Flight Simulator 2004

Got the chance to try Flight Simulator 2004 on Saturday. It’s pretty sweet, I have to admit. Nice terrain and familiar terrain. You can fly out of just about any airport you want, including Abbotsford or Vancouver, and the city itself is very nicely rendered. It is the “Century of Flight” edition, so you can fly all sorts of interesting flights, like the first flight ever at Kittyhawk, or the first crossing of the English Channel, as well as the standard “take a plane and fly from anywhere to anywhere” senarios (I watched a guy fly a 777 out of Vancouver and head for Calgary. It also has a couple of helicopter models, which I have no idea if they were there in previous editions, but they were very cool to fly. Easier than I expected anyway (though the realism settings were quite far down 🙂

I happened to have a Force Feedback 2 joystick that I had taken home from a former coworker to see if it worked and had it sitting in the closet. It had a throttle control and rotating handle (rudder) which made the controls for the helicopters all there.

It also has some nice senarios like “fly the grand canyon” and “wander around Hawaii”. It was cool to fly around Kona and recognize the shape of the island (for whatever reason I was flying at night so I couldn’t really see what was down there). It had some graphics glitches (though I’m sure the purchase of a DX9 compliant video card would fix those (no, I’m not going to)), and some wierdness, but the completness was nice (2.8G worth). Looked like it had all sorts of training included via video, with two annoying instructors as well.

I’m thinking I might purchase the Joystick with the money I earned today (more on that later) as it was quite impressive. Microsoft does make some good hardware.