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Author Topic: Honest Comparison Needed
PipsPriller
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posted 11-06-2000 06:23 AM     Profile for PipsPriller   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
When a new game comes out there is always unbridled enthusiasm for it. It's natural. Especially when it deals with a theatre that has been ignored for several years, but has been eagerly awaited.

Such is the case of CFS2. And looking through the threads here it's obvious that, on the whole, folks are enjoying it.

But really, how good is it? I've been flying sims for several years and along the way have collected EAW, Mig Alley, RB3D, CFS1 with Pacific Theatre and Battle for Midway add-ons, SDOE, PAW, Sabre Ace, and Air Warrior III.

Only EAW, RB3D and Mig Alley have survived. Why? There are a number of reasons but basically they come down to the following:

a) Immersiveness - roughly 2 years down the track and I still thoroughly enjoy flying these sims. Whereas the others mentioned above would have been lucky to have lasted more than a couple of months.

b) Dynamic campaigns - of which I would say that RB3D is probably the most complete package. With the control offered by Mig a close second.

c) Support - more for EAW and RB3D than Mig, by the developers, but even Rowan did 2 patch upgrades for Mig. Microsoft didn't do any for CFS (a shame, it could have saved the sim) and Tucker Hatfield has been quoted in an artical recently saying that a patch is not required for CFS2. Now thats a worry considering all the problems that have been highlighted in this forum.

d) Reality - without getting into an argument about Flight Models these 3 games perform as realitically as one could expect out of a box.

e) Graphics - Mig is the winner here, but both EAW and RB3D have been given a new lease on life with a Voodoo 5500Agp using FSAA.

f) Multiplayer - that's a personal preference of mine.

g) Visual Effects - EAW, RB3D and Mig all offer the ability to view the sim world from a number of views outside the aircraft e.g player to target, target to player, action views, dogfight views, ground target views etc. In a way this could fall under the category of immersiveness, yet is deserving on its own.

So how does CFS2 measure up to the above. In all honesty? In the next couple of months there is a swag of sims coming out that will be competing for the $$. B17II, IL 2, Battle of Britian to name a few. Is CFS 2 really worth it?

Am I likely to be still flying this sim in another year? And still loving it?

What do you all really think?


Posts: 187 | From: Australia | Registered: Jul 2000  |  IP: Logged
SpinDry
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posted 11-06-2000 07:01 AM     Profile for SpinDry   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Salute, Pips!

Honesty isn't a problem with me, as you well know. ;-) I think the most telling reaction on my part is I re-installed EAW this weekend.

Immersiveness: CFS2 has it all over the competition in one area alone, IMHO. I've actually sat on the runway in a multi-engine bird in CFS2 and spent nontrivial lengths of time simply going over the cockpit, trying different engine configurations and checking the instruments, and other "boring" checklist stuff. It's a lot more engaging in CFS2 simply to take off and fly around, learning and test-flying. With the exception of the cruddy external view suite (which is needed IMHO to make up for the fixed viewpoint from within the cockpit), the feeling of being in the cockpit is the best of all the sims I've flown.

That's pretty much it. The campaign is about as interesting as playing Wing Commander, the canned missions are okay, but multi-play without security (as we well know in the RB world) is a waste of space. If I were to hook up with trustworthy folks I expect I'd find it a decent environment, similar to the no-security RB Air Wars where you can trust everyone to be using the same mods.

I don't consider B-17II to be a contender, not until they get MP. Playing against AI, however state-of-the-art, is only good IMHO for warm-ups and arcade fans. Being as how AI is my main postgrad research area, methinks I'm qualified to hold that opinion.

I don't have MiG Alley, mainly because if I wanted to get away from props there's a real Air Force out there I've already got way too much time in. ;-) Like Sensei says, why would one want to play a game that's too much like work?

Air Warrior is just too dated. I can't ever go back to straight lockdown views, I just can't. EAW and CS2 have the best panning set-ups, IMHO, while RB3D has the best overall view suite. I'm hearing great things about Aces High but after the megadollars (literally) I spent on Air Warrior in the Genie days I have an aversion to pay-for-play even with flat fees. I also can't handle tabular FMs, such as in AW, where the spindweebs can time perfect pull-outs much like mastering Pac-Man maze patterns.

Racking and stacking them, I'd have to say CFS2 in its current form is going to have a comparatively short lifespan on my system. EAW with its various enhancements and at least a nod towards mod-checking in multi-player is still the best WWII sim out there for high-energy combat simulation. RB3D is still number one, especially with all the enhancements, and it boasts what is arguably the best user-driven support structure in the entire gaming world. Besides, biplanes are cool and I still intend to build that full-scale SPAD replica when I "really really" retire. ;-)

1. RB3D - it has taken on a life all its own

2. EAW - still the Gold Standard for WWII

3. CFS2 - Nice eye candy and controls, but that's the focus of game-oriented people, not mainstream simmers.

4. B-17II - *sigh* It could have been a contender. IMHO if you can't fly against the living you might as well not have bothered.

5. CFS1 - Hey, it's fun to import some of the birds into CFS2 and try what-if scenarios, at least.

And that's my NSDHO.


Posts: 296 | From: Rome, NY, USA | Registered: Oct 2000  |  IP: Logged
Jv44~Siggi
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posted 11-06-2000 08:11 AM     Profile for Jv44~Siggi   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
The feel of immersion is paramount, imho. CFS2 offers very little in that respect. Why? Well, it takes only one major flaw to destroy immersion in a sim. CFS2's flaw is the general inability to complete a mission goal realistically. Being failed because one did not PERSONALLY destroy four of the five enemy a/c shot down is farcical.
And being credited with kills for destroying tents really puts the kybosh on immersion.

EAW has two major flaws for me. a) the only a/c in the air are the two very distinct groups of a/c in any one mission, ie the world environment is not dynamic. b) the a/c models leave very much to be desired.

Mig Alley. Pretty good overall, but jets just don't grab me. And again, a sterile world environment.

Janes Fighters. Hard to put a finger on that one. Beautiful a/c models but the DM is a joke, horrible sfx, sterile world.

CFS1...a sick outrage.

Luftwaffe Commander...a bug fest beyond belief.

RB2-3D...the king of sims. Absolutely fantastic, imo. What does this sim NOT offer?
It has a fully dynamic world that one can enter at ANY date. Fly off the mission parameters for a jaunt to the coast, you'll find enemy and friendly a/c all going about their business all over the front. Ditto ground units.
With a 3DFX card the a/c models are glorious. The damage modelling is satisfying. The *little things* are there in droves (crew members jumping from burning planes and screaming all the way down). The dogfights, sometimes with *real* aces are a rare treat to be looked-forward to and anticipated. The log-book, with it's accurate record of kills. The medals, promotions. The a/c colour schemes. The menu-interfaces. Expandability. MP on WON (it works, properly).

Nobody has come even close to matching what Sierra did with that masterpiece. And I have been sorely tried to deal with the temptation of ditching my Ge-Force in favour of a Voodoo just for RB2-3D. Held-out for B17-2, ditto CFS2. Now it's a long wait until Il-2...maybe time to make the change for a few months and go back to a sim made BY enthusiasts FOR enthusiasts. People who understood the psychology of the hard-core simmer and made a sim of true excellence, one that transcends the ugly requirements of mere bean-counters.

CFS2, I haven't played since before the weekend, and have no real desire to play now. All eye-candy, a shallow tart. I'll live in hope of a campaign patch, one that allows the player to feel he's really taking part in the pacific air war.

I feel a Voodoo coming on.

------------------
Taka Chutai

[This message has been edited by Jv44~Siggi (edited 11-06-2000).]


Posts: 226 | From: UK | Registered: Oct 2000  |  IP: Logged
konky2000
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posted 11-06-2000 08:48 AM     Profile for konky2000   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
I'm a new to the modern day flight sim. I grew up playing the original MS Flight Simulator, and I have fond memories of the Chuck Yeager flight sim from the late 80's, but then I stopped.

I have just started to play CFS1 and am so far impressed, but given my newbieness, I must be missing something. What is it that makes people dis CFS1 so much? Should I even bother playing it, or should I focus my attentions elsewhere?


Posts: 11 | From: Oakland, CA | Registered: Nov 2000  |  IP: Logged
Truro
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posted 11-06-2000 01:43 PM     Profile for Truro   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
I think there is an entry in cfs2.cfg or another file to activate a file checker in multiplay, I read or saw it somewhere but don't recall right now.
Posts: 1441 | From: Tulsa, Ok | Registered: Oct 1999  |  IP: Logged
stag

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posted 11-06-2000 02:34 PM     Profile for stag     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by konky2000:
I'm a new to the modern day flight sim. I grew up playing the original MS Flight Simulator, and I have fond memories of the Chuck Yeager flight sim from the late 80's, but then I stopped.

I have just started to play CFS1 and am so far impressed, but given my newbieness, I must be missing something. What is it that makes people dis CFS1 so much? Should I even bother playing it, or should I focus my attentions elsewhere?


S! Konky (That's Salute)

If you've just come in from the cold and started playing CFS1, Then I guess it would look impressive compared with older kit. My recommendation; Buy CFS2, and see what a state of the art sim can be.

THen go back and buy EAW. 'cos if you buy it before CFS2, it will ruin it for you


[This message has been edited by stag (edited 11-06-2000).]


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Ajax
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posted 11-06-2000 04:55 PM     Profile for Ajax   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Well, it's tough to just compare two sims with a list of descriptors. "Immersion" is a combination of a lot of factors and while CFS2 is prettier, more realistic and newer than EAW, it just doesn't make you feel like you're in a war. Yes, the actual feeling of flight is good, but the default canned missions feel quite a lot like Wing Commander in the PTO. Go there, bomb the carrier and shoot down at least three enemies or you will fail the mission and get spit upon by an angry CO. You "*/& lousy b*stard, you only sank that friggin Akagi!! What about that CAP? What about that sense of duty, ensign? User-made missions are usually more realistic, though.

So, CFS2 will keep you thrilled for quite some time. But you'll probably go back to EAW after a while.


Posts: 2309 | From: | Registered: Jan 2000  |  IP: Logged
PipsPriller
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posted 11-06-2000 05:28 PM     Profile for PipsPriller   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Well, well, well.

Thanks guys. Some very frank comments there. Much appreciated.

And your right SpinDry about the cockpits. Microsoft do do them well. Thats what impressed me about CFS 1 when it came out. Not surprising considering that they started with non combat flight sims.

Now the serious sim is RB3D, just as Siggi said. It does indeed have everything. You can be flying a mission and you will come across a dogfight already in progress, or a balloon attack and so on. A truly dynamic campaign that all others are yet to manage. Such a shame they dropped Desert Fighters.

Welcome Konky to the joys of combat sims. If you are enjoying CFS 1 then keep going with it. After all, that's the name of the game.

So will I buy CFS 2? Hmmm. Tough one. I really do want a Pacific Theatre sim. But maybe, just maybe, I might control myself to wait and see if Microsoft are really serious about this sim and are willing to support it with a patch update.


Posts: 187 | From: Australia | Registered: Jul 2000  |  IP: Logged

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