Top positive review
164 people found this helpful
This is one of the better simulations
on December 17, 2000
I had trouble getting this one to run, but finally was successful. I am running an AMD/K6-2 (350) CPU, with 64 Mb of RAM, and a Diamond Monster 3D II accelerator, with a Flightstick Pro and rudder pedals. According to the package, I meet all of the requirements. My operating system is Microsoft's Windows ME.
I loaded CFS2 twice, but when I tried to play it could not get past loading the scenery, when my screen went black. The machine locked up! Finally after trying the new drivers for the Diamond Monster, which I found on their European site, I got it to run properly.
You would think, though, that Microsoft, with all of their expertise, could design a game that would run without so many hassles.
The game is good. Graphics are superb, sound is good, and the scenery is excellent. The game runs smoothly, when you finally get it to run. I found some fault, of course.
First, I dislike the annoying cones that point you at the nearby enemy. They are certainly not realistic. Also, the enemy planes flit about in a most unrealistic fashion, and make them unrealistically hard to track. Even closing at a combined speed of 600 miles an hour, another aircraft should be more easily followed. However, Microsoft is no guiltier than many other simulation designers in such matters.
Modeling of the aircrafts' flight characteristics is not bad, but not entirely realistic, either. I took an F6F "Hellcat" up to 10,000 feet above Kwajalein atoll, an airstrip from which I have flown, and put her into a spin. This is an aircraft that was relatively easy to fly (I soloed in 1946 in the real thing.) Although I kicked reverse rudder and neutralized the controls properly, she would not recover from the spin and go into a dive. The F6F was not notorious for having bad spin characteristics.
Also, dropping your landing gear at a couple hundred miles an hour should not result in "gear damage." Pilots often did it in combat, to get a sudden reduction in speed.
Another problem is the slow reaction of the machine guns to the gun button. And after the button is released, they inexplicably keep on firing for a couple or three seconds.
The copy writers who wrote the Pilot's Manual fell into the same trap as everyone else in comparing the F6F with the F4U "Corsair." They claimed that the F6F is "far from the fastest U.S. fighter" but that it was in the "top rank of American fighters in the Pacific theater, along with the Vought Corsair." They claim a top speed for the Hellcat of 327 knots (376 mph) at 17,300 feet, while the Corsair is credited with a top speed of 363 knots (417 mph) at 19,900 feet, making the Corsair seem much faster. One gets tired of hearing such unfair comparisons.
I've got news for them: an article in Flight Journal last year by Corky Meyer (a Grumman test pilot) described a side by side test of the Corsair and Hellcat, flat out at the same altitude (they had the same R2800, 2,000 horsepower Pratt & Whitney engine, but different dash numbers) had them performing at the same speed over the ground, but the Corsair was indicating a higher speed due to the different placement of the pitot tube.
Because of its wing design, the Corsair had a quicker roll characteristic than the Hellcat. It was also more unstable and difficult to fly, and taxiing and landing visibility was hampered by the long engine nacelle. They called it the "Ensign Eliminator." Otherwise, they were very evenly matched in their performance characteristics.
The copy writers call the Corsair "big, tough, and fast," which it was of course, but the F6F pilots shot down over 70 percent of all air-to-air kills in the Pacific war. It is a vastly under rated airplane, by the desk jockeys.
Here are some figures: The Hellcat is credited with 5,156 air victories during WWII, and 306 Hellcat pilots shot down 5 or more enemy planes (the definition of an "ace.") Corsairs shot down 2,140 enemy, and made only 93 aces, although they enbtered service in the Pacific first. The famed Mustang was credited with only 296 kills, and made only 5 aces. The little F4F "Wildcat," with 1,006 kills made 58 aces, and was bad-mouthed as being obsolete at the war's beginning. Looking only at results, one wonders at the critics remarks.
But, this is a fine game. The graphics are right up there with Jane's WWII Fighters, and it will be a source of much pleasure for a lot of people.
Joseph Pierre, USN (Ret)