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    Flight Simulator 98
    Reviewed by Sean De Groot

     

    Players:
    1

    Developer:
    Microsoft

    Publisher:
    Microsoft

    Released:
    10/97

    Requirements:
    - 486/66
    - 8 MB RAM
    - 2X CD-ROM
    - SVGA w/ 512K
    - Windows 95/NT

     
    Microsoft claims there are ten times as many airports in this edition of Flight Simulator compared to previous versions and who am I to doubt them? New places to fly include Hong Kong and Japan. In addition there are many more challenges, lessons and adventures included to keep the budding pilot amused. Finally, and this was the biggie for me, Microsoft have included support for hardware 3d accelerators such as 3dfx cards. This offers the prospect of better looking graphics moving smoother than ever before. Let me at it!

    Click to enlargeI'm pleased to say that Flight Simulator still has the capacity to surprise me sometimes. I had been mucking about with the weather settings and after yet another spectacularly unsuccessful crosswind landing tried to taxi out to the runway for another go. I couldn't turn onto the runway. No matter how much I tried to turn onto the runway heading, my little Cessna would only turn so far before stopping.

    The Microsoft quality assurance team's collective ears must have been burning as I heaped curses on them for allowing such a bug to slip through. Then I realised what was happening. I had a 45 knot wind blowing across the runway and the Cessna was weathercocking, that is pointing towards the source of the wind just as the weathercock on top of a steeple does. The engine simply wasn't powerful enough to pull the Cessna round against this force. I was well impressed to see such realism on the ground.

    Click to enlarge"To all you experienced MSFS gamers the new issue of MSFS 98 will be easy for you to catch on but if you are one of the few gamers who have never played this game before good luck.... You'll need it. MSFS 98 has great graphics but lacks in the department of teaching the gamer how to fly and how to master the talent of flying. The flight instructors seem to shoot hundreds of different instructions at you at the same time.

    This game no doubt is fun to play but if you really want the true experience and force feedback joystick is a must. Sound needs a little bit of help but it is good enough. The location graphics are awesome from high altitude but as you get lower the picture begins to lose its contrast. It has a lot of places to choose from to keep anybody from getting bored fast. Overall MSFS 98 is a must buy for any serious simulation gamer."

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    Zalman: ZM-DS4F Headphones

    An affordable, ultra-portable headphone set.
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