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on 19 June 2017
it does not work on windows 10 very disappointed to say the least a lame duck
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on 11 August 2003
This game is amazing.

The graphics have been vastly improved from the earlier 2002 version, and the ATC is much better too. I like the option where you can have your real time weather updated automatically, even when flying (probably best to have a "always-on-broadband-connection" for this). There are more planes, and the Learjet has at last been given a nice 3D cockpit.

Yes, you need a decent machine to see the graphics at their fullest, but there are many options that enable you to tweak the graphics up or down.

If you already have FS 2002 and you are wondering whether to go and buy this one - I say, go buy it. If you liked 2002, you'll love 2004
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 13 January 2008
This is a serious simulator. I've used the whole history of MS Flight Simulators and each gets better. I've used this one for over 3 years now and still don't tire of it. Limitations yes - the principal one being that you're trying to fly an aircraft through a single window. Realistic yes - though I have to say that flying a real light aircraft in good conditions is actually easier than flying this sim! Add ons available - limitless including many free options. With full scenery optional extras (third party) you can fly over and recognise your own house. Alternatively you can plan and fly around the world in real time and weather. Up to you.

If you are already a real world pilot (as I am) you can use this to brush up on your nav skills. Navaid frequencies are real world and you can use real world charts. You can practice IFR without any risk and cost - can you navigate using VORs with a 500' cloudbase?

If you're looking for a game then look elsewhere as you'll be disappointed very quickly. FS does need to be learned and that takes time. You'll also need a good quality joystick (with twist stick to accommodate rudder input) or flight controls such as those from CH. Given that understanding you will get your value out of FS thousands of times over - it will probably be the best bit of simulation software you will ever find for a home PC!
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on 1 June 2005
I am a big fan on the Microsoft Flight Simulator series, and I thought that FS2002 was great. At first, I was unsure about whether FS2004 was worth buying, but I finally bought it.
The game consists of four CD-ROMs and the installation takes a long time. I encountered a few problems during the last part of the installation (certain scenery files were unable to be installed), but I just clicked 'ignore' and haven't had any problems with playing the game.
The fourth CD-ROM has to be in the disc drive while the game is being played. The game takes quite a long time to load, compared to other games, but once the game does load you can almost get straight into the game. There are a few more modes than FS2002, some being very helpful with information on how to control all the aspects of a particular aircraft, etc. There is lots of information to help you with the whole of the game.
Perhaps the most commonly used mode is 'create a flight', where you can set all aspects (ranging from weather to conditions and time to aircraft and airport) of a flight that you want to undertake. It works in a similar way to FS2002, but with a few more little touches - for instance, more weather scenarios.
However, I think that the graphics and detail during flight look exactly the same as they do in FS2002. This is disappointing, but there are other things that make the game better
The aircraft in the game are good and represent the first century of flight. As always, the Cessna aircraft are in there, along with the Boeings. These are popular aircraft in the game but they cannot be 'flown' straight away.
Like FS2002, there is a short clip on how to take off and how to operate the basic parts of the aircraft. After watching this, it is possible to create a flight and successfully fly some of the aircraft. This is great, because it is relatively easy to get to grips with the game.
It is completely up to you whether you stay at a basic level or advance to become a skilled player (the flying lessons will definitely come in handy, even though some are very difficult).
The general good points of game include:
- Lots of information to help you out.
- More aircraft.
- Easy to get into the game.
- Reflects the reality of flying.
- A fantastic addition to your FS collection, or at least a great game to own.
- A joystick can be used, configured to your needs.
And the general bad points include:
- Very much like FS2002: same detail of graphics, some of the modes, etc.
- Some of the advanced flying lessons are very difficult.
- Can often be confusing if you are a beginner.
So in general this is a great game. If you own FS2002, then I still think that it is worth buying FS2004. It is also a good game for beginners. This is one of the best games I own, and I can't wait until the next version of Microsoft Flight Simulator.
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on 29 September 2004
After a long time debating about it I have taken the plunge and upgraded from my trusty Flight Simulator 2002. I purchased, received Flight Simulator 2004 Century of Flight with excitement and worry that I am leaving my trusty old friend 2002 that runs like a dream on my PC for a more advanced computer resources eating program. My computer being a Ath 1.3, Mem 512Mb, S B Audigy and 128Mb Nvidia Geforce should according to the min, specification for FS2004 be more than adequate. As soon as the package hit my doorstep I started to load it onto my PC all four disks. This took some time loading but after the final disk loaded I finally got to run FS2004. The Main page looking the same as FS2002 but with added links to well produced flight lessons and history with a refreshed colour change was home welcoming making me feal like I had been hear before. I could not wait to get into the cockpit a take a flight so clicking on the menus that seam to have been not altered from FS2002 I found myself sitting in the cockpit in a cesna on a runway. The blue sky with fluffy clouds was a refreshing change and the detail was amazing. I went into virtual cockpit and found I could use the controls as if I was in the real thing. This has put a new perspective into the world of flight simulations with download real wether patterns and a virtual cockpit you can actually use. I can wait to find out what other innovations Microsoft has put into it. Well done to Microsoft but I do believe that to avoid disappointment you ignore the minimum specifications on the box and don't go below what I am using. If you do you will have to set all performance sliders to a minimum distorting the enjoyment of the simulation.
Happy flying,
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on 28 July 2003
Ignore all the reviews that tell you this is nothing special, or nothing much to add to previous versions - they are wrong. Quite simply, Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004: A Century of Flight is THE most detailed, comprehensive and graphically advanced simulator available on the PC.
If you buy this wanting a "game" you will be disappointed. But, if you are an armchair pilot prepared to spend time and learn then this is the closest thing to flying than actually being there (and, speaking as a real pilot, sometimes even harder to do than the real thing!).
From the revised interactive Air Traffic Control system, to the lucsious new graphics, 3D clouds, new weather system, perfect Garmin GPS computer and detailed 3D virtual cockpits for all the aircraft (and backwards compatibility with thousands of aircraft available for the last version), there is nothing better than this. I thought the 2002 version couldn't be improved on, but this is so much more!
The only gripe is, you need a kick-ass PC to get the most out of it, but if you are prepared to sacrifice some graphic quality it will still perform fine on earlier PC's.
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on 6 February 2005
I was given this as a Christmas Present and was dubious about it at first - as I had previously tried FLight Simulator 98 - which was awful. FS 2004 is however really good..and I admit that I have become quite absorbed by it. After installation (4 CD's) you are guided to interactive tutorials that get you flying striaght away and talk you through the controls, navigating etc just like real flying lessons!! Brilliant - for a dubious novice like me, this gives you real encouragment to keep digging into the program, spending time learning more. And there is certainly more - a huge library of resources explain in further detail the physics and procedures in flying, navigating. There are plans and maps of airports etc. You can get into it an as much detail as you like - play it like a game at surface level - or get into the real nitty gritty of tuning in the radio to the right frequencies , doing pre-flight checks before take off etc. If you've got a decent spec of computer and graphics card (2.4Ghz PC and 128mb card) then the graphics are superb - clouds,rain - realtime weather and the radio controllers speaking to you from the tower, engine noises and etc really make you get into the flying zone - superb. I must admit I've gone from dubious to enthusiast in 2 months - even to buying extra packages to enhance the realism of the airports etc.
Well done Microsoft!
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on 13 October 2003
My last MS flight sim purchase was FS2000pro.
Now three years later I thought it was time to update - and what an update! Awesome scenery and weather patterns enhance a physics engine that's second to none.
Having actually flown a Cessna from my local airfield I thought I would try the same in the simulator - it was very close to the real thing apart from being cramped in a small cockpit with tight seatbelts!
My PC spec is 1Ghz Celeron, 256Mb ram, 200Gb HD and 32Mb Creative TNT2 - and the game runs just fine.
5 Stars it deserves and a well done to the MS development team.
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on 28 August 2006
Lets just get one thing straight, this is not a game! It is a piece of simulation software. For those who want a game go and buy over g fighters or something. FS2004 is great, although it seems really hard to do stuff right at the start, with ALOT of practice you will get better and you will learn about ILS Landings and how to intercept the localizer and so-forth. There are no levels as such, but there are pre made flights which you can take and brilliant flying lessons which are made by a real flying instructor. The graphics are great, however, to get the best graphics you need a very high-end computer. The aircraft models which come with the product are very shoddy and poorly designed, If you're going to buy this then I also recommend that you also buy some add-on aircraft such as the PMDG 747 or the A340 -500/-600. You can adjust the weather settings using 8 weather schemes or you can define your own weather.

BEFORE GETTING THIS GET A JOYSTICK. Fs2004 seriously sucks without a joystick or flight yoke, controlling it with the keyboard is very unrealistic and very hard to pull off.

Overall, FS2004 is a great simulation program, although the default aircraft lack realism so I recommend you buy some add-on aircraft or download some free ones from the web.
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on 20 January 2004
After taking one or two “Taster” pilot lessons at £100 per hour, I knew I developed a taste for flying and wanted in on the industry. Unfortunately, to get a PPL you need around 50 hours flying time under your belt to master the basics and be on your way – this is where Microsoft Flight Sim comes in. For the price, less than £45, this is outstanding value when compared “to the real thing”, and almost as realistic.
While MS flight sim 2004 lets you re-create various historical flights, I bypassed this bit as I didn’t find it interesting at all.
The selling point for me is the flying lesson section where you are introduced into the basics of flying, almost like you are sat there in the plane with a real life instructor guiding you through flying the plane. Before these there are fairly long “Ground school” sections to complete to give you an understanding of just exactly what it is you are about to do, though the author has added a hint of comedy here and there to stop it from getting at all tedious. You don’t have to read it all, though it helps in the lesson.
The game has every airport in the world which you can land at or take off; I’ve also spotted a few landmarks such as the millennium dome and houses of parliament during my travels. You can also set faults to occur at certain times during flight if you so wish before you start.
Another excellent feature is if you have an internet connection, the game will connect and find out in real time what the global weather is like and re-create it in game. News reporting a hurricane over Florida? You can now attempt to fly in it from the comfort of your own home! Of course you can set the weather conditions to whatever you like depending on what you feel like.
One thing I must comment on, the sim is a nightmare if you are planning on using your keyboard. While it is possible, you don’t get any feedback and you often find yourself overcompensating for things, crashing and wondering what you did wrong. I did a little searching around and found the X-45 by Saitek – while expensive at £75 it’s the most realistic and makes MS flight Sim 2004 10 times better.
I haven’t tried previous versions of the sim so I can’t compare it, though I honestly can’t think of any improvements that can be made to this masterpiece.
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