very first version was released in January 1980 by SubLOGIC for the Apple II and TRS-80. 1982 saw the release of the game for the IBM computer along with exclusive rights given to Microsoft for the game to officially become Microsoft Flight Simulator 2. The game continued to be a success throughout the 80’s and 90’s with versions; 1.01, 3.0, 4.0, 5.0 and 5.1 being released in 1983, 1988, 1989, 1993, and 1995 respectively. Microsoft followed the success of these releases with FSW 95, FS 98, FS 2000, FS 2002 and FS 2004.

On October 17, 2006, Microsoft released its newest version with the release of Microsoft Flight Simulator X, making it officially the tenth version in the series. FSX has taken the best qualities from all nine previous versions and added many new features to make this one of the best flight simulators on the market today. This game allows taking off from any airport in the world and flying continuously to any other destination on the planet in real time.

Features:



Closer Look:



There are select group of people, in my experience, that love a great flight simulator game. Yes, most gamers love to fly around and shoot down other planes with cannons, rockets, missiles. This game has none of that. This game I find appeals to a different group of gamers. They are, from what I have discovered in multiplayer, to be any age group and from any walk of life. These people like me have a real interest in flying. This game is best suited for someone who can enjoy sitting in a simulated cockpit and flying any type of plane in the most realistic fashion. I have found a lot of people on the multiplayer sessions to be actual pilots.

The detail that Microsoft has put into this game is truly amazing. I tested the deluxe edition, which gives you the added option of being an air traffic controller in addition to starting with 18 planes to choose from. The menus are very easy to follow and you can get right into flying after a few simple steps like choosing your aircraft and airport. The planes range from an ultra light right up to large Boeing 747’s. There are numerous types of planes in between including gliders, piper cubs, cessenas, beach craft, Learjet’s, helicopters, Airbus jets, Douglas DC-10’s, Grumman Goose and many more.

Closer Look (Cont.)



There are also options to go online and download your favorite planes from websites for free. One site that I used often was SimViation, this is a free site dedicated people who design other aircraft for this game.

While flying, each plane has four different views. These are:

1. The cockpit view
2. An outside free floating view that you can move around your plane
3. A view where the camera appears to be attached to a part of your plane
4. a view from any nearby air traffic tower.





Each plane has moving surfaces including the landing gear, ailerons, elevators, stabilizers, flaps and opening exits. Microsoft Flight Simulator X has detailed audio to go with the visual effects; the sounds have a Doppler effect, meaning that when you look around the cockpit the engines sounds change from one speaker to another. Also when using the external view the sounds will change depending on what angle you are viewing the plane at. For example from the rear, you will hear the loud sound of the engines, when switching to the front you will notice that the sounds switch to rushing air.

The world in which you interact with your planes is just as highly detailed as the aircraft that you fly. For the first time, Microsoft has added moving ground vehicles and ships. These vehicles have also been added to airports now. There are thousands of runways in this game, everything from the dirt strip in a small town to the largest airports in the world. Larger runways have active landing lights with moving beacon lights on towers to assist in navigation. The static objects placed in the cities and extremely well done, most buildings are located in their proper position on the ground. Well known landmarks are all extremely well placed and detailed in the game. Most runways have a fuel station that will allow you to make a emergency landing to refuel if required, before carrying on with your flight.




Gamers are able to control most of the environmental conditions that affect your flight, including date, time, weather and season. One of the best features is the online Real-World Weather, allowing the computer to scan the internet and acquire the current weather for the area that you are flying in. This weather has the option of being updated every 15 minutes and very close to the actual weather outside.


Closer Look (Cont.)



As with previous versions, gamers can control emergency failures on various equipment on the plane. You can set a time for problems to happen and then attempt to deal with them. These include anything from gauges failing all the way up to electrical failure or engine failure. You have the option in the flight planner stages to set any of the following failures:

Any of these can be set for a timed failure or set at random.

This game comes with a mission option that allows you fly various missions, these range from beginner to expert. There are 20 beginner missions, 14 intermediate missions, 10 advanced missions and 7 expert missions. The missions are fun if you are looking for something a little different. Most have a co-pilot or a dispatcher to help you. Each mission is unique in the goal that has to be accomplished. Some are straight point A to point B flights. There are missions to help game wardens in Africa find an elephant, helicopter missions to save an overturned boat, flight with archeologists to a lost temple, supply runs in Alaska, air show demonstrations, fly a group of workers to Area 51 and many many more. A lot of the times the mission will change mid flight and sometimes you have options on what action you will take.

This game has a multiplayer option that is very easy to use. With a Gamespy account a gamer can join numerous online games or host one of their own at their favorite airport. With the deluxe edition, gamers can also choose to be air traffic controls at any airport. This is a new feature not seen in any previous version. When in the tower you control other players online. You have various views around the airport, but the most useful is the radar screen that displays all the other planes online in your area on the screen by their call sign. Voice communication is used to guide planes into the runways of your choice and help them taxi to take off runways. This new feature is quite unique and is fun to play if you are looking for something a bit different.

There are lots of online games to join and most tell you what they are doing in the lobby before you start. I found a lot of them were either free flight around a certain area, airport hops from different airports along a route set by the host or formation flying. I found most everyone in the multiplayer rooms to be very friendly and helpful when needed.



System Requirements:

My System Specs:

  • AMD 3500+
  • Gigabyte K8NXP-9
  • Mushkin HP3200 DDR
  • 160gig WD SATA Harddrive
  • Asus 6800
  • Mushkin 650 Watt
  • LG DVDRW 
  • WinXP Pro Service Pack 2
  • Screenshots:



    Screenshots Page 2:



    Conclusion:



    Microsoft has put together a solid game with the release of Microsoft Flight Simulator X. This game has a great number of features that make it exciting to play. I would recommend this game to those of you who really enjoy flying. Obviously there are times when this game can get a bit boring, lets face it cruising at 30,000 feet in 747 is not as exciting as getting a fighter jet down at tree top level or flying a helicopter up the Vegas strip at night time. Where the enjoyment comes in with FSX is the ability to take off and explore different areas of the world that one would normally never see. I found myself on long flights using the autopilot a lot as well as speeding up time to make the flight go faster. As stated earlier the game is in real time, so if it takes 3 hours in the real world to fly somewhere, then, inversely in the game it will take 3 hours, thus the reason for speeding up time. Landings and takeoff are the most fun when playing alone, but going online and flying in formation is amazing.

    Pros



    Cons