Today I decided I didn't want to wait to try out my new FS2002 till I got my computer upgraded, and decided to temproarily make room for it.
So I went in and transfered all of my gauge, sound, and texture files from FS98, which were taking up 800mb on my computer, to my other hard disk, which is full of airliners.net photos.
I made enough room for a minimum install on my C drive, and began my install, which altogether I think took one hour, maybe a bit more, to accomplish. That is, the time for the initial install, and then waiting for FS to create scenery indices.
OK, now let me just say before I go on, that I did at one time operate FS2000 Pro, and was not all that impressed with it because of performance, I operated it for about two months, so I've seen the performance of FS98 compared with the performance of FS2000. And I ahve been a faithful FS98 user for 4 long years now.
OK, once install was complete, I selected to tart a flight at my home town airport of Pocatello Idaho. I wated about 2 minutes for the mesh to load, and once it was done, I was immediately impressed by the cockpit of the Boeing 737-400 I was in, not to mention the airport lighting.
I switched to day, and switched to spot plane view. Waited another 2 mintues for it to load, and afterwards, was at first disappointed at what I saw. IT looked flat. Undetailed. But then I decided to hit SLEW and get a bird's eye view, and my opinion changed completely!!
FS2K2 has modeled my home town of Pocatello NEAR PERFECTLY. Then I hit Shift Z, and found that my frame rates, even with all this detail, were at 16! That's better than I have in FS98, and I am not lying. So I decide to try an experiement. I slid the mesh detail to full, and let it load. My frame rates dropped to 14.8, not bad, not bad at all. However, lookign around took a bit longer, so I went back and slid the detail slider back to 50, and you know what, not alot of detail went away, but speed increased very nicely.
Then I went to Hawaii.
There are only three words to describe what I saw when I got to the Hawaiian Islands:
Thank You God.
I've never seen such great detail. Even without water effects on, this blows away anything that FS2000 could have ever produced, and I was still running at 15.5 FPS, and it really felt like 20 or more.
I heard a complaint that the scenery was too dark in FS2k2. Well, let me just put it this way. It's darker than FS98, true, but it is just right, no really, it is. It's only slightly darker than real life, and that's no biggie.
Also I did notice some mesh details were innacurate, for example a small cliff at Waikiki beach, which does not exist in real life, but compared with all that this sim has, does that really matter? No, not at all.
The detail is incredible, the realism incomparable, there might be a few small bugs, but when you compare all that there is in this sim, those small bugs really dont make that much of a difference, the only significant one is the wing leveler, and that is fixable anyway. I'm not annoyed by the BRAKES message. I'm not annoyed that it takes a minute or two to load the scenery, it's worth the wait.
Whoever said you can't see the airports from afar, needs to look a bit harder, you can see them, it's just that they are smoothly blended into the scenery, that is, they no longer stick out like a sore thumb. That's realism.
Also, one of the things I love most about this sim is how close to being like FS98 it is. It really is more like FS98 than FS2000, much more simple, much easier to use. The FS98 interface is familier to me, and I'm comfortable with it, and I'm so pleased MS used that same interface for this sim, it makes it that much more inviting.
So, I urge all of you to look past some of the small bugs and glitches in FS2002, they really aren't that bad or annoying when you compare it to all the detail that you have. And the smoothness. If you are patient like me loading times dont bother you. You dont need to have the sliders maxed out either. In FS2000, if you did not have the sliders at full you were sadly disappointed.
Not in FS2002. Even with the sliders at low, FS2002 completely blows away FS2000, and instead of having barren textures beneath you, a true annoyance, you have the bare textures on far off terrain. You get even within 5 miles of it and it changes to detailed texture, that means no more annoyance of having to wait for the textures to load beneath you like in FS2k.
What I'm saying here is, MS really outdid themselves on this sim. IT's not hard at all to be satisfied with the sliders on minimum, you dont sacrifice much at all. The detail is incredible, the speed is fantastic, it's even faster than FS98. So, I urge you all to try FS2002 out with this in mind, the small little bugs can be looked past. This truly is a great sim.
Aloha 737-200, scenery and aircraft developer, flightsim.com.