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on 9 June 2016
Bought second hand, the first one was damaged and wouldn't work so was returned. The second copy, also second hand, was more pricey but worked fine. It's fs2004 - if you've searched for it you know what it is. I run it pretty well on laptop with a 2Ghz celeron, 4GB Ram and Intel gfx with shared VRAM and running Windows 8.1. There's loads of advice online about how to make it run. Key things are install it outside of the main programme files directory - I use a partition d:\fs2004 and run it in xp service pack 3 compatibility mode which requires you to make a new shortcut to the exe. I also bought a £30 hotas controller which makes the whole thing much more fun. There's a huge amount of freeware addons online, much of it pay ware that's become free. I plug the laptop into my to and its great fun. Nothing like the later simulators but good enough for me and it doesn't need a beast computer to run it. Gwon. Do it.
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on 26 January 2013
Microsofts Flight Simulator 2004 : A Century of Flight was a product that I purchased after having bought FSX. I found FSX to have a huge footprint for its world map as well as enormous CPU/graphics requirements. FS2004 is similar to FS2002 in its requirements but has a big advantage over the latter: there are lots of detailed add-on aircraft. These aircraft are not as numerous as ones for FSX, neither are they as comprehensive. They tend to have non-clickable cockpits (although some areas may work) and have 2d gauges. The add-ons are however cheaper, easier to learn and importantly you get good frame rates at airports. Like Microsofts operating systems this title is made by third party add-ons. The basic simulator itself offers little. Basic aircraft with low resolution models, surreal water colour clouds, very little turbulence and not very crowded skies. I am not really interested in historic aircraft of the last century but if you are then there are many models free with the simulator. I would have prefered the historic planes to have been a separate add-on. In fact if there were no default aircraft that would not bother me unduly. Terrain graphics in flight simulators I find fairly pointless. I am certain others would disagree but with weather/clouds, a very limited view, the effects of altitude, darkness you don't see much of the world. The terrain is similar to FS2002 and modern PCs are more CPU limited in these sort of simulators. Setting up the joystick/commands I found really tedious, if not quite as bad as Falcon 4.0: Allied Force but the commands are scattered all over the place. One slightly irritating aspect in the settings is under 'International'. If you have aircraft that measure altitude in metres rather than feet you need to manually adjust this to suit whatever system the plane you fly uses, rather than it automatically saying this is an Airbus so its metres. The UI lacks certain elements in setting up a flight. You can tell it where to take-off but there is nothing to specify if you start parked/on the runway/in the air or how to specify whether the aircraft is cold and dark or with all systems running. Like CFS3 there is no mission builder although there are lots of missions to learn with. Flight modelling feels similar on FS2000/2002/2004/CFS3/FSX, I am sure there are detail improvements but at its core is the same table based system. This has limitations for combat simulators like CFS3 but for normal gentle flight it should give reasonable results. The flight modelling is similar to games like Falcon 4.0 and like that game the emphasis is not so much on flight modelling but on other aspects. Simulators like Lock-On feel much more detailed and natural especially at high AOA. Alot of this isn't relevant to a commercial simulator though. One great feature is the ability to save flights which is useful for learning and can save tedium in other situations. The fact the whole world is mapped is special as most simulators have only limited maps. Because there are so many additions possible to the program unlike most software where everyone is using the same code (to the last patch) here installations may vary widely. FS9 is unique in that the cost of its add-ons may dwarf the cost of the item itself. FSX underlines that cost and is one of the reasons why FS9 has remained popular. There are still some irritations. The way it reloads the aircraft immediately after a crash rather than giving you the choice to refly or exit. The fact that for consistent behavior you have to start with a default plane and then load your add-on. Failure to do this may mean some initial values/settings or behavior may be spurious. The jerky movement of many gauges that I've never come across in any other flight simulator. Various bugs like being trapped in the fuel dialogue box where it asks for a value between 0 and 40000, if you type in a number in this range it still asks for a value, you can only escape by cancelling. The aircraft failures setup is very confusing in the way its presented. If you setup an engine failure to occur after 3 minutes and then take-off you might wonder why nothing happens. Failures only seem to work if you set them once the aircraft has loaded. In terms of realism its not quite 'as real as it gets' however despite the criticsms it is still an enjoyable and intruiging simulator that can be transformed by others.

Many high quality 3rd party add-ons
Fairly cheap now
Low system/space requirements

A limited UI
Tedious keyboard/joystick setup
Lack of environmental effects
Many bugs
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on 11 November 2012
Now I've retired I have at last the free time to spend playing with flight simulator. I first ran an early version of fs back in the nineties and remember how enjoyable it was: just extremely difficult to handle a plane with keyboard controls alone. And, of course, with most of the flying in real time you need not to be busy to enjoy flights to the full.
I purchased fs2004 (aka fs9) rather than the latest (and last) version - fsX - mainly on the basis of Amazon and other online reviews which suggested that fsX was clunky and prone to problems compared with the 2004 version. I now think this was a mistake. A reasonably powered computer bought in 2010 or later should be able to handle fsX without problems, and almost all the on-line fs help sites provide fsX information, even when you've googled for fs9. There's hardly any price advantage in fs9, either. Both versions are cheap.
The software installed without fuss. My first surprise was to discover the simulator displays in 3D on my computer: it automatically spots my nVidia 3D set-up and displays that way. Amazing! Far better to have simulated 3D than a flat view to work with. Why isn't the stereoscopic display mentioned on the box or the documentation?
The beginner lessons are brilliant - an enormous improvement on the early versions. You are talked through the flying processes stage by stage at a steady pace. My biggest problem -- well remembered from 15 years ago -- is that the keypad controls just don't provide anywhere near enough 'feel' for even the simplest activities. I've ordered a joystick and look forward to being able to fly the sim with much greater ease once I have that hooked up.
I've taken a peek at some of the in-built flight scenarios. They seem excellent. fs9 is subtitled 'A Century Of Flight' and includes all the great historical moments in aviation from the Wright Brothers through early trans-Atlantic flights to Europe-Australia pioneers. The scenic flights look really nice (the quality of simulated scenery is impressive).
So why four stars, not five? Principally because the documentation is, to put it politely, next to useless. The program comes with a 30-page, full-colour 'user manual' that is really just a story book about the history of aviation. Page 3 gives instructions on how to install the program and how to start it (you double-click on the icon: there's a revelation!). There are a few pages telling you a little more about the functions of the main choices you see when you run the program ('Flying lessons', 'Learning Center', 'Create a Flight', 'Settings', etc.) which you just might have been able to guess for yourself. Then the rest of the 'manual' is an account of aviation and its history.
The back cover lists the basic keyboard commands for easy reference. But they're only a subset of the ones I need. Pressing F10 during a flight will bring up a 'complete list of keyboard commands'. Oh yeah? So which key provides the map view? How do I display two views at once (I have a dual-screen computer set-up)? I find it deplorable of Microsoft to release complex software without providing a complete resource of technical support information on the software, either (preferably) on the CDs you purchase or on-line. I can see I have a long struggle ahead of me to get the set-up information I need. The Microsoft URL provided in the 'user manual' is no longer functional and takes you instead to Microsoft's 'Flight' site (a poor shadow of the fs series and one which Microsoft has recently ceased to push).
One final gripe. To run fs9 you have to insert one of the program discs in your CD player. This is a copy-protection trick that is positively user hostile. I've paid for the software to have it installed on my computer. I should not need to carry a CD round with me to be able to start up the program. For those who run fs9 on a laptop this is a particular nuisance. How many copies of Office would Microsoft sell if it came with a similar constraint?!
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on 27 June 2014
FS2004 (or FS9) is a highly recommended flying simulator. It requires time and effort to understand the workings of the controls and buttons, but there are so many guides and videos and forums today on the Net that you will get plenty of help starting out.
There are also hundreds of freeware and commercial aircraft and scenery add-ons, and many bargains can be found on Amazon.
Learning to fly is not easy so you will have to stick with it, and then you will be rewarded when you make your first manual landing in a Cessna, ormake a smooth ILS touch down in a 747-400.
A totally adictive piece of software. Definately recommended for aircraft enthusiasts and would-be pilots.
NOTE - I have been flying this on WXP and W7 laptops. The sim is frame rate hungry and you may have to adjust settings and lose a few effects to get it running smoothly on your system.
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on 26 November 2011
I just bought a new laptop, Acer 8943 with 18.4" screen specifically for this game. It has Windows 7 64bit with 8MB RAM and a dedicated ATI5850 1MB Graphics card, 1TB Hard Drive.

I can max everything out on the graphics on FS2004 and get extremely realistic weather and scenery etc. Put on British Airports and Global Scenery too.

It runs perfectly smooth and I can lock it to 50 frames per second, it's awesome.

Since doing my PPL 10 years ago, I miss flying and this keeps me up on everything, more than just a game if you want compete realism.

I do have FSX too but you have to sacrifice a lot on the graphics unless you have just spent £3K upwards on an all singing all dancing desktop.

FS2004 is just as good and add-on software is dirt cheap too for it.

Bargin price flying!
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on 14 July 2012
This is the first PC game that I've purchased from Amazon. Although I was given a delivery date, my game arrived 2 days early. So I will definitely be using Amazon again to purchase PC games. For years I have been using Microsoft flight sim 2002 professional edition, and was unsure to upgrade to a newer version. But my microsoft flight sim 2004 works very well, and I haven't had any problems. Microsoft have really improved this flight sim, compared to the 2002 version. Also you get loads more aircraft (historic, old and new), compared to the 2002 version. I have all the games settings (graphic and display etc) set to high. But then again I have a new high spec computer with the latest Ge-Force GTX 550 Ti graphics card, 2 Intel Pentium 2.80Ghz CPU's and approx 4Gb of ram. Also I am using Windows XP, as I have previously had a few problems with Windows 7. So if you are unsure about buying this 2004 flight sim, don't be.
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on 30 June 2016
This was a panic buy!! My existing fs2004 disc 1 was some how damaged and needed a replacement. The package arrived very quickly but on loading disc 2 failed to load..no panic as my other disc 2 was fine. All up and running now. Maybe one day I will upgrade to FX but as for now....
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on 29 September 2010
From all the good reviews on this product, it had to be worth trying. With Windows 7 suitability in the advert, how could you go wrong? Unfortunately, this does not perform well on my Windows 7, 64 bit system. It does appear to load up without problems, the initial startup screen appears offering various options including training videos. Choosing any of the videos and the program crashes. I did manage to go straight to the 'fly now' section, and managed a short flight. This was not as impressive as I had expected from other reviews. I have tried changing 'compatability mode', & looked online for help. I shall keep trying, but expect that I will have to buy the latest version sooner or later.
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on 30 March 2016
My second purchase.Have been playing this game constantly for over ten years.Wore the first disc out.
Great graphics,sounds and airport choices,with realistic weather and scenery.Would highly recommend,better than some of the
latest flight sims on the market.
Used with a force feedback joystick,you get a true sense of flying, and the experiences of flying to places you really been too.
Fantastic.Would recommend you get one today......
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on 7 March 2016
When I first received this product I found it appeared not to work. After seeking advice from the Forum, and a few tips from this seller, I eventually used the Crack method and the simulator 2004 now works fine. Many thanks to this seller for a good product and for his advice. Thankyou.
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