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Flight Simulator 2004, A Century Of Flight
The installation is very easy to follow. You can of course choose a custom version of the installation, because it concerns an older game, you might already have some components on your PC and does not need to install. The installation won't take long especially not on newer PCs and laptops.
The menu of the games is also very easy and it's clear what the options are. If you have like me a joystick and you want to use this then you can best go to menu, settings and then 'calibrate joystick so establish the best possible response while playing. Remember to check the box 'enable joystick' otherwise you won't even be able to fly off.
Flight simulator is a simulation game for those who find aviation interesting and perhaps secretly want to practice to become a professional. Some go very far and transform their room into a real cockpit (there are panels and such for sale through special sites), but I just love to fly around. It is a game where you are just like previous versions in (your) cockpit, but also can change the camera position and from a different angle you can watch the plane while you flying. It is intended to fly from one destination to the other but you can also do missions, located in the main menu on the left.
The possibilities are endless. You can view each airfield, however small they are and fly over the whole world. It all looks very impressive! You can also play online or through LAN connection. You can, for example talk with a friend via Skype while flying next to each other, pretty awesome.
You can purchase various expansion packs for this game, so you can play extra missions and several aircrafts to choose from. There are always lots of sites to find where you can download airplanes for free who other people designed. They normally only ask for a donation for the hard work.
It is difficult in 2011 to judge the graphics of a game from 2003/2004. Naturally this was all very nice, but you can't really compare with the games of today anymore. But even then the graphics are done really well and you can adjust the graphics from normal to ultra high.
The level of reality is very different and can be set at choice. You can put the setting for example that you can't crash, so you literally are bouncing on the ground. You can also decide if you want to get a black out in case of to much G-forces or if you have to fuel or not.
The sound of the planes is very nice, but with downloadable sounds it's many times better. When you install this you can imagine yourself actually flying a Boeing or whatever you want to fly. Playability is very good, it is suggested over 3 years, so that says something. Unfortunately is that you really need a joystick, the keyboard is barely playable. The buttons for all the features of the aircraft are nicely described in the manuals.
The advantages of this game are that it is very easy to use, especially with a joystick there. It is also a fun game you can play nice and relaxed and that is not especially need to win or lose. A disadvantage can be that there are simply newer versions available, so this might look a bit out dated but I'm sure the price of this one is quite lower.
In my opinion a very nice game, especially after Flight Simulator 1998 and 2000. Lots of fun for those who buy it, you will not regret if you are interested in simulation games and / or airplanes!
Microsoft decided to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the wright brothers first flight by creating another addition to their classic flight sim collection.
The game is pretty much the same as all other of Microsoft flight sims. Experienced players will be able to pick up the controls straight away and start flying some new planes in a variety of historically accurate aviation events (including the wright brothers first short flight).
New players as always will find the controls very confusing at first and will probably sit on the runway for half an hour before finally deciding to actually consult the manual as to how to take off. Once in the air there are many things to take note of in order to keep the plane stable and on course however there's always the choice to fly through the Eiffel tower or fly over your house to see what your local area looks like from above.
To summarise this is another well made game from Microsoft that unfortunately only has limited appeal as it is very hard to learn all the controls needed to properly control the plane that puts a lot of casual gamers off.
I have Flight Sim X which is a somewhat improvement of Flight Simulator 2004 but if you want to find an addon for almost any aircraft or scenery then choose Flight Sim 2004.
Although addons are being developed more for Flight Sim X, there still exists the most addons for this version however that'll prbably change within the year as more and more developers are writing addons for Flight Sim X and possibly previous versions too.
You can find many freeware addons on sites like www.avsim.com or www.flightsim.com and also payware addons which can be better.
I donwloaded a 747-200 aircraft to fly along with high quality sounds and I can say that the aircraft handles very realistically and the sounds are excellent in that I feel like I'm flying in a real airliner when playing this game now.
The only lacking feature of Flight Sim 2004 compared to Flight Sim X is the G-force effects in which the point of view tilts according to gravity and this is very realistic in fact so realistic I could almost suffer from air sickness if I fly too eratically. This feature can be turned off I think.
Overall, go for Flight Sim X if you can but consider using the previous version if you want all the addons.
The Flight simulator series has in the past always been virtually the same as the game before except with slightly better graphics.
Flight Simulator 2004: A Century Of Flight is slightly different.
This not only has the default Cessna's and 747's but also a selection of some of the most historically important aircraft of all time, these include:
1903 Wright Flyer
Spirit of St Louis
Having owned FS2002, I can confidently say that not only does this game deliver better graphics, more detailed scenery, more dynamic weather systems and definately more interesting aircraft, it has missions and tasks to accompany the historical aircraft and in my opinion and more interesting gameplay than previous microsoft Flight Simulators.
There are plenty of add on packs to enhance your FS2004 experience such as the scenery packs and extra add on aircraft add ons (Spitfire, tiger moth, F-117 ect)
Although it is now dated by Flight Simulator X, I am still a massive fan. Having played FSX, I think the only real difference visually is better surroundings, although it has gone back to the usual hanger full of 747's and Cessna's.
In my opinion this game is excellent, and although not as graphically good as FSX, I personally enjoy it more due to the wider variety of aircraft types.
For the avation enthusiast I believe this is the simulator to have, for the more war like minded I would recommend Combat Flight Simulator 3 or IL-2 Sturmovik. This is due to the fact that all FS games are not for combat, just pleasure flying!
To summarise, this is an excellent game with hours of gameplay for the aircraft simulation fan, particularly somebody like myself who is a fan of vintage aircraft.
From the word go you know this is a serious piece of kit and while the knack to flying the older aircraft revolves around not stalling it and keeping the engine revs up, the modern planes are packed to the hilt with geeky goodness. For those wishing to engage in the experience of flight there are GPS navigation systems aplenty, dozens of cockpits switches and an air traffic control system which is as lifelike as it bewildering to understand.