When one thinks of Hawaii, one usually associates those thoughts with white sandy beaches, dense rain forests and overly populated and overpriced tourist traps. For me it is the white sandy beaches and the history that the Island of Oahu offers up for our generation. It is a place of extreme beauty and a place where lessons were learned the hard way and the need for respect is definitely required.
I don’t know about you, but one of the first places I went to fly when I installed FS2004 for the first time was Honolulu. As the dream of living in sheer paradise out in the middle of the Pacific Ocean seems to be a deep seeded wish amongst many people that live state side, some have realized this dream but for the rest of us reality often takes precedence over fantasy.
Well, with Megascenery’s Hawaii Honolulu and The Island Of Oahu you can bring this fantasy to your desktop in your MSFS world. Whether its ferrying cargo or passengers between the islands, or giving tourists a short hop around Honolulu this title offers some much needed beauty to the Hawaiian Island Of Oahu!
Installation and Documentation
Buying Megacity Hawaii is relatively painless, weighing in at a whopping $9.95 this has to be one of the most reasonable packages I have seen to date from Megascenery. Once you have downloaded the product installation is only a double click away and is hassle free!
The installer will want to change your FS9.CFG file and I recommend telling it no, make the adjustments later and see how it runs first without making any changes to your current installation of MSFS as changes done during the installation can be troublesome later on.
If you have any 3rd party airport scenery or Pearl Harbor scenery installed, I recommend that you turn it off as it can create some frame rate issues when flying with the Megascenery package.
The Island of Oahu
The package comes with complete photo scenery coverage for the Island Of Oahu and includes megacity technology for the populated areas giving off a greater depth of detail and a better visual representation of the island. Also included, like most MEGASCENERY titles, is terrain mesh for the island; but after switching between my commercial terrain mesh package and the included mesh, I think I prefer mine as it gives off more detail and presents the island in much greater detail. The scenery will work flawlessly with any mesh package.
The Island Of Oahu has been beautifully rendered in almost crystal clear photo real scenery; the cities have all been enhanced with the Megacity technology thus giving greater detail to populated areas around the island. The megacity source data was produced at 1 foot and 2 feet per pixel and is presented in MSFS at 4.8 meters per pixel. Most impressive though is the visual representation of the higher elevations of the island. The island's cliffs and valleys are quite impressive and make for some fun helicopter flights, this again has to do with what mesh data you are using. The volcanic formations are really impressive as they make up most of the island's mountainous terrain.
The cities included in this package encompass all of the communities that litter Oahu and each of them share an extensive amount of detail. Whether you are flying over Honolulu, Waimanalo, Kailua Bay, Kaneohe, Laniloa Beach, Turtle Bay, Waimea or Kalaeloa you will find the coverage complete throughout. Autogen and scenery buildings have also been given a once over and offer better placement throughout the island as well as being more accurate to that of their real world counterparts.
The lighting features are also that of the traditional Megascenery titles, but if you use Flight 1’s UT USA you will find additional lighting in the scenery which makes for some pretty impressive night flights into Honolulu that gives off a very realistic flair for your approaches into PHNL.
There is a freeware file that can be found out on the web that will enhance the downtown area of Honolulu, adding several of the major motels and hotels as well as several other major landmarks that are not included in the default or Megascenery packages. I strongly recommend this file as it really does dress the scenery up quite well. The file can be found at the Megascenery site through their forums and it is called Hawaii_GP.
Touring The Island
Touring the Island of Oahu is a visual treat, I usually start my flights from Honolulu (PHNL) and fly out over the city towards Diamond Head and then make a complete circle around the island, finishing off with a tour over Pearl Harbor and then landing at PHNL. Granted, this is a very small area so if you want to get the most out of your flight you may want to choose something slow to fly.
As I toured the Island Of Oahu I found that the detail didn’t degrade any, granted I went from flying the Bellanca Super Viking to a Navy F/A-18. I was impressed with the visual clarity of all the regions of the island and its ability to maintain its detail at higher speeds of flight. I guess this is due to the confined area of the scenery and the computer doesn’t need to work as hard to keep up with the aircraft.
As I toured the island I was in a big rush to visit Pearl Harbor and several of the other military installations there, both old and new. As you near the older WW2 era airfields you can still make out their presence in the modern day scenery, though I don’t recommend landing at these places as they are not set up for landings and most landing will result in a crash! It is still fun trying to make out the outlines of those areas and see the virtual history that is there.
Pearl Harbor is nicely done, however, I would really like to see more in the way of Naval traffic! I realize that this is a photo scenery package, but it would just be nice to see more activity in places like Pearl. As you fly over Pearl and Ford Island pay special close attention to the surroundings as you can make out parked aircraft and boat traffic that was present when the photo scenery was taken, though only limited to a 2D representation embedded in the scenery itself, it kind of gives off a whole thought to; what was I doing that day?
Pearl is littered with a lot of history as is the entire island and the Megascenery package presents it well and offers a nice VFR experience.
Because the scenery area is confined to such a small area, this is the first Megascenery title that I have been able to fly just about any aircraft I want with little or no performance hit. There is no case of the blurries regardless of what plane you are flying. I had the most fun with my Aerial Foundry F/A-18 with this scenery; there is just something to be said about flying at supersonic speeds at about 500 feet above the ground along the beaches of Honolulu!
Now, don’t get me wrong, there is significant differences when flying at say 500 feet versus 15,000 feet as the visual detail at the higher elevations was simply incredible and you can see it in some of my screen shots.
In The End
Do I recommend this title? Yes! Regardless of whether you like photo scenery or not, this is a remarkable deal at only $9.95 and I hope that is a sign of things to come as I would love to see ALL of the islands covered in this level of detail. As far as this review goes, screenshots speak a thousand words and the only way you can truly experience this add-on is to see it rather then read about it.
So what are you waiting for? Go get it!
|What I Like About Megacity Hawaii|
|What I Don't Like About Megacity Hawaii|
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