|Posted by Darcy on October 6, 2013 at 7:30 AM|
The idea of purchasing a video game online was foreign to most of us not that long ago. Just before eBay swarmed into our lives and reassured us that making purchases over the World Wide Web wasn’t only super convenient but also incredibly safe, we were forced to trek into video game stores and malls to pick up the latest flight simulator offerings.
Whilst this method had its charms there is no denying that is was a bit of a mission and it really restricted fans of flight simulator games – and all video games in general, really – from being able to access a vast variety of titles and to have them at the click (or two) of a button.
Buying a flight simulator game online is now the on-trend way to do things; the more technology-savvy we become as a society, the more we embrace the concept of streamlining the way we make purchases in our everyday lives.
This evolution is fantastic for fans of the flight simulator genre for a whole host of reasons.
Firstly, we’re not able to access and download the latest plane simulator games at literally any time of day from anywhere around the world. We don’t need to reply on retail stores to be open and trading and malls to be nearby; we can literally get our hands on a new flight simulator game and be playing it within minutes.
An additional benefit to the online availability of these games is the amount of money we save when it comes to purchasing them. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that purchasing things online is almost always a hell of a lot cheaper than buying them in store.
Alex Travolta, editor-in-chief at Flight Sim Heaven was recently quoted as saying, "It seems almost impossible now for modern PC gamers to justify buying their flight simulator games anywhere other than online."
Retail owners and video game developers have to face overhead costs like rent, shipping, packaging and more and all of these factors only drive up the overall cost that you, me and all other flight simulator fans like us have to pay if we want to take to the skies.
By selling their product online and effectively cutting out the middle man – in this case, it’s the retailer – the developer saves quite a bit of money and that saving is then relayed onto the consumer, meaning we pay a significantly smaller amount if we opt to buy our plane simulator games online.
It almost seems like a no-brainer now, doesn’t it?
|Posted by Darcy on February 19, 2013 at 3:20 AM|
A lot of people are quick to put out their opinion that the most important element to any flight simulator game is its graphics. It is a common belief that the crisp landscapes, bustling airports and vast skylines are what makes or breaks a flight simulator is terms of overall quality and replay value.
I tend to agree that graphics and scenery certainly are really, really important to a flight sim – after all, no one wants to fly around in environments that look like they belong on a Sega Mega Drive – but if there is also a case to argue for another vital cog in the flight simulator machine and that is how realistic the in-game instruments are.
Newcomers to the games might not really know or be able to tell the difference between a flight sim that has boxy, tacked-on controls that feel like they’re been lifted directly from a 1970’s arcade and a modern age simulator but those who have played before can tell the difference.
The whole point of a flight simulator is to, well, simulate the experience of flying. The best flight simulators realise that the best way to get a player involved in the experience and to have them feel like they’re really a part of the action is to craft responsive, realistic instruments that behave just like their real-life counterparts.
This is achieved by modelling the controls within a virtual cockpit on the legitimate instruments that exist in the real world. Cheap and ‘lite’ flight simulator games don’t pay any focus to this side of the game design and that’s why they’ll never quite live up to the standard of a paid flight simulator game as far as I’m concerned. The developers behind games like Virtual Pilot 3D have taken the time and applied a pain-staking amount of effort to ensure that when you’re in one of the planes featured in their title, you’re as close to flying as physically possible.
Graphics are always going to be the first thing that people notice and comment on when it comes to any video game; that’s just the way that we operate. When you’re doing your research and looking for a flight simulator game that’s going to really impress you, then you should dig a little deeper and look into how detailed the in-cockpit designs are; that’s the true quality test in my opinion.
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