Thursday, March 01, 2012

Microsoft Flight now available for free | Ubergizmo

Almost time to put the flight yoke and pedals back into storage... the eye candy graphics are great and the sim feeling is as-in FSX, unfortunately so are the load times for Microsoft Flight (Feb 2012 release). Getting out of the plane and walking around was kind of interesting for a couple of minutes. Something was missing though...

GTA has really ruined games for me.

While I was walking around enjoying the town I had just parked in the middle of, my plane rolled away into a tree. When I landed in the water, the plane seemed to get stuck and to takeoff I had to fly sideways on my wing. What I still can't figure out... is it a game or is it a flight simulator? Somehow I think I would find it more fun if it had missiles or a dragon or maybe some erupting volcanos to fly through.... or barring that some air and road traffic to make it feel less like a deserted apocalyptic Hawaiian island with nice building window refractions. Some kind of in-game mini-game or web browser popup to go with those load screens would be a welcome addition too.

And the hidden costs... $19.95 to open up Hawaii, $22 for 2 airplanes... sigh.

It feels like I just downloaded Smurfs on my iPad. A 1.7GB Smurfs. In-game purchases are the new revenue stream. $42 US is almost more than what I paid for my copy of FSX, and $32 more than what I paid for FS2004 at a yard sale. For $85 you can go fly a real plane for 1/2 an hour. Still, to justify buying aforementioned flight yoke and pedals, might be something I need to get. Can't complain about what you do get from the free game. I couldn't quite figure out what you're supposed to do in multiplayer mode though.

And why can't I land on an aircraft carrier? I thought this was Pearl Harbor. Maybe I haven't played it enough...

Microsoft Flight now available for free | Ubergizmo: "The kind of audience that Microsoft’s Flight will attract? It will most probably be the casual gamer crowd, considering how this is a free game, albeit weighing in at a rather hefty 1.43GB. Best to download this when you are off for a nap. Those who are interested in giving this simulator a go on their respective gaming rigs at home, you are free to do so via the download link here."

I don't think my son and his grandmother would ever get around to playing this. He prefers Tricky Truck. I don't know why parking a truck is so much fun.

What's interesting is the lack of content, well, compared to FSX anyway. FSX out of the box is a monstrous effort, with 8 pages of staff in the credits.rtf file, the entire Earth as a flight school, umpteen planes, heated seats and a ton of history. I see about a page and a half of people/contractors/external companies in the CoreContent.pak credits file, some interesting tidbits during the load screens, and 4 planes, 2 of which come with the game. Not that I'm complaining about the end product. A free flight simulator? Sign me up!

Did I mention it's free?

Kudos to the development team for keeping the flight sim dream alive at MS.

FSX, in my case anyway, is 42, 395 files and 14 GB of disk space with those add-ons. Kind of makes MS Flight feel like a Pop Cap game. 45 files and 2.2 GB? Of course, if you rename the .pak files to .zip you'll see quite a bit more xml goodness in there.... modding anyone?

Maybe it will get more interesting with my Kinect hacked into working with it....

Where is the crude humor from the warning label?

When I was into the whole flight sim thing a couple years back, I signed up for AVSIM. It was fun for a couple of days but I can't really get into flying a flight sim across an ocean for 5 hours at a stretch. Sounds like those beta testers gave MS an earful about the latest offering. Too many Mario coins.

The AVSIM community deserves special recognition for being the most childish out of the lot. Given that the Flight Sim demographic is usually in the “older” segment of society, I was incredibly surprised to see so many people carrying on like a pack of entitled children. In most cases I hate that term “entitlement” because it’s often a substitute for “I don’t like your argument so I’m going to declare it invalid by way of entitlement.” In this case though it was entirely warranted; people were screaming like Microsoft were selling out to the general public, that it was going to be a kid’s game, that because it didn’t implement big iron and VATSIM bullshit coming out the arse that it was a complete failure and so on. Personally I’m glad Microsoft stuck it to that community. There’s no pleasing them.

Good review here. Hope the next release lets you listen to real ATC conversations, opens up the world's major cities, and lets you fly underwater.

I would buy those add-ons.

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