So there I was in the summer of 1995, 13 years old and dateless. I couldn't figure out what the problem was, I started wearing deodorant and everything after some girl I really liked told me I smelled. Still, no date. Meaning that I had time to watch some TV, and Stephen King's "Langoliers" just happened to be on.
I remember it caught my eye because I have always loved the 80s, and I thought the movie was from then. As it turned out, it was from 1995, but it was so cheesy that I thought otherwise.
As always, I wasn't interested in the main point of the movie, rather, flying the airplane they had caught my interest. I loved how complicated it was and how it took skill. So I convinced my parents to spring for Microsoft Flight Simulator 5.1. Which I was terrible at.
Nowadays we have Flight Simulator X. As someone who used to fly, I can say that if you have a yoke, it's fairly accurate to the real thing. It's also a lot easier when you can simply flick a switch to lower the flaps on final approach, rather than having to hunt for the F7 key. Plus, it provides much better control. What's cool is that you can set flight plans, and all the VOR and ILS frequencies are true to life. I was assigned an ILS approach into Dallas' runway 35R, and when I looked up the chart online, the 111.75 frequency was picked up, and got me right down the the runway. Which I thought was awesome.
I also love how you can pick weather, or have real-time weather loaded into the game. Sometimes I like to break out the rudder pedals and try a crosswind landing, which are never easy. Yesterday I put heavy storms around Dallas, and there was a 2-mile visibility, which isn't very much when it comes to aviation. I saw the runway at the very last second, turned off the auto-pilot, and put the bird down safely.
Only thing is, if you want to use high settings, you're going to need a powerful computer, unless you're good with 5 frames a second. I have medium settings, and can get a good experience on 17 frames per second. But just be warned.
This isn't a game I play all the time, but every now and then I get the itch. And I tell you, the flight yoke makes all the difference in the world!
Tell us about games you are currently playing. "Quick hit" reviews.
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