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UBI Soft 2004
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As a Pacific flight simulator fanatic, I was sitting on the edge of my seat at the announcement of UbiSoft's new simulator - Pacific Fighters. I loved the reality of their previous Il-2 Sturmovik series, though could never really get immersed in the Eastern Front theatre.
Though still a fan of the now dated Combat Flight Simulator 2, I was eagerly awaiting the updated graphics, amount of aircraft and realism that Pacific Fighters was promising to deliver. The day it was released I had to go and get a copy.
To be honest, it took a little while to tweak the sim to my own system, but after getting it up and running in a way that gave fantastic visuals, as well as seamless motion I could not pull myself away from it!
At first, as with most others, I was dismayed at the fact we were unable to fly torpedo bombers such as the B5N 'Kate' and TBF/TBM Avenger. Another annoying feature is the fact that we fly in single 'maps' rather than an overall 'world' like in CFS2 - this way, we are unable to fly from Port Moresby to Rabaul - we would have to stick to what is actually located in a rectangular map.
In my mind these downfalls are outweighed by the realism presented in the sim. Trying to take off in an early P-40 Tomahawk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor can only be seen to be believed. Taking off from Henderson Field in a P-39 for an attack on Japanese positions, with guns firing across the field is also an awesome task! (Just make sure you line up your target before you fire the Airacobra's 37mm cannon).
There were a few little problems with the original release, but these have been resolved in the recent 3.1 upgrade (and a version 3.2 patch is to be released very soon), so definitely go and get this (rather large) update.
As a fan of the old Microsoft Flight Simulator series, something I found missing in this sim was the fact you can't add you're own aircraft. Although for third party missions and campaigns, this is a plus (as you don't have to download a thousand other additions), it can be a bit of a pain that a certain few aircraft aren't already included. But on the other hand, there are that many aircraft, that it'll take some time to get bored; and with upcoming patches promising further aircraft, or conversions from AI to flyable versions, the game still has a lot to offer.
I would definitely recommend this flight simulator to anyone who enjoyed Microsoft's Combat Flight Simulator series (particularly CFS 2) or the previous UbiSoft/Maddox simulator titles.
I am currently working on some extra Pacific aircraft skins for the Pacific Fighters sim. These will be available to download from the Pacific Ghosts Flight Simulator Add-Ons.
Review by Daniel Leahy
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