Thursday, 19 July 2012

Back in the air with FSX

Despite the fact I've just dropped 1200 Microsoft Points on the Alaskan Wilderness expansion pack for Microsoft Flight, it's their previous entry in the series which continues to give me much more pleasure.

Because of the closed nature of MS Flight - Microsoft charge for additional content via in-game purchases - the modding community has been bypassed entirely. A shame, as various teams and individuals continue to produce eye-popping add-ons for Microsoft's previous games in the series.

I've always enjoyed adding new texture meshes to the Flight Sim series but my creaking old computer never really did them justice. So to celebrate the arrival of my new PC, I decided to treat it to some new software for FSX.

The first item on the shopping list was to choose something from Orbx - a company who produce some remarkable scenery and texture meshes to enhance FSX. They have six packs on offer - Australia, Pacific Northwest, Pacific Fjords, Northern Rockies, Central Rockies and South Island: New Zealand.

I plumped for Pacific Northwest, which covers 156,000 square miles of western North America, comprising of large parts of Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia.

Next, I bought Rex HD - a complete weather, environment and flight planning add-on. With this programme, you can choose from a huge range of weather and lighting effects and, used in conjunction with Orbx products, ramp up FSX's enjoyability ten-fold.

I've been taking a lot of pictures as I fly around the Pacific Northwest - currently I'm exploring the areas around Victoria - which I've included here. I've also been using the iPad's map feature to plan routes and identify mountains, lakes and other points of interest.

So although Microsoft Flight might be the new kid in town, it pales in comparison with what can currently be achieved with FSX.

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