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Author Topic: Can someone give me an accurate impression of Jane's F-18?
Member # 310

posted 04-21-2000 11:41 PM     Profile for JT     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
I'm trying to decide whether I should buy Jane's F-18. A lot of the comments I've read about it speak of the graphics being bad or mediocre, but every screenshot I've seen looks very impressive... especially the lighting. Is everyone nuts or are my eyes deceiving me?
Also, how is the sense of speed down low? I will be very dissappointed if it feels too slow coming down on the deck. And, are the landing physics realistic or at least convincing?

Posts: 200 | From: | Registered: Sep 1999  |  IP: Logged
Member # 1640

posted 04-22-2000 02:34 AM     Profile for Rapier   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Well I have to say the terrian graphics are not spectalcular, object detail is spartan as is the cockpit, but the lighting is unbelieveable. The flight model is very good as far as I can tell as is the campaign, though I'm not sure if it would ever happen in real life. The AI is competent to a point (aircraft), Air defenses are lethal, and weapons modelling is excellent AFAIK. The only problem, and CJ say this is because the realistist natue of he radar model, is the poor/mediorce frame rates on even the highest end machines. Other then that it is a damn good sim even though it models the F/A-18 (which I don't particularly like considering it's disappointing preformance <in my opinion, other may tke a different view> )), especailly if you don't care that much about the graphics. If you do I suggest Falcon 4.0, or Flanker 2.0, flanker esp combines a damn good flight model and detail with excellent graphics.
Posts: 123 | From: Calgary, AB, Canada | Registered: Dec 1999  |  IP: Logged

posted 04-22-2000 09:37 AM       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
I think the feeling of speed is quite good. When you're about 3/4 of a mile from the carrier it really does take some skill in controlling the plane quick enough and without messing up. You can crash in an instant if you do screw up..
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posted 04-22-2000 12:17 PM     Profile for SuperGroove   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Did you like F-15? Sense of speed is the same, if not a little faster. The avionics have soothed the F-15 junkie in me, providing more modes than I ever thought existed.

Flight model? Eh...if Hornit says it feels good, that's good enough for me. I don't know though, through maneuvers, this bird is harder to maneuver than the F-15E modelled in F-15. Of course, I've never flown both planes, both sims have a number of years between them. It's just...I thought the flying pig wouldn't be more maneuverable than the F-15E.

Campaign is actually gotta study to get good in this game. Falcon 4.0 was easier to get into than this game. Doesn't mean Falcon 4.0 is worse. F/A-18 does have good immersion though.

Landing and Takeoff? Well takeoff feels awkward. Of course my takeoff experiences only include a Cessna 172, and Piper Cherokee. They're not smooth whatsoever. Once your wheels leave the ground, immediately pitch is limited, as if hitting a ceiling overhead. After that though, the plane feels good.

Landing at landbased airfields seemed softened, I guess because it is a bird designed for Carrier Ops. Landing on the carrier feels like a controlled crash, much like they say. Best part of the sim!

Graphics? Well they're every bit as good as the screenshots depict. However, if you're in it just for the feeling of speed, flight model, and graphics, do yourself a favor and get Flanker 2.0. I myself, am trying to get that sim again for a less wallet-lightening price tag

Back to Falcon 4.0 for me!


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[This message has been edited by SuperGroove (edited 04-22-2000).]

Posts: 800 | From: Colorado | Registered: Oct 1999  |  IP: Logged
Member # 310

posted 04-23-2000 12:47 AM     Profile for JT     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
So, I bought it. I have very, very mixed feelings about it. Here are some of my first impressions on just the graphics...

The graphics are a rush job. What ever visual appeal this sim has mostly comes from advances in technology and hardware rather than from well crafted 3d art. Case in point is the FA-18 itself... the FA-18 in this game would look OK for a survey sim, but a sim that centers around one plane should at least make the one plane it centers around accurate and convincing. The texture is horrifyingly bad (thank God there are user-made skins out there), the model is flawed and hokey looking, and the pilot is utterly bizzare looking. The cockpit, on the other hand, is very nice. Some people have called the cockpit spartan, but I think it is appropriately terse. The MFDs are gorgeous and the canopy reflections are convincing.

Damage model... where is the damage model? The FA-18 in this sim does indeed have a complex damage model, but there is no graphic representation of the damage. The plane merely "acts" damaged. You can take a direct missle impact and your plane will look like new as it plummets to the ground. Would it have been that much work to model damage graphics for one lousy plane?

The weather and lighting effects are probably the nicest I've seen in a combat sim. I really like flying through the seemingly volumetric cloud layers. There are also low level 3d clouds, but they are so sparse that they just look out of place. I almost wish they had just left them out altogether.

The terrain is bland, but I'm kind of ambivalent about it. It's a lot better than the oatmeal look of the terrain in Jane's F-15 or the alien landscape look in Jane's WWII Fighters. All it needs is more variety.

Finally, I come to framerates. This game has a serious framerate problem. I have a very robust system, but I have to turn off a lot of graphics options just to maintain a good framerate. This is not cool. In general, I like to keep a lot of graphics options on when I play sims. I like the full experience. So, when I'm forced to turn graphics options off-- like I am in the case of FA-18-- I expect a significant increase in framerate. Instead, what I get is a marginal increase.

Posts: 200 | From: | Registered: Sep 1999  |  IP: Logged

posted 04-24-2000 02:37 PM       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
I have to agree with the comments regarding frame rate. I'm not sure who EA/Janes were thinking of when they designed this sim but it sure wasn't me. My system is less than a year old (with 128 Mb RAM)and it really bogged. I was also disappointed with what I call the "artwork" in the sim. Spartan is the word that comes to mind.
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Member # 310

posted 04-24-2000 03:19 PM     Profile for JT     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Actually, it's not the framerate problem that bugs me so much. I fully expect advanced graphics features to have a cost... a cost that comes in the form of lost framerates. The problem is that turning those features off doesn't seem to help very much.
Posts: 200 | From: | Registered: Sep 1999  |  IP: Logged
Member # 4349

posted 04-25-2000 09:13 PM     Profile for Stone   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
And another thing. They only had to model one plane in this sim. ONE PLANE FOR CRYING OUT LOUD! It looks awful. And yes, it takes a whopper of a hit and still looks like it just came off the assembly line. F-15 was (is) better than this one in many respects. Why didn't the EA/Janes people incorporate the good aspects of F-15 with this sim? Know what I REALLY wish? I wish someone with more knowledge than me could find a way to alter F-15 to improve the multi-player aspect. Can you imagine flying this one with your friends against the computer AI? Brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it.
Posts: 116 | From: Cleveland, Ohio, USA | Registered: Apr 2000  |  IP: Logged
Member # 310

posted 04-26-2000 11:57 PM     Profile for JT     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Whoa! I just had a breakthrough! I've been running this game the whole time in 640x480 thinking that it would run faster at lowest resolution... I just tried 800x600 and it runs MUCH faster now! Anyone else notice this?
Posts: 200 | From: | Registered: Sep 1999  |  IP: Logged

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