Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004: A Century of Flight
List Price: $29.99

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Product Description

FLIGHT SIM 2004 CENT/FIT WIN32 EN DVD BOX CD

Features:
  • Improved full-color map view with terrain display
  • Improved support for 3D graphics hardware acceleration in multiple windows and across multiple monitors
  • Learning Center - a "Web site on the disc" available while the simulation is running that includes a Key Topics visual guide to the features in Microsoft Flight Simulator, direct links to flights and lessons, flight briefings, how-to procedures, aircraft handbooks, and more.
  • New and expanded lessons and ground school topics
  • Kiosk mode for unattended demonstrations

Customer Reviews:

  • A step forward...and enjoyable!!
    ...

    FS2004 to some is a game. To most if you go to some of the flight simming community websites will say ot's a simulator. I say it is both, depending on how you use it. To those who just wanna jump in take it for a spin, crash do nothing of any real pupose its a game. To me personally it is a Flight Simulator. I prepare my flight plans, calculate fuel, practice instrument flight in weather and so on.

    Now to what FS2004 is worth, whatever you may call it. It is another step forward in this genre, it's look and feel is greatly improved. Bugs? There are some, but not to the extent some our intrepid reviewers would like to lead you to believe. It is an advanced piece of software. You NEED to update you video drivers, you NEED to make sure your sound drivers are working well, you NEED as any other piece of software liek this make sure your DirectX is working properly.

    From the day I installed it, I have enjoyed it thoroughly, it's absolutely awesome. There are some problems here and there but you can work through them. ATC is great now, weather is better than anything before. And the information and instruction are second to none. I only gave it 4 stars due to the fact that you are required to use CD 4 in the drive. Of course there are ways around that. Hint Hint!!

    If you like Flight, Simulations, I recommend highly you buy it and you'll see for yourself how good it is!!...more info

  • Well...
    Well, the game's graphics are ok, but I think that the creators could have used satellite imaging to make real buildings. Outside of the big cities the buildings are the same. And there is no storyline or objectives, so if you want to be bored for half an hour, play this game....more info
  • Better than 2002 but I must agree with other reviewer
    When I first sat down to write this, I planned to be ecstatic. After all, the weather is more "dynamic" as some have said. When I'm flying, the plan even jerks around a little, like it would in wind, for example.

    Then there's the new planes. The DC3 is my favorite. But the Ford Trimotor is a trip, as well as the Piper Cub. And the Wright Bros. plane--flown first 100 years ago today--is a challenge, very interesting.

    And, while the program may be large, I don't have some of the problems I do with Combat Flight Simulator 3, e.g., the program running too slowly, and the plane stopping here and there in the middle of a dogfight. (!)

    But I must agree with another reviewer that it should have been an addition or supplement to 2002. It's still pretty much the same program with a few additions.

    Mind you, I'm enthused about the flight simulators, have gotten each one. They fulfill my desire to fly, which I cannot afford to learn to do. So I'm inherently enthused about the simulators. But, again, this may have been better a little cheaper as a supplement to the earlier simulator.

    If you have or get it, though, enjoy it. Note that I'm comparing it to perfection, not saying it's a bad program....more info

  • FS 2004: A Century of F*#@ing Pain!
    I have NEVER had a computer game do more mischievous damage to my computer than Flight Simulator 2004 did when I tried to install it! First of all, the game would not operate at all, a complete disaster! Second of all, it reconfigured my sound card settings so badly, that it took me two weeks to straighten them out. Third, in it's ActiveX whirlwind slash session through the cortex of my system, it scrambled the only other two games I had on my system. I say "had", because I had to remove them as a result of FS2004(or the Borg, as I so fondly refer to it!) It seems like any Microsoft game with the Game Studio logo under it's name, isn't worth the package it comes in! I know I'm reviewing FS2004, but Combat Flight Simulator3 is another tragic example of a MS "Game Studio" fiasco!
    In summary, I wouldn't suggest Flight Simulator 2004 to anyone, unless they have a spare couple of weeks to reconfigure a bunch of settings on their system! It's pretty bad when I get bent out of shape watching the advertisement for this game on television! Stick with FS2002, a non-"Game Studio" product, and worth every penny!...more info
  • A great simulator, but needs a great pc
    As I started last year with the Flight Simulator 2002 with my pentium 4 processor, 1.8Ghz, and 256 Ram the problems begins with my PC, now I have a 2.4 Ghz 1G RAM, Nvidia Video Card, and a 17" monitor (believe me, I do all this changes in order to have much better improvement with my simulator, and finally now with this F2004 I have a better flying experience.) If you don`t have a good PC you might be in troubles, because you need speed and memory and a really good video card, and I tried to keep away from third party add ons because they always slow the performance. but talking about the simulator, has a little more changes from FS2002, now with Taxiways signs and the More ATC comunication make flying a good experience. I hope that in the next two years, microsoft can finally put real world airlines and try with more detailed sceneries. Overall I like this game with 5 stars but I vote 4 because the performance capabilities from the pc. Anyway, if you love to fly just do it with this simulator, and if you can upgrade your PC will be very helpful....more info
  • Check out Microsoft's Game Player website before purchas...
    DO NOT BUY THIS GAME AS A GIFT...

    Instead purchase an Amazon Gift Certificate and let your friend(s) do their own shopping on Amazon. And, here is the reason why... Compatablity issues. If the games requirements are not met it will not work. I don't mean the requirements stated on the box but the real requirements that remain unstated. (www.microsoftgamesinsider.com)

    Now for the good stuff. The game has great techinical accuracy which is something I really like about this game . Flying real 172 is pretty close to Flight Simulator 2004 (I dont know about the rest but the 172's flight envelope is close). You do have to work with some techinical aspects of the aircrafts.

    This is not a good game for those who like the arcade action type games. This is nothing like it. This is a simulator. For such a person this game would be a bore.

    The reason for the 2 stars is because of the compatablity issues rather than for the game techinical merit. I really do like this game though....more info

  • Wow! Superb Simulator
    It had been a while since I did the MS Flight Sim. I found them boring and hard to fly. I recently got back into flying light airplanes again, and bought it on a whim to fly prospective routes, and I was blown away. The smoothness of the sim was impressive, as was the responsiveness. I thought the performance for the Cessna 172 SP was spot on. All in all, it's a fun sim, and has some really good lessons on not only using the sim, but flying in general, which makes it more fun for folks not familiar with aircraft operations. Of course, I think we're finally getting to the point where we have sufficient computing power on our desktops to drive higher quality sims like this. Works fine for me in XP, no problems encountered....more info
  • MSFS2004: a century of flight!
    Of course, after reading all these reviews, most people don't see the similarities. As I read, I noticed most of the people who ranked the game a 3(-)had either an ATI card, or a computer slower than 2.4 ghz.

    Now, if you have an ATI card, you will notice bad receptions as far as scenery goes, either because one of your drives or PCI cards are too close to the video card, interfering with it's operations, or because you aren't using the full potential of your video card. And as for the Computer Speed, Microsoft recommends a minimum of a Pentium 4 2.4 GHz, a MINIMUM. If you are running less than that, you may as well spread your wings and jump off a cliff, cause you will burn your PC out. I recommend getting the highest powered nVIDIA GeFORCE card you can get for the best results. (preferably a 256 MB card from tiger direct, real low pricing) Because ATI just ain't what it needs to be to harness the real power of this simulation.

    Now, onto the game. I found the enhanced ground features, such as the thuroughly adjusted airports that look a little more realistic, a plus. The runway graphics with tire tread and tire burn marks are also a plus. But most important, I appreciate the ability to choose whether I want an ILS, VOR, or Visual Approach to whatever runway can take it.

    Lets start looking at the bright side people. And start thinking, are you just not that enthused about the game, or could it possibly be that the computer you use just ain't powerful enough to see the whole thing. Get the facts first....more info

  • A big jump over previous versions, A realistic Simulator
    Microsoft's Flight Simulator is a fantastic, very realistic, simulation that can give you tremendous amounts of experience in flying an airplane. I'm the webmaster at one of the worlds largest aviation websites, a pilot, ex navy and a North Pole explorer and I can tell you that Flight Simulator works great. Microsofts new clouds are variable and realistic. In one flight to Galesburg Illinois, I encountered cumulus clouds, above me were cirrus and on the ground were realistic patches of fog. As I decended I hit a realistic rain shower, then a heavy thunder storm with realistic lightning. The view of the sun shining through the breaks in the clouds were breathtaking. Believe me, Microsoft Flight Simulator is As Real As It Gets.

    C. Jeff Dyrek...more info

  • Surprise
    I was flying a precision approach to Latrobe (KLBE) and to my surprise there was no airport. All the nav-aids worked fine, but there were no structural facilities. Apparently game was shipped with a corrupted BGL File. Uninstalled and reinstalled with no good results....more info
  • FS 2004
    For years now, I've been flying the many versions of Microsoft flight sims, and with each new release, I've always been completely impressed. I've watched them expand and evolve into products that somehow make the previous versions seem lame. Yep, I believe that the next best thing is to actually fly the aircraft depicted in the game. However, for those of us who prefer to sit in the comfort of our home and fly to Hong Kong while watching Monday Night Football, this is the ticket.

    The game itself, as many others have noted, has not changed all that much from 2002, but the changes that the game now includes, in my opinion, justifies the price. Setting up an IFR flight plan has never been easier, nor has been easier to change a destination, even while in route to the original! Yes, now YOU have total control of your destinations. Of course Microsoft has included the ever present pre-planned flights, but even those are fun. The GPS is more realistic, and has so much information than in 2002, and finally the ATC is flyer friendly. No longer do you feel like your bothering the computer by asking for permission to land. Heck, it will even give you directions if you get lost.

    The weather generating engine is superb. The clouds, sky, sunsets and everything else look so realistic, you'll find yourself reaching for your oxygen mask. It's that good.

    Some have mentioned that this game takes most of, if not all of your computers resources. This is somewhat true, but lets face it everybody, these days good games require fast processors, high RAM, big drives and powerful video cards. The product was designed to look it's absolute best, so of course the computer needs to be able to handle the software. If this simulator were to be played on an older Pentium 2, there would be no reason for Microsoft to spend the time or money developing the new version of this trusty sim which is played throughout the world. And besides, people would complain that the graphics are archaic, the planes look funny, etc., etc.

    About the only complaint that I have for Microsoft has to do with the aircraft that is included with the game. I understand that Microsoft was going for the Century of Flight theme, but come on.....The Wright Flyer? In the simulation itself there are other aircraft generated by your computer as traffic which are not included with the flyable planes, such as the Dash-8. There it is on the tarmac as traffic, but I can't jump into the cockpit and fly it. Why not? Even the web has literally thousands of planes to choose from, so why can't Microsoft offer the same thing? Or maybe the question should be, why won't they? If you don't mind the downloading and installation process of the web aircraft into FS, then almost any plane can be had. But I've found that this is less than a perfect process on many, many occasions. Come on Microsoft, were are purchasing the product so GIVE US MORE PLANES TO CHOOSE FROM. Other than this complaint, the game is great. Well worth the price....more info

  • ...
    The simulator indeed is great, but it has a problem. The problem is that it FPS rate is very low so the game won't run OK. I have a 2.5 GHZ, 512 MB RAM computer and instead it won't run as it should...more info
  • The Best
    I am a pilot and have flown some of the planes listed in this simulation. When I sit down and play this simulation it is like getting back in the cockpit again....more info
  • FS 2004 too slow
    When I apply the display settings I use in FS2002 in this new version the aircraft flies almost 4 times slower....more info
  • DON'T BUY THIS GAME!
    I installed this Microslut game on a relatively new dell desktop, xp, latest video card and drivers, etc. After install it wouldn't even load up when I tried to start it,,,got the splash screen then it quits. Tried all of the so-called fixes from MS, clean boot, reinstall, video+audio drivers and settings, etc. etc. etc. and still nothing! Apparently there is an "issue" somewhere. screeew it, compusa can have the dam thing back!!!...more info
  • A Super Sim but......
    A super flight sim, though sometimes it takes forever to load, even on a machine with a Pentium 4 processor and 512 MB RAM. But, once you get going, the flying experience is an improvement over previous Microsoft Filght Sims. As with their other products, users are actively creating new sceneries and planes as shareware or freeware, which will help insure the ultimate success of this realistic product....more info
  • Awesome flight simulator y Highly Recommended...
    I've owned every version of MS Flight Simulator, since years before Microsoft bought Sublogic's Flight Simulator and made it the basis for Microsoft Flight Simulator.

    I've spend many entertaining hours playing Microsoft Flight Simulator, and for the most part, they've added new and very, appealing and worth-while features in each new release. This is also the case in Flight Simulator 2004. I upgraded the day FS 2004 was released, and I've never looked back.

    Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004 is a highly entertaining, very realistic looking, and quite realistic acting flight simulator. Overall, I consider it the best Flight Simulator out there. Some people will argue that X-Plane has more realistic flight models and they're probably right. MS FS however, is a close second, and when it comes to the overall gaming experience and look and feel of everything - the MS FS is a clear winner!

    IF YOU'RE UPGRADING FROM FS 2002:
    * Greatly improved dynamic weather system - You can now have the system automatically update itself in the background with real weather conditions as often as every 15 minutes. The clouds look a lot more realistic than in FS 2002.
    * New weather themes - Gives you both static and dynamic weather themes such as a brewing thunderstorm etc.
    * Enhanced ATC (Air Traffic Control) - Altitude changes in flight, ATC at all airports, request new flight plan en-route (especially useful if your current one gets cancelled).
    * Better 3D virtual cockpits
    * Some scenery enhancements, such as signs on taxiways. Most scenery changes are quite subtle.
    * Old GPS system has finally been scrapped, and instead replaced by two real life looking Garmin GPS's (slightly stripped down versions, but quite impressive still - Color and all).
    * The rain has been improved - Looks more realistic.
    * New planes of course - all of them are historic aircraft such as Douglas DC-3, the "Kitty Hawk", the "Spirit of St. Louis", Piper Cub etc.

    IF YOU'RE NEW TO MICROSOFT FLIGHT SIMULATOR, OR YOU HAVEN'T UPGRADED IN A WHILE:
    * Real-World weather - with dynamic updates and dynamic weather changes. Multiple cloud layers. Plain and simple, the clouds look fantastic!!! The rain and snow need some improvement, but is still very good.
    * Worldwide scenery with accurate 3D terrain.
    * Scenery Auto-Generation - Buildings are generated on the fly based on what type of area you're flying over.
    * More than 24000 worldwide airports - a lot of them very realistic looking.

    * 2D and 3D cockpits.
    * Various types of planes - Boeing 737, 747, 777, Learjet, Cessna 172 and 182, Extra 300, a couple of more propeller planes, a sailplane, a helicopter, and of course all the historic planes that are new to this version.
    * Jeppeson NavData database - ILS, VORs, NDB data etc.
    * Landmarks all over the world - Eiffel tower, Statue of Liberty, Alcatraz, Empire State Building, USS Nimitz, the Red Square/Kremlin in Moscow etc.
    * Multiplayer capability - Can play over network or internet (MSN Zone).

    I still miss the World Trade Center Towers, and the Concorde, but realistically enough, they're both gone from this version. *sniff*

    Conclusion: I highly recommend this game, both as an upgrade or if you're buying MS FS for the first time... FIVE STARS!!!...more info

  • No regret
    I began with the Flight Simulator 2000 release. Then, FS2002 has been a huge improvement. Reading reviews on FS2004 I waited a few months before deciding to get it; until I found a good deal during Chrismas time. No regret at all. Just for the new lessons, it worthed the money. Also, for the new virtual cockpit, GPS, clouds, etc. I would say that the improvements of this release is as big as when I switched from FS2000 to FS2002. I give a 4 starts because, as always, you need a huge system to take advantage of all the graphics and possibilites of this game....more info
  • Jokers
    Anone running this game on P3 450 with 32 mb ram is a joker..dont even come close to this title if you dont have latest gen of P4 or AMD paired with some 64 VGA at least !!!
    ( 512 system ram mandatory )....more info
  • Treats the customer as a thief!!!
    This is the only piece of software I've seen that requires loading a specific CD *each* time you run the program. That is a serious defect---all the worse because it is clearly done with malice aforethought. Program CDs are normally kept in a safe place to avoid being damaged as well as the more serious problem of cluttering up my computer station. The MSFS folks need to get a clue!

    I may well send this product back for a refund....more info
  • A great simulator, but needs a great pc
    As I started last year with the Flight Simulator 2002 with my pentium 4 processor, 1.8Ghz, and 256 Ram the problems begins with my PC, now I have a 2.4 Ghz 1G RAM, Nvidia Video Card, and a 17" monitor (believe me, I do all this changes in order to have much better improvement with my simulator, and finally now with this F2004 I have a better flying experience.) If you don`t have a good PC you might be in troubles, because you need speed and memory and a really good video card, and I tried to keep away from third party add ons because they always slow the performance. but talking about the simulator, has a little more changes from FS2002, now with Taxiways signs and the More ATC comunication make flying a good experience. I hope that in the next two years, microsoft can finally put real world airlines and try with more detailed sceneries. Overall I like this game with 5 stars but I vote 4 because the performance capabilities from the pc. Anyway, if you love to fly just do it with this simulator, and if you can upgrade your PC will be very helpful....more info
  • Review for flight 2004
    I found the product to be very skillfuly rendered and fairly easy to play however I found the add-on, "Dogfight" very difficult to set up...as a matter of fact I have yet to be able to get it up and running....more info
  • Great, but maybe not great enough
    After swearing that I'd stick with "Flight Simulator 2002" and forego upgrading it with FS2004, I had a second opportunity to fly this ship. While it's still not quite the wonder sim I thought it would be, FS2004 is a dependable performer. While I was quite happy with 2002, 2004 adds more integrated Air Traffic Control, more realistic looking GPS and pre-flight navigation. In two ways, the new game outshines the ancestors: first is its weather generator - with the most believable clouds of the series - atmospheric effects are much more fluid than on previous incarnations; secondly, the game's engine more appropriately models both the physical and aerodynamic aspects of each plane - rather than just flight performance, we have a better feel for each plane's dimensions, weight and mechanisms, with obvious improvements in the modeling of control surfaces, retracting landing gear, doors and vapor trails. (A great example is the Piper Cub, in which the control cables are a visible part of the flight panel and respond to aileron inputs, but I digress...). Scenery is improved over 2002 - living in the NYC area, I had fun sim-flying along Long Island's south shore.

    THERE'S NO SUCH THING AS FREE IN-FLIGHT LUNCH: All that performance comes at a price, and despite a systems requirement for a CPU in the conservative 450mhz range, I experienced only better than marginal performance on a PC with 6 times that horsepower. The likely critical factor is a video card - my Dell system lacks an AGP or PCI-e bus, so I've been slow to get past Intel's ridiculously underpowered and misnamed Extreme graphics chipset. Frame-rate is smooth, but that's with the options turned down. I still get great looking weather, but AI traffic is painfully sparse. Water effects seemed better in FS2002, with dynamic waves and such of that game missing here. Performance on comparable notebook computers will likely suffer even more. You get more aircraft with this game than older versions - but then again, older versions were always able to accept 3rd party aircraft. The physics of hovering aircraft like Harriers or helicopters seems little changed from the days when people were able to add those planes in FS4 (late 80's early 1990's). Being no stranger to Flight Simulator, I found it was slightly trickier to install add-on aircraft to FS2004 than on the older incarnations of the game - installing some aircraft had the result of missing working gauges; some planes wouldn't install at all.

    NOTAM: If you've got a better than decent graphics card (a Radeon 9XXX or GeForce FX) and missed the last few editions of MSFS, then FS2004 is great fodder for your inner armchair aviator; If you've spent less on your system's graphics card than on getting every copy of MSFS made since the days of "Flight Simulator for Windows `95", then maybe you should stick with FS2002.

    NO WILDLIFE WAS ABUSED IN THE REVIEW OF THIS PRODUCT EXCEPT: My PC, a Dell Pentium 4 (3.2 Ghz) with 512mb RAM, and no graphics acceleration (yet)....more info
  • are they reviews really for flight simulator 2004
    Most of the reviews are from 2002, but the game just came out in August 2003...more info
  • Well Rounded Flight Simulator For Everyone
    If you have even a passing interest in aviation simulation, then the experience provided by MFS2004:ACOF (FS9) is one you don't want to be without.

    This incredibly open environment will give you literally limitless experiences. The Microsoft Flight Simulator community is extremely large and there are literally thousands of add-on's (aircraft, panels, textures, sounds) that are public domain freeware. There are also many high-quality commercial add-on's to choose from as well. How well aircraft resemble their real counterparts is dependent on how much data the developer listed in the aircraft configuration file. The simulator uses a physics engine to process the data. This data can be changed by the user by just using a text editor.

    The weather engine for FS9 is simply stunning. Real-time, photorealistic, weather generated dynamically from weather stations across the globe.

    Through third parties (free and commercial), artificial intelligence with traffic is possible to the extent of real-world commercial flights in the simulator that are based off real-world flight schedules. Have an airline ticket with American Airlines for next week? Well, in the simulator you can go to your airport, today, and set the time and date for that flight. At the departure time, you will see that aircraft with correct details of aircraft type, airline, flight number, pull up to the runway and ask for IFR departure to your intended destination city!

    All of this comes at a cost. The cost is hardware resources. You simply can't have enough resources for this extremely large program. This program is more of an environment than an application.

    The mininum specifications listed is a joke. With the exception of the CPU, multiply all that by three. Multiply the CPU by FOUR.

    You will want to have a video card with at least 128 MB. Even then, you should be looking at 256 MB video cards.

    Yes, its that dependent on raw processing power!

    This simulator isn't perfect, but it is the most well-rounded flight simulator that everyone can enjoy. If extreme realistic detail with flying a commercial heavy is more important to you than stunning graphics, then there are other simulators that will better serve your needs. Take a look at Aerowinx's "Precision Simulator" for this need, which is the most detailed (procedures and systems) 747 simulator that consumer money ($250+) can buy. "Precision Simulator" is designed for functionality, not pleasant graphics. In fact, it is a DOS application. I would not recommend "Precision Simulator" to anyone unless they knew exactly what they were getting with it. The learning curve is intense and in comparison it makes "Microsoft Flight Simulator" look like an arcade game. If you have just a passing interest in some of the more advanced avionics of a commercial heavy, I would recommend using PMDG's 737NG with FS2004. This third party add-on aircraft is put together very well and even has a partially functional CDU. While it doesn't have the depth of "Precision Simulator", this CDU does allow you to have the majority of the FMC capabilities -- including SID/STAR procedures.

    In short, if you have the system resources and want to fly around mainly in general aviation aircraft and view stunning scenery, then FS9 is for you. General windows knowledge (copy/paste files, editing files with text editors, create/delete directories, using archives) is mandatory if you want to get the full potential out of this software....more info

  • As Real As It Gets
    I am a long time flight simmer, from the early flight sim days. I upgraded to FS2004 from FS2002, and what a difference. The clouds are better, the graphics are faster, and the planes are more realistic. The flight dynamics are amazing, and the overall feel of the planes in flight is wonderful. This game will kill your machine if you dont have more than the recommended system specs however. I would suggest you have at least a 250Gig hard drive, 2Gigs of RAM to run this smoothly with the settings that give you lots of eye candy. ...more info
  • AN AWSOME FLIGHT SIMULATOR !
    I LOVE THIS GAME! WHEN I FIRST GOT THIS GAME I WENT STRAIT TO CREATE A FLIGHT AND FLEW A 747 AT NIGHT. I STARTED OUT ON THE RUNWAY BUT I COULDEN'T MOVE FROM THERE. SO I WENT TO GETING STARTED AND THE TOP OPTION WITH THE ASSISTED FLIGHT. THERE ARE A SERIES OF VIDEOS THAT TEACH YOU TO FLY AND A BEGINER'S FLIGHT TO GET YOU STARTED. I SUGGEST GETTING A JOYSTICK WHICH THEY HAVE PLENTY OF AT BEST BUY. I WORKED MY WAY UP FROM A CESSNA TO A BOEING. THEN I STARTED TO BE DISSAPOINTED WITH THE LIMITS OF JET LINERS AND THE FACT THAT THERE ARE NO REAL AIRLINES. SO I GOT AN ADD ON FROM GLIDE-SLOPE. ANYWAY, THIS GAME IS AWESOME! BUY IT!...more info
  • A century to learn. . .
    Loading FS2004 into Windows ME, using a 1 gig, 256 MHz, system takes a little longer than the 2002 version and you'll need to load disc #4 every time you fly. But many of the new aircraft and the improved scenery were worth the wait and bother. I'm sorry to say; I found the Wright flyer a disappointment. You'll overcome the "challenge" of keeping it in the air for over 12 seconds, in no time, and then you'll find yourself flying from the Kill Devil Hills, out over Manteo Island and Albermarle Sound or maybe touring Mann's Harbor. The new Garmin GPS system is wild, and great, if you want to sit in the left seat like the real flyboys. Believe me, at the minimum, most of us will want to print the 41-page guide for this NAV aid, from the fabulous library of manuals in the Learning Center. I know I will also have to go back and do Mr. Machado's ground school for real to make use of most of the GPS's features. I do miss the dynamic map coordinates available in the FS2002 Pro.'s GPS. Remember the frustrating 1983 Kilauea eruption flight and the useless update to it in the 2002 "read me" file? I found that by looking up Kilauea's map coordinates in an atlas, then plotting a course using the appropriate radial from the Hilo VOR (212 degrees), I could check my track against the updated longitude and latitude as I flew to where I hoped the volcano would be. I have to pause the flight every time I want an update, now. The Kilauea eruption flight is no longer listed but you can still enjoy the eruption by clicking the "World" tab and using the calendar feature as a Wayback Machine, before you head out to find it. The biggest challenge in FS-2004 will be learning to use all of the features of the new Garmin GPS 500 or GPSMAP 295. Once you do, then a lot of flying is done for you. That's why pilots can doze at the stick in modern aircraft. I didn't buy the FS2004 as a sleeping aid. Another reviewer panned the panel lighting. I agree, but, I imagine the DC-3 just had a bright dome light, anyway. If you fly that machine in the dark, you'll need it, too. Positive vs. negative, would I still buy it. Yup!!!! Oh. I think you'll have even more fun if you get an M.S. Force Feedback 2 Joystick. Try getting "funny" with the DC-3 using that stick. It kicks . . .....more info
  • A great simulator, but needs a great pc
    As I started last year with the Flight Simulator 2002 with my pentium 4 processor, 1.8Ghz, and 256 Ram the problems begins with my PC, now I have a 2.4 Ghz 1G RAM, Nvidia Video Card, and a 17" monitor (believe me, I do all this changes in order to have much better improvement with my simulator, and finally now with this F2004 I have a better flying experience.) If you don`t have a good PC you might be in troubles, because you need speed and memory and a really good video card, and I tried to keep away from third party add ons because they always slow the performance. but talking about the simulator, has a little more changes from FS2002, now with Taxiways signs and the More ATC comunication make flying a good experience. I hope that in the next two years, microsoft can finally put real world airlines and try with more detailed sceneries. Overall I like this game with 5 stars but I vote 4 because the performance capabilities from the pc. Anyway, if you love to fly just do it with this simulator, and if you can upgrade your PC will be very helpful....more info
  • Nicely done. Someday, I'll really appreciate the effort.
    Why does Microsoft release a game with options that can't be selected with todays technology?
    I've flown this sim on several high-end (P4 2.4 to 3.2) computers, and nobody has been able to use the highest details simultaneously without the sim turning into a slide-show.

    Still, when you back off the detail settings, the sim can run smoothly. I like the idea of interaction with ATC, and having flown real aircraft for the past 14 years, the calls are close to accurate.

    This is one of those games/sims that you'll really appreciate sometime in the fall of 2004, when you've upgraded to the next faster machine. For now, at playable settings, it won't look much different than what you've flown before....more info