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Product Reviews

12 (75% helpful)

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  1.  There's nothing wrong, it's just not especially useful.


    For those that play the sims games without cheats, a holiday is not particularly beneficial. A great deal of the items are of no use except for holidays, therefore making the title for those who use cheats or build community lots often.
    Similar to the pets expansion, and the more recent seasons title the objectives in the game are not profitable; it is far easier to give your sim a conventional job and do conventional tasks. A sim will have higher stats and save more money by going to work then watching TV rather than growing vegetables and raising dogs all day and then going on holiday.
    The hardware compatibility was fine for me, but on windows vista there seems to be a noticable drop in performance from when I was on XP, and I have high spec.

  2.  Decent visual detail, horrific performance and functionality


    Four variants in total are offered, two of the A330 and two of the A340, with three different types of engine available for each A330. In addition to the multitude of types available there are almost fifty liveries, which gives the user a wide choice of appearance. This beauty definitely skin deep though
    As in reality, the engines differ little on the aircraft, and the 200/300 models featured have no difference at all apart from length and MTOW (Max Take Off Weight).
    The primary panel view is a full secreen panel, lacking a windscreen which is very alarming. In this view the captain can see all 4 LCD displays, including the one mounted on the throttle pedestal. This view is therefore useful in autopilot, as all screeens can be monitored at once. The many downsides of this are the lack of a windscreen (to see where and what you're flying to), the fact that the whole bottom right corner has no functionality and is just for display (the foot pedals for rudder operation are shown) and the throttle pedastal itself is not displayed. This view can however be minimised into a compact panel, with a rather oversized winscreen and showing only the top 3 LCD displays.
    The new panel still has its problems: this time the windscreen is too big, and the LCD screens right at the bottom apear a little undersized.
    The other panels and gauges are precise and accurate, but the screens are small and therefore some smaller figures are unreadable. The FMC (flight management computer) is sort-of functional, with routes not working entirely to plan, or for that matter anything near to plan. In addition to this there are also many glitches which limit the use you can give it considerably.
    Engine sounds are tinny, screechy, clangy, monotone, lifeless and generally rubbsih (this is pretty much the same with all Phoenix Simulation releases). The sounds between the A330 and A340 have little differences, though they would have many in reality. The sounds between the different engined variants of the A330 have no change, again a contradiction to the real aircraft.
    Autopilot is somewhat more demanding than manual flight because of the massive amount of glitches, errors, misreading and general problems it has. Heading location is usually about 5 degrees off what was set, and the aircraft has a nasty tendency under autopliot to bank at a miniscule angle. Autothrottle is nothing but atrocious, causing speed problems, not pushing up to anywhere near thrust limit and ending overall in a crash somewhere in the Alps. If you turn it off it fights back by turning back on automatically after a certain peroid of time, also resulting in a crash somewhere in the Alps.
    By far the worst in this expansion if the flight dynamics (the handling of the aircraft). By default the aircraft is supposedly 60000lbs overweight, but does not handle this way. Centre of gravity is also to far forward: a massive jerk back on the joystick and the nose responds wimpishly several minutes later. This centre of gravity problem limits lift-off point and usually causes overshooting of the runway, as well as nosediving uncontrollably in midair if the joystick is released for just a second. cornering requires a bank of sometimes up to 80 degrees (real aircraft at this point would stall and lose control) and rate of climb seems to be about 3 feet per hour max.
    The aircraft looks really great and includes many different models, but with all the problems with instruments, autopilot, flight dynamics and everything else this aircraft is a nighmare to fly, and is incapable of any serious flight, or any flight where you take-off and land without crashing or an emergency. If this were what the real plane was like passengers would commit mass suicide!

  3.  Spectacular attention to detail and thousands of features


    For the first time on Flight Simulator you can feel just as a C130 pilot would. You can operate absolutely every single dial, gauge or switch which a military pilot operates, and with the many liveries you can pretend you work for almost any airforce in the world.
    The exterior model is meticulously and expertly modelled, with both great accuracy and functionality. All doors and ramps are animated seperately, giving the virtual pilot a chance to envisage loading he aircraft properly, checking all doors and hatches and the proceeding to real regulations, all of which can be done with this aircraft. Engine effects on the exterior modelof this aircraft are some of the best I've seen in all the JustFlight puslished expansions, as well as having engine smoke effects which are typically never featured or if featured are poor at best on other add-ons. Landing gear animation is realistic and smooth on the exterior.
    The flight dynamics engine is very accurate and also very structured; the aircraft handles correctly and can be flown realistically. Stall speed and overspeed are programmed correctly, as is flap settings, speedbrakes and so on. Rudder function is accuraely depicted, as is the function of ailerons and elevators.
    The main 2D instrument panel has a resolution of 1600x1200, so it runs clearly on even the highest of screen resolutions (it does however resieze properly to a widescreen or a low resolution screen if you are using one). The bitmap image used in the panel has realistic and photoreal textures to remove the virtual feel of the cockpit to some degree, and it works. Wear marks can be seen on the gauges (as would be present in all of the C130's featured in this add-on as they are the older and extensively used four-blade propeller variants) and the gagues also feature glass effects. There are over 10 additional pop-up panels with full functionality including overhead 1, overhead 2, radar and autopilot.
    All dials, switches and gauges function realistically, giving a precise and accurate airspeed, altitude and so on. As in reality the instruments can be affected by weather and other factors if not configured correctly, and this adds to the realism of the aircraft.
    Autopilot simulates perfeclty without bugs and errors (or to my knowledge anyway), as do flaps, speedbrakes and loading/paradropping systems. Radar is fully functional, detecting hazardous aircraft that are too close and then giving the pilot a warning of varying degree because of the TCAS (traffic collision avodiance system).
    The 3D virtual cockpit is the only one I have seen that can match up to that of "777Professional". All functions which can be manipulated in the 2D cockpits and panels can also be worked in the same way in the 3D virtual cockpit. Additional switches can also be found, such as windcreen wipers. Even in the 3D view all gauges can be seen in crystal clarity, and a glass effect is clearly visible on the windows. The cockpit window really opens in 3D view, and the difference between seeing the open air and seeing through the glass panes at either side is notable. The glass of the windows is spattered by rain and snow, and as in reality the rain streaks off windows towards the rear of the aircraft.
    The multifunction board in the bottom left corner in 2D panel view can be used to operate anti-missile flares, paradrops, doors, enigne start and almost verything else and is a very effective tool.
    This software includes ACE (aircraft configuration editor) which allows a user to change the lighting, loading, liveries and panel setup of the aircraft and is a useful piece of software with many options.
    For £17.99 this expansion is a brilliant purchase but is ONLY COMPATIBLE WITH FLIGHT SIMULATOR 2004.

  4.  If you don't think this is an unreal deal you're odd!!!


    {This is my review for the deluxe edition, copied and pasted here but it is ALL relevant and does not specifically mention deluxe features and extras}

    The pinnacle of Microsoft's simulators, after 20 years of development and refinement I can finally say the simulator looks realistic. I have played on all the series titles since Flight Simulator 98, but this is the only one which can actually impress a person to the degree where they can say "wow, it's actually like flying". The data provides massive accuracy worldwide, in both textures and terrain shapes. It's graphic detail of objects, aircraft and terrain is superior to other games I have played and with the huge varieties of aircraft to choose, as well as thousands of realistic airports the flight experience is exhilarating.
    Since the 2004 title Microsoft innovated all aspects of the game. Aircraft are no longer inferior to the free add-ons that can be downloaded. They are also redone from scratch rather than being improved versions of the aircraft in the previous flight simulator: this has occurred since flight simulator 95 until the 2004 version but not in this edition.
    Sattelite data is far better than before, giving brilliant sloping of land. Autogen is integrated into the terrain far smoother too: buildings not longer appear in clumps or on slopes because they are on roads in street formations, with hills ocupied by bare land instead. Coastlines and cliffs integrate far better than the previous simulator, they no longer cause jagged border marks between water and land, and the terrain does not dip below water with the water being above the land. This is due to the very advance physics engine used, where water is a solid, flexible, moving object rather than just a texture as was in the earlier Flight Simulator games. Now a person can fly through the grand canyon experiencing slopes, gulleys, gaps and mountains, instead of flying across a big gash in the desert with a blue colour at the bottom.
    Objects now appear intelligently; trees are not randomly dumped and appear in clumps and formations, forests and woodlands. Species of tree are now used: previous limits being bushes in the desert and trees in temperate areas. Now there are vineyards in France, cactuses in Libya and sequoias in California. Seasonal blending of this foliage works far better, they appear very changed in winter when they are devoid of leaves compared to the summer where the leaves and flowers occupy every inch of their branches.
    Other objects are now present too, across the whole world. There are moving oil tankers in Saudi Arabia, recreational yachts in monterrey and fishing trawlers in Sardinia. All major roads, motorways, highways and freeways are plotted to great detail in the correct location, with road traffic abundant on most motorways and highways. Airways are the same, realistically planned with extremely dense, abundant air traffic and when a virtual pilot finally does have to escape from an airway and land the plane there is plenty of airport traffic such as pushback trucks and luggage loading vehicles waiting at all gates to greet them.
    There are a few issues with his game that need to be adressed though. It was intented to work on Windows Vista, but it has became apparent that there are error with this, such as failure to load or failure to exit. There are crashes on both windows XP and Vista, but from using this game on different PC's I have noticed that only lower spec PC's experience this problem. The free patch prevents this issue.
    To run the game with settings at absolute MAX you probably need at least 2.4Ghz dual core with 2gb ram and 512mb graphcis card. BEWARE: Will only work on a very high end laptop. 14GB hard drive needed!

  5.  Very good for gamers


    I use my high performance laptop for top end games such as Flight Simulator X (incidentally that means i'm running a windows operating system, antivirus and game at the same time) and the most demanding expansion packs for it and needed an antivirus which didn't slow the computer down. Norton 2006 didn't even work at all (although my laptop was 2007 and had vista) and knowing the reputation of Norton on other Pc's I knew to steer well clear for my games. In addition to this I was not bothered about all the semi-stupid and unnecessary features that constantly leach the processing power.

    I decided to purchase OneCare and installation was very easy (but a large amount of updates were required to be downloaded so I wouldnt' recommend buying this if you have dial up) and the restart process wasn't lengthly as it was with Norton. After restart the antivirus didn't automatically open up and aggravate me as the others did, instead giving me a small warning box from the icon in the system tray.

    Setting up the tune-up and defragmantation schedule was also quick and easy and the virus scan I then conducted scanned the whole hard drives I had. The results of the scan were not attacking you as they do in the case of Norton which was another positive point. After the scan the antivirus returned to the system tray when I clicked once (instead of the 1000 warning boxes a person gets when they try to do that with other antiviruses).

    I then proceeded to play Flight Simulator X (with settings at absolute max and needing all the ram a computer can muster) and the gameplay was not at all affected by the installation of OneCare. So far OneCare has never frozen on me like norton had done on my other PC and unlike McAfee your internet connection speed is not slowed down. Another benefit of this antivirus.

    OneCare is relatively cheap as well. I purchased it for £30, which is £10 less than Norton 2007. A problem however with OneCare is that it doesn't work on 64-bit operating systems which other antiviruses do work on. This can be a setback to quite a lot of people on Various types of the Vista OS. Smooth operation can still be expected on 32-bit Vista Os though.
    Another disadvantage is that you have to pay attention to the antivirus; if you're the kind of person that doesn't think anything to a small message in the corner and will only take action if the box is in front of your face and you can't get rid of it then you may not realise you're infected with a virus. There again, you would realise if you simply read the simple, small box in the system tray where the OneCare icon is. OneCare has just a sinle system tray icon as opposed to Norton which has several. Yet another advantage.

    OneCare is a very good buy for £30 I would strongly recomend it...

  6.  Good, but not as good as series 1-6 were. Moderately priced.


    Charmed series 7 continues to push the TV show charmed in a different direction to the original three series, now using more human-like demons and fairy tale magic characters such as leprechauns as opposed to fictitious and more horrifying magic creatures such as wendigo's. Though this is perhaps more suitable for a younger audience and is also easier to write as a script, this may be seen as one of the ways that the budget was cut for the seventh series of Charmed.

    As with the last series, a great amount of the series (even more so in series 7 than series 6) is used for a massive vendetta with a single force which climaxes in a deadly battle at the series finale. This varies greatly to that of the first few series' where the finale introduced a new enemy in a single or two part episode. I believe that the show does lose it's originality as a TV show from this, and viewers must watch all episodes in order to fully understand the sequence of events as they unfold.

    Still a good buy though, just as the other series are and very enjoyable to watch. I would say it is only a must have if you already have series 1-6 in your DVD collection.