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Falcon 4 Plus
by Bob "Groucho" Marks
There are very few cases in which killing something improves it, with the obvious exception of meat products. My friends out there in the Undead Rights Movement may disagree with this statement, but I hardly consider shambling about in search of living brains to eat or blood to drink an improvement. Unless, of course, said zombie was a lawyer or politician in life. But I digress.
When Hasbro sacked the Microprose development team in Alameda last December, they effectively eliminated any further evolution, improvement, or support of Falcon 4.0. Shouting above the wails of the hardcore, Hasbro Interactive paid lip service to continuing support of Falcon, even as they were laying torches to the cubicle walls. "We think flight sims are great games; they're art," said Hasbro PR rep Laura Tomasetti, in December. "We just wish they had a broader audience."
That, my friends, is Corporate-ese for “Put a fork in it. It’s done.” One only need load up Gunship! for proof of that. Shudder.
They could not have been more wrong- Falcon 4.0 is today a vastly better simulation than 24 hours after its overrated demise at the hands of corporate bean counters. The accounting staff at Hasbro Interactive may have decapitated the most complex of all sims, but they didn’t put a stake in its heart.
The guys at iBeta have done more to improve Falcon 4.0 in six months than MicroProse did in the entire year of F4’s corporate-sanctioned life. The release of Realism Patch 2.1 is just the latest in a line of vast improvements of gameplay, most of which have been gone over by Kurt "Froglips" Giesselman recently on this very site. His comprehensive article, Flying the New Falcon 4.0 Online, is an excellent reference to fine-tuning your machine to deal with the rigors of the post- Realism Patch F4.
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