Author Topic: Flight Unlimited 2 [old sim]  (Read 390 times)

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Offline Fahxstream

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Flight Unlimited 2 [old sim]
« on: November 07, 2013, 08:08:09 pm »
Flight Unlimited 2 was a flight-simulator made by looking glass studios in the late 1990s. Rather than focusing on the entire world in limited detail like Microsoft Flight Simulator, it contained just the area around San-Francisco. Why am I reviewing such an old game? Flight Unlimited 2 was my first flight simulator, and I still think it was fairly ahead of it's time, so I think it would make a nice subject for a first review.  :lol-fox:

Gameplay
7/10
Most of the gameplay is standard flight-simulator affair, flying for the fun of flying. The planes handle nicely, even on keyboard and mouse. Alongside standard flying, there are also a set of challenge flights which are quite nice. Among them are landing a Cessna on an aircraft carrier in bad weather, Dropping turkeys on a football stadium, and landing a Beechcraft Baron after an engine failure. Most of them contain some voice-acting for different situations which helps to make them more enjoyable. The main flaw is that sometimes things can get tedious as your plane lacks an Autopilot and flies slowly, so on a long distance flight if you get bored, you can't really focus on other tasks because the plane will keep slipping off course.

Graphics
5/10 for 2013
8/10 for 1997
For a modern game, the graphics of FU2 would be lacking, but I still give it 5/10 because it's very good at creating an atmosphere. At night or in bad weather, there's a cosy feeling of actually being up in a small plane. For 1997, the satellite photos of Flight Unlimited 2 are much better than the terrain textures of Microsoft Flight Simulator 98 (Though '98 covers most of the world, while FU2 is in a small area). The planes themselves look rather nice too, although their 3d models look a little different to the real thing, they're nice on their own.
Here's a screenshot flying over San-Francisco

Sound
8/10
I actually think this deserves a section. While the game contains no music or such, the sound effects are very good. When you land a seaplane, you can hear the waves outside. When you land beside a cruise-liner and shut down your engine, you can hear music and such from the ship. The engine sounds are rather nice, and most importantly, for a flight simulator, the air-traffic control is wonderful. In some ways, it's more advanced than that of Flight Simulator X (you can declare an emergency). Messages are put-together by recordings of real people saying individual phrases, which works fairly seamlessly.

Plane-Selection
6-7/10
The plane selection is fairly limited, though I've got more used to this as I've gotten older. While AI airplanes such as the Boeing 737 and MD-80 fill the skies, you are restricted to 6 propeller planes.

Trainer (Cessna 172, Fixed wheels, fairly slow.)
Arrow (Low wing, retractable wheels, a step up from the Cessna)
Beaver (High-Wing floatplane. Wheels in the floats let you land on runways. Probably my personal favourite.)
Baron (Twin-Engine, largest plane you can fly, slightly more complex due to managing two engines)
P-51 (WW2 fighter, fast, lacks a wheel-lock so if you press 'g' on the ground, the wheels will still raise and you'll get stuck.)
Fokker Triplane (WW1 fighter, slow, fairly maneuverable, added by a patch)

Considering the type of flying you do in FU2, it's not too unreasonable to have such a limited selection of planes. I'd quite like if there was at least one business jet, though. Flight Unlimited 3, the sequel to this, did include a Business Jet.

Overall, Flight Unlimited 2 is still a fairly nice General Aviation flight simulator in 2013. Unlike FSX, it can run on basically any modern computer due to its age. The Air-Traffic-Control is nice and the world does feel fairly alive. The graphics aren't amazing by modern standards, but they get the job done. The original FU2 disks are still worth picking up as they can be used as scenery-disks to add San-Francisco to the later Flight-Unlimited 3. Compared to Microsoft's FS98 at the time, Flight Unlimited 2 was quite far ahead in the details of flying; It had proper air-traffic-control, simulated icing effects, and had far better weather effects. What it lacked in covering the world, it made up for in how well it covered it's own limited area.

Overall
8.5/10

Offline Fahxstream

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Re: Flight Unlimited 2 [old sim]
« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2013, 02:21:51 am »
Just replying to add a note asking if anyone has critique of this review. I've considered writing more, but I'm not sure if this is a nice style or not. =3

The game itself possibly isn't that interesting, but I'm interested if the review is okay.