Many of you know that one of my passions is for flight, and one of my hobbies is playing Microsoft Flight Simulator X or, "FSX" as flight-simmers refer to it.
Back during the '08 recession (which we're still not out the woods from yet) Microsoft announced that the ACES Studio which created FS9 and FSX was being shut down. Then a year later word came that another division of ACES was being revitalized and a new version of FSX was in the works. Suffice it to say everyone in the flight-sim community was abuzz and waiting to see what MS would offer us.
As of February 29th the wait is over and we now have "Microsoft Flight" as the supposed FSX replacement. I can sum up the review of this new sim with one word: Crap.
What MS has done to the venerable FSX platform is nothing short of despicable. This new "Flight" simulation should have the word "simulation" stripped from it's genre, as this is much more game-like than a simulation. So what's wrong with Microsoft Flight? Here's a simple breakdown list of some of the most obvious problems:
1. All that is available to fly around in is the Hawaiian Islands - and to get full access to all the areas and features you have to pay $60 bucks! You can buy a "gold" copy of FSX (which now comes with the Acceleration pack built-in) for less than $30 dollars and you get THE ENTIRE PLANET!
2. Only 2 aircraft readily available; a few others you have to purchase. FSX planes are NOT compatible with this sim and there's no method to install third-party add-ons - yet.
3. No tower view!! Huh?
4. You're forced to start off with "lessons" on how to fly one plane; to gain access to other planes/areas to have to pass more "lessons".
5. Aircraft graphics seem to be OK, but terrain is just fair, even on high settings. Add-on packs for FSX blow Flight away by a far margin.
I could go on with pages of rants about why this new sim really isn't a sim anymore, and die-hard FSX fans - and even student pilots will be severely disappointed in this new release from MS.
The king of the hill has been and still is FSX. I seriously doubt MS will take notice of all the poor reviews MS Flight is getting and retool this game back into the King of Flight Simulation that it's been for decades, but for now if you're into FSX then stick with it.
On another related note: Ikarus has created a new flight-sim of it's own, based around it's years of experience with radio-control PC-based trainers (they use the radio transmitter hooked up to your PC to control a virtual RC model). It's called, Aerofly FS and while it's just been released in the EU it's not available in the USA just yet. But, the graphics capabilities of this sim would easily outpace both FSX and MS Flight, so that's worth watching for.