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Which Fighter Sim?


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#1 Jaymz

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Posted 03 March 2005 - 02:02 AM

I really want to get a fighter Sim and was all set to buy F-18 Operation Iraqi Freedom.  I had a quick check for reviews on the web and now don't know what to do.

Does anyone have any views on which is the best fighter sim to get?  I'm not the most experienced sim player and don't want to spend weeks getting bogged down in the 'realism' just want to play something that offers a lot more than a simple arcade game.

Any ideas?

#2 Drinniol

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Posted 03 March 2005 - 06:16 AM

OIF isn't bad if you haven't played any prior Hornet games, if you have, you'll realise it's exactly the same. Probably still based off the unfinished A-10 Attack! code, too. Pretty much everything else is WW2-based, take a look at TargetWare, though. Perhaps even Falcon 4.0, if you can find it. The patches make it somewhat workable =) Epsilon Tahiri might float your boat, but you'll find a lot of games are heavier than what I think you're looking for. Perhaps even Enemy Engaged, not really a fighter sim, per se, but the action is hard and heavy.
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#3 yomoooo

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Posted 10 March 2005 - 06:27 AM

I haven't tried any of the Hornet games, but I'm an experienced flight-sim-person. Any ideas on which of the games is the best?

#4 Stickboy

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Posted 10 March 2005 - 07:38 AM

yomoooo, on March 10th 2005, 12:27 PM, said:

I haven't tried any of the Hornet games, but I'm an experienced flight-sim-person. Any ideas on which of the games is the best?

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Well, Enemy Engaged certainly got a good review – you can check it out here. It definitely seems to be one of the more modern combat flight-sim offerings currently available for the Mac. I suggest downloading the demo and trying it for yourself.

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#5 yomoooo

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Posted 10 March 2005 - 01:25 PM

Stickboy, on March 10th 2005, 02:38 PM, said:

Well, Enemy Engaged certainly got a good review – you can check it out here. It definitely seems to be one of the more modern combat flight-sim offerings currently available for the Mac. I suggest downloading the demo and trying it for yourself.

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Yea, I downloaded the demo earlier but realised my computer is lacking behind too much to take care of all the eyecandy. Hopefully a G5 will drop down from heaven soon...  :P

Anyway, if I remember it right the Hornet games have lower requirements?  :unsure:
If I want one of the Hornet games, which one is the best?

#6 SpaceMonkey

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Posted 14 March 2005 - 05:29 PM

yomoooo, on March 10th 2005, 02:25 PM, said:

Yea, I downloaded the demo earlier but realised my computer is lacking behind too much to take care of all the eyecandy. Hopefully a G5 will drop down from heaven soon...  :P

Anyway, if I remember it right the Hornet games have lower requirements?  :unsure:
If I want one of the Hornet games, which one is the best?

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Hornet OIF is the only Hornet game that will run natively in OS X.  I'm pretty sure Hornet 3.0 will run in Classic, however.

The Hornet series is split between two theaters: the Persian Gulf, and Korea.  I've been told that OIF has new missions, but all of the previous Hornet games had pretty much exactly the same missions for each theater (ie, all the Gulf games shared the same missions, and all the Korea games shared the same missions).  The differences between the games were changes in the flight model, updated graphics, some attempts to make instruments, radar, and weapons behave more realistically, more complex terrain, and better modeling of enemy aircraft.

Rundown of the Hornet series:

F/A-18 Hornet (original version): Persian Gulf Theater

F/A-18 Hornet 2.x: same Gulf mission set, included "Korean Crisis" expansion set.  1st Hornet game to give you a wingman, as well as support from additional aircraft (such as F-16s, A-10s).

F/A-18 Hornet 3.x: same Gulf mission set; 1st real attempt to get away from omniscient radar and radar-warning-receiver modes; graphics are more complex than in 2.x, but are still polygon-based.  Runs in Classic.

F/A-18 Hornet Korea: standalone Korean theater game (with I think same missions as "Korean Crisis"?) that included the improved features of Hornet 3.x.  1st Hornet game to have textured graphics and a mission editor.  I don't know if this game will run in Classic.

IMO, Hornet 3.0 (Persian Gulf) had the best balance of realism and playability.  I never played Hornet Korea, however (though I did play the "Korean Crisis" expansion pack back in 2.x).

#7 Quicksilver

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Posted 14 March 2005 - 10:10 PM

The Mac military flight-sim community died after F/A-18 Hornet Korea, in my opinion.  There hasn't been a simulator that's worth $50 since then, but try Target Korea, which is free.

http://tk.targetware.net/index.php

I used to be the king of flight sims--in fact, F/A-18 Hornet was the first game I ever played and phew, I spent a lot of time mastering it.  I've owned every single version up to OIF, but OIF is waste.  Basically, OIF is F/A-18 Hornet Korea repackaged for Mac OS X--the GUI is new, they texture the ground with low-res satellite detail, and they added low-level clouds.  I've read quite a bit about it, and looked at every screenshot there is, and that's it--everything looks exactly the same as it did in F/A-18 Hornet Korea (I should know--I played it enough).   :glare:

It just makes me mad that Graphsim is trying to sell an eight year-old game for $50 and advertising it as something new.  Even in 1998 (a year after Korea was released), F/A-18 Hornet's graphics got the pants kicked off it by Falcon 4.0, and now it's just downright pathetic.  

Now that I'm done raving about Graphic Simulations, I need to say this:  F/A-18 Hornet's gameplay is a heck of a lot of fun.  I wouldn't have spent a lot of time (and money--wow, it was a lot) buying and playing every single rendition of the game and a Gravis Firebird ADB joystick (back then, it wasn't cheap--like $90) if it wasn't worth it.  If you really want to play F/A-18 Hornet, just buy it used or get Korea--don't pay $50 because, you're not getting your money's worth.   :mellow:

Onto Falcon!  Falcon 4.0 is an example of realism taken too far.  If you're a flight sim nut, you'll still get turned off by the game--I couldn't stand it after a week of constant training and finally sold it on eBay last year.  It's the only game I've never finished.  The game has an approximately 3 pound, 600 page manual, and trust me--you'll need to memorize a LOT of it.  The whole point is, the reward for mastering Falcon 4.0 isn't enough to offset it's astounding learning curve.

If I had to give you a suggestion for the next-best thing to a military flight sim like F/A-18 Hornet, try X2:  The Threat when it comes out.  The game is maddenly addictive, and it incorporates many elements of what made the Escape Velocity series  such a blast.  :happy:
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#8 DaveyJJ

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Posted 15 March 2005 - 06:05 AM

QuicksilverG5, on March 14th 2005, 11:10 PM, said:

I used to be the king of flight sims--in fact, F/A-18 Hornet was the first game I ever played and phew, I spent a lot of time mastering it.

No, you're the king of flight sims when you still have the original floppy of Donald Hill Jr's black and white wireframe P51 flight sim, and will never sell your disks from Hellcats  :happy:

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#9 Ari

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Posted 15 March 2005 - 07:12 AM

QuicksilverG5, on March 15th 2005, 06:10 AM, said:

Onto Falcon!  Falcon 4.0 is an example of realism taken too far.  If you're a flight sim nut, you'll still get turned off by the game--I couldn't stand it after a week of constant training and finally sold it on eBay last year.  It's the only game I've never finished.  The game has an approximately 3 pound, 600 page manual, and trust me--you'll need to memorize a LOT of it.  The whole point is, the reward for mastering Falcon 4.0 isn't enough to offset it's astounding learning curve.

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I agree that Falcon has a steeper learning curve than Hornet series, but hardly astounding or I wouldn't probably have learned it at all and enjoyed it so much. ;) After I picked up Falcon and learned the basics, I never looked back to Hornet. Hornet didn't even feel like a proper simulator anymore with it's arcade flight model, unrealistic damage and weapons modeling and nutty wingmen... :mellow:

For me Falcon would have been the ultimate combat sim, if only the numerous bugs had been ironed out. I'm actually really envious to PC simmers for their Falcon that's been developed for years after official patches ceased. They have had the leaked source code of F4 to work with.  

A little off-topic: I'd really like to see LOMAC coming to Mac (but according to UbiSoft it won't be), here's an incredible video of Russian simmers flying formation with LOMAC.  :blink:

#10 Quicksilver

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Posted 15 March 2005 - 07:52 AM

Well, I have a working copy of Microsoft Flight Simulator, the original version for our 128k Mac, which still works!

Falcon does have an astounding learning curve on the most realistic settings.  As far as F/A-18's flight model, realism is all relative.  It's not even close to what you'd call, "arcade."  So, unless you're training to become a real fighter pilot, F/A-18 is a lot more fun with F/A-18, which is what playing a game is all about, right?
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#11 WSTE_M

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Posted 15 March 2005 - 09:11 AM

Right on!

I too like the Targetware sims (so far there is a WWI, WII asia and Korea module for download)
The planes a bit too hard to fly, and being a beta there are plenty of rougth edges, but it is the best option at the time.

Falcon 4.0 never did anything for me, there was an annoying bug that caused textures to be replaced at random, which made flying impossible. And it was never updated to Mac OS X...

I also feel that a flight sim should be kept reasonable, not acrade, but reasonable. Some elements of Falcon 4.0 were just impossible (such as aerial refuling)

I miss the good old days with A-10 Attack (and Cuba), F/A-18 Hornet 2.0

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#12 Ari

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Posted 15 March 2005 - 12:21 PM

Correction: Falcon aerial refueling was hard, but not impossible. You just need a good joystick and really small corrections to attitude and speed when closing on a tanker.  ;)

Different people like different things. Too easy, unrealistic and not challenging enough sim is equal to boring to me.

#13 MGonzales

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Posted 03 May 2005 - 09:31 AM

Is a PC-only guy allowed to participate in this thread? :) Oops, and I'm kinda late too.

F/A-18 PSF (aka F/A-18 Korea Gold for PC) is still my all-time favorite flight sim and for many reasons…

+++ Low hardware requirements
- Only 70MB HD space
- OpenGL settings maxed with consistently fluent frame rates
- 1 to 2 second mission load times

+++ Features
- Excellent training videos (still watch these over pots of coffee)
- Super slick mission recorder (always on, doesn't affect frame rates, very flexible)
- Sweet mission editor

+++ Situational awareness
- Clean graphics (dated but still look good, IMO)
- Excellent 2D/3D cockpit (old-school virtual pit, but VERY nice implementation)

+++ PDF Manual (Korea)
- Included PSF PDF manual sucks for printing, but much better Korea Manual is available...
http://www.graphsim....b/Art/Korea.PDF

+++ Scalability
The pic on this thread says it all...
http://www.simhq.com...c;f=59;t=000349

+++ However +++

No a/a refueling, no moving Carrier, suspect FM (single engine performance, high altitude fuel flow, etc.), scalability options don't always seem to matter, etc.

Despite its' shortcomings, PSF is just fantastic, IMO! I cannot express how much I like PSF's virtual cockpit implementation. The two buttons to the right of my joystick hat are:

1. Front View (1 key)
2. SA/Padlock View (4 key)

The 4 key is a toggle, allowing me to watch my target and where I am headed with a single button and with a very wide-angle virtual pit. Unlike Falcon, I can also override my padlock at any time using my JS hat to smoothly pan my cockpit.

The only thing I wish was that the 2D snap views were sticky and more like Falcon's field of view. Also, that my JS Hat Down would give me Lookdown View (2 key) in the 2D pit.

I find the 2D pit snap views to be useless so when I need to look around, I choose my JS button assigned the 4 key and smoothly pan my view with my JS hat. The HUD and MFDs (which are always legible) follow your view and are readable while you're padlocked giving you great SA in a knife fight.

It would be nice if the virtual pit had restricted head movement though, and if all visible parts were textured. But again, the 2D/3D implementation is excellent and makes this sim very comfortable to me!

My only REAL issue with PSF is constantly flying through trees at 40,000'! There are entire forests up there! Maybe this is a PC only problem, I dunno.

Anyway, please enjoy my PSF screen shots...
http://www.simhq.com...ic;f=3;t=002219
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#14 MGonzales

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Posted 05 May 2005 - 10:30 AM

MGonzales, on May 3rd 2005, 10:31 AM, said:

The 4 key is a toggle, allowing me to watch my target and where I am headed with a single button and with a very wide-angle virtual pit.

Just wanted to clarify this statement. PSF's SA/Padlock View key (4 key) is a toggle in that it moves your view from padlock (i.e. air or ground target) to front view (while staying in the wide-angle virtual pit) with each press of the key (or JS button in my case). Freggin' fantastic idea! :D I don't know why more sims which use a virtual pit don't work this way (i.e. Jane's USAF).

The only thing I wish was that the 2D Front View (1 key) was a toggle also, switching you from Front View to Lookdown View (same as 2 key) with each press of the key (or JS button). This is how it works in OIF (kinda weird to have a Lookdown View at all in a single 3D pit, though) and I really wish I could do this in PSF.

One very nice feature in PSF that's missing in OIF is that, in the 2D pit, you can press Ctrl I to have a full screen HUD view. Many sims have this feature but the HUD takes up the entire screen area. PSF leaves it normal size by simply hiding the pit (including MFDs) for a full screen HUD-only view. Very nicely done, IMO.

Also, I know that having the HUD and MFDs follow your view in the virtual pit is unrealistic and this may kill immersion for some, but this may be the only way to use the zoomed out wide-angle pit for greater SA which is far more important, IMO. Once you zoom out OIF's pit to match PSF's virtual pit's default wide-angle view, the HUD, MFDs, and instruments become distorted and probably unreadable for most. I look at it this way. Flying a plane on my PC is also unrealistic in that I have no feel for the plane nor any peripheral vision. So it's a reasonable trade-off, IMO. :)

And once more, I wish PSF's 2D snap views were sticky and covered a wider field of view like Falcon. One of my biggest gripes about OIF (among many) is that the 2D snap views is all you have, besides Alt + mouse free look which is useless to me. At least PSF gives me smooth JS hat panning (free look) in the virtual pit which I find essential, especially considering the poor 2D snap views.

Situational awareness, especially with cockpit views (not "cheater" external views which I use only on replay), is what is most important to me and PSF delivers! A few tweaks to PSF's 2D/3D pit would make it just about perfect, IMO!

There are some interesting comments by Jon Blum (Hornet Korea's graphics artist) in this thread regarding 2D/3D cockpits...
http://www.simhq.com...c;f=59;t=000317
(please disregard my long-winded ranting, just go straight to Varmint's posts)
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#15 bgarry

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Posted 09 May 2005 - 03:48 PM

If you want a game that gives you a bit of everything try out WWII Online.

WWII Online

Basically it is a complete simulation of Western Europe during WWII.  You can play as infantry, tank, AT guns,  AAA guns, trucks, fighters, bombers, paratroopers, naval elements and some that I am sure to have forgotten.  Make no mistake, this is not BF1942!!!  This is not a run and gun, kill and respawn game.  Yes, in some cases this can happen but more often than not you will need teamwork and strategy to overwhelm the enemy.  

You can choose to play Allied or Axis, each has strengths and weaknesses, and play on a real time campaign that is controlled by HC's (High Command).  They basically tell you where to fight and what they need and you attempt to achieve the objective.

There is a 30 day free trial available on the website so check it out.

The game has a large learning curve so ask for help or you'll hate the game before you give it a chance.  The graphics aren't stellar but the developers (Cornered Rat) are great guys and are always making updates regularly.  There is a big overhaul and new box release about to happen relatively soon that should make great changes to the game overall.  

If you are looking for a Mac squad to join check out Jaguar at the link below

Jagaur - A WWII Online Squad

Good luck and ask for help.  As a whole the communtiy is really a great bunch of guys and gals and almost everyone is willing to help a newbie get over the learning hump!!  See you on the battlefield!!!

#16 benwards

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Posted 11 May 2005 - 02:13 AM

If you're looking for a fun and simple flight sim, I have to suggest OSX Skyfighters 1945. It may not be the shiniest or most complicated, but I've really been enjoying playing it over the past few days. The "Fly Quick Dogfight" option is great, tossing you right into the action...

#17 LC5

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Posted 11 May 2005 - 03:40 AM

I really must recommend Warbirds III !
It is a online WW2 flight sim, and there is some offline flying to be had as well.
Check it out!
http://www.totalsims.com/index.php

#18 DaveyJJ

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Posted 11 May 2005 - 09:02 AM

LC5, on May 11th 2005, 04:40 AM, said:

I really must recommend Warbirds III !
It is a online WW2 flight sim, and there is some offline flying to be had as well.
Check it out!
http://www.totalsims.com/index.php

I'd wait though as I've read that Warbirds latest version, Warbirds 2005 is due within a few days (aor weeks at the most).

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