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Guest adlion944

My opinion of the Lago F-16

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I sure have been waiting for this baby. I fired her up and waited for it to load. I love Lago scenery. And I love the real-life F-16. It's awesome to see at air shows. The Porsche of the skies.I hate to be a negative Nelly, but Lago's F-16 is a bit of a letdown folks.First off is the 2D panel. This is the same bitmap we've all seen in countless freeware panels since FS2000. I think it comes from Falcon 4 and Lago licensed the graphics. I've always thought it was a good bitmap, but it's a bit of a letdown to see this same old bitmap in a payware package. The alternate panels are very nice. Very crisp. Good stuff. The problem lies in the fact that it is next to impossible to read the labels on the switches. The HUD is useless because the characters are teeny, tiny. This is at 1024 x 768 on a Geforce 4 in Win XP. Practically useless for readability. I can't think of a more important panel function than being READABLE. Maybe my screen resolution is a problem, but 1024 is pretty standard and every other payware package I've had is readable, so the problem lies in Lago's design, IMO.The panel doesn't have a ton of functionality because some things are impossible to model in FS2002. Of course, you can't fire weapons, but we knew that going in, right? Lot of switches. A whole lot. Like 727 quantity of switches. We often forget this jet was designed in the 1970s. Lots of learning to do. It's very hard to find click spots and the "sideways" panels are confusing, but I guess I can't think of a better way to display them, so that's OK. I just don't find it easy to "slide" into the panel. It will take some getting used to. And I wish they would've made the CRTs display more realistic things, even if it's fake - like stores, terrain map, radar, FLIR display. Perhaps beyond the capability of FS2002? I would've preferred "fake" displays to the HUD that's repeated in the right CRT, for instance. Who needs 2 HUDs in one panel view? Especially since neither are legible. 7 out of 10 (generous, considering).The VC is OK, but like all Lago VCs, is blocky, polygon-ish and a bit of a letdown. It's a bit of a step up from the Twotter, but doesn't have the immersion factor of the best VCs on the market. There is a huge quality drop off when going from the 2D panel to the VC. Very jarring. Overall, could be worse, could've been much better (like the B-25 Briefing Time, now that's a VC!). 6 out of 10.The aircraft flies very nicely. Very powerful and very stable. Not twitchy like my T-38, which I find challenging to fly and land. It rolls nicely, turns on a dime and is easy to trim off. I like the powerful climb, but I'm having trouble standing on the tail like a rocket. Theoretically this is possible because the power-to-weight ratio is high. I was able to put it into a spin after stalling at 65,000 feet that took me about 20,000 feet to recover. I was about to punch Goose and myself out. Greasing a landing is realisitically, not easy. Too bad I can never tell how fast I'm going or how high I am because I can't read the HUD. 9 out of 10.The sound is OK. Jumpy and not very smooth. Sounds kinda kick in without a realistic spool up. Not loud enough on the exterior. Staticky waves, overall, inside and out. Fairly weak set, but then again, I rarely find a great sound set. The Captain Sim 727 is a great payware sound set, for example. The DreamFleet 737 is a great sound set. The Lago F-16 is not. 4 out of 10The exterior model is a weak point of the product. Maybe it's just the textures, but I've seen military aircraft for FS2000 that equal it. The B-25 looks like a photograph. This F-16 looks a half notch below Jane's USAF for Windows 95. The textures are very low rez, blurry and low quality. Panel lines are too dark and too thick. You would never look at this product and be fooled into thinking you're looking at a photo. The type/logos on the planes are extremely fuzzy when it would've been very simple to make them crystal clear when repainting. Sloppy painting, overall.I guess Lago captured the sexy shape of the F-16, but many freeware designers capture the look of a military aircraft, so this is a given. I like the jet flame close up, but it looks like a glowing energy orb from any distance. I think this is a FS2002 limitation, though because Lago had the same problem in the Tornado. I like my T-38's afterburner effect better. 6 out of 10.All in all, an adequate 6 or 7 out of 10. This is not a "must-have" product for everyone. Only F-16 fans need apply. Not bad, but seems to be lagging behind in visual quality of products like the B-25 and the Captain Sim 727. Textures are simple (even a novice like me could've painted it much better), so I don't forgive a payware product without breathtaking textures.On a brighter note, this is the best F-16 for FS2002, however. I find fault with the developers that they didn't push the envelope. There is nothing new in this product that hasn't been done before much better by other developers. With FSD, Flight1, Captain Sim and DreamFleet pushing the envelope, the Lago F-16 falls well short or establishing a new standard.I love the real plane, so I'm sure I'll fly this a bit. But is it such a letdown for me that I love the DreamFleet Cardinal much more than this product, when in real life that is like comparing a Porsche 911 (F-16) to a beat up skateboard (Cessna 177). I can't believe I would rather fly a friggin Cessna than a Lockheed F-16, but I think that tells you what my honest opinion is.Lago, I love, love, love your bush scenery. It is the gold standard of scenery for FS2002. But you could learn a lot from DreamFleet and Captain Sim when it somes to making payware aircraft. Your Twotter, Tornado and now, F-16 are not up to par in comparison to the competition. I'll stick with you, but I hope to see a HUGE quality jump in your next airplane project.What does everyone else think?Dave

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I agree with you on certain issue's but feel your off a little in others. As far as the VC goes, yeah it's not the best but on my 9700Pro I would hardly call it blocky or "polygonish". Having spent no time standing next to an F-16 I can't comment on wether it's not loud enough on the exterior. I just turn my volume up. sounds real good to me. I experienced none of the jumpiness you speak of w any of the sounds. Sure the B-25 looks like a photograph but I bet it also puts a bigger dent in your framerates. W 6X AA and the 9700 cranked this thing looks pretty Freakin' sweet on my machine. Certainly better than Janes for windows 95.(Just out of curiosity but what magical card did do you have that makes anything look better than this. Especially something manufactured for windows95 LOL). I will agree about the afterburner. Beautiful from most angles but highly unrealistic at any great distance. As far as the textures go, if your that good a painter I have a few requests if your not doing anything. Have you seen the aft section of this plane close up with Full AA and the afterburner coming up. It is something to see.Pretty sweet textures if you ask me. As far as I can find this is the ONLY F-16 for FS2K2 that sports all the options, animations and textures in one package that this one does. As far as anything else goes I know of no other Tornado package for FS2K2 that offers what that one does. Is it worth the money?...It's worth what it's worth. I personally feel it may be a little overpriced. Someone else who is an F-16 freak may pay twice that for it. This is purely personal. I'm going to give it a 9 out of 10. The afterburner needs toning down, the price could be lower and the weapons should be made to be functional. Oh wait!! Thats right. I get another version of this for CFS3 when it comes out and I don't have to pay for it. And the weapons work. Albiet without any true functions. Now if only they would get to work on an F-4 w full load outs..Now we're talking!!Bobby

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Thanks for the reply. You gave it a very high 9 out of 10 so you must like it. I reserve a 9 out of 10 for very good payware like the DreamFleet 737. The Wilco 767 is one of the few 10 out of 10 scores for me.Jane's USAF is not as bad as you might think. It still looks pretty dang hi rez in Windows XP. I installed it because I miss fighter jet simming and it has held up remarkably well. I used to run it with a Voodoo2 16MB as I recall.I have a GeForce4 4600 128MB right now with a P4 2 Gig and 512MB RDRAM. Pretty solid system.I stand by my "blocky" VC comment. All VCs are blocky but good texturing and skillful programming can fool the eye - like the Captain Sim 727!I just can't wait to fly an A-10 and an F-15 in LOMAC!I wish Microsoft would learn a lesson on how to draw clouds, sun and surfaces of water from UbiSoft. I love the blinding sun effect in IL-2 Sturmovik. Much nicer looking than FS2002's "white" out effect.

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Dave, Just curious but why the heavy edit?Bobby

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Points well taken Dave. That's the great thing about forums is the varied viewpoints and inputs. The only thing I would still disagree with is the textures. With 6X AA and 16XAF at 1600x1200 this thing is beautiful. Not to mention it is still relatively framerate freindly.Bobby

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I have noticed a few problems myself. The AGM-65 Mavericks are almost as long as the AIM-9M Sidewinders, and the fins on them are to thin. The ventral fins under the fusealage are a bit out of shape. The nose is to short, and it should droop more. The tail is to thin, to tall, and not long enough. Lastly military aircraft don't have all reflective parts, they don't want that as to alert other enemy pilots by sun glare off of the plane, bad news as you could have a AA-11 Archer coming up your tail pipe any second. The VC as said before could be better. On a scale from 0-10 I rate it as a 6.5 or 7. Only if you REALLY like F-16's should I reccommend it, there are alot of great freeware ones out there that have better models in my opinion.

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Heavy edit?I guess after I posted, I forgot a couple things or shortened it a bit here and there.One thing I forgot to mention in my original post is the resolution of the waves used in the Falcon sound set.Most waves are 11,000 Hz at 16 bit. That is half the quality of Microsoft's default sound sets and most sound sets for FS2000 for that matter.I can't believe a 2003 premium payware product like the Lago F-16 would be using waves that are "half" the resolution of the standard 16 bit 22050 Hz. These are low quality waves, missing the top end sparkle and the bottom end bass of 44KHz (or even 22KHz) 16 bit waves. Upping them to the quality of most sound sets would have very little effect on frames. Another strike, I'm afraid.

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All due respect, anti-aliasing and 1600 resolution just enlarges/enhances what I consider to be a subpar paint job. The textures just aren't magical like the B-25 Briefing Time or the Captain Sim 727 or MIG-21.Look at the messy, blurry panel lines on the top of the fuselage. Not realistic and cartoony looking. Look at the blurry text and insignia on the tails of the USAF models.Not good enough for payware considering the level of detail in competitive products. The worst thing about it is that painting is the easiest thing to do well in an aircraft package.Come to think of it, the liveries in the Twotter package aren't very good either. Maybe Lago needs to bring a more experienced painter on board?

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Gotcha on the edits. At this point this discussion has become more of a dissection than a review. When you start to get down to the sample rate of wav files and the length of missiles, and this is just my opinion, your no longer reviewing a product but seeing exactly how close to the real thing one could possibly get forgetting the amount of work, research and time involved. I understand that there are people out there who are mainly concerned with issues such as these. I respect them for that and perhaps it is a positive contribution to the hobby. For me, as well as it would seem at this point many other simmers, it's beautiful, looks right, fly's great and is a joy to spend flight time with. In the end, aren't those the qualities that make for a truly enjoyable flying experience?. Thanks for a debate that didn't become a flame fest. I'm outta here. Going to go fly for a while.:-beerchug BobbyP.S. Just one more thing. As far as the painting goes, I'm sure there are more than a few individuals, myself included who would totally disagree with your point of painting being the easiest thing to o in a package. If it was so easy to create a really nice looking, realistically textured model why aren't more people doing it and why the need for such intense painting tutorials. If the textures are that bad I would love to see a redo. As an aspiring painter I love to see the work of others. Why not be the first to hit the library with a really "Good" repaint for all of us. Thanks again Dave.

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I might just repaint one myself. I found the problem - the textures for the fuselage are a tiny slice on a 1024 square texture bitmap. They really should have their own dedicated bitmap. As it stands now, the fuselage takes up as much space on the bitmap as the gear (which displays on the model much, much smaller and less prominently).I've not looked at these elements first (sound comment included). I basically thought "those textures look really fuzzy and low rez" and "man, these sounds really are muffled and missing high end sparkle"After a quick look into each folder - I found the culprit. Low sample rates in the sound set and low texture quality.I'm gonna repaint one of these babies.Lastly, the textures are DXT, not 32 bit 888 format which is the best quality. Better frames, but a huge step down in quality. I'll see if the texture quality can be improved without sacrificing frames.

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I liked this aircraft, nice exterior model and 2d panel. Where i think it fell short was the VC. Its hard coming off flying planes like the PSS Dash8, Flight1 Meridian, FSD Commander/Seneca and RealAir Sia-Mechetti all of which have outstanding VC's and then jump into Lago's F-16 VC. Too many low resolution textures plague it and it feels lonely and dark without the MFD's lit up in any way. The HUD is difficult to read and not bright enough in the VC.We're in 2003 now, and the release of FS2004 and 'active' VC's is rapidly closing. Its time to up the visual quality in these cockpits of the present and future.

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Here, here.I'm frankly tired of the huge visual quality gap when switching from the 2D panel to the VC. Developers have shown that fantastic VCs are possible, yet so many products come out with subpar VCs.The B-25 Briefing Time is the new gold standard of VCs. The Captain Sim 727 is also fantastic.I agree that the VCs are great in every model you mention, except the PSS Dash 8. That is a blocky, polygon-ish, crude VC compared to the others you listed. PSS hasn't learned to make a good VC yet IMHO.

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Thank you very much for your honest review! It's hard to find the right balance between critcizing (sp???) too much or be too forgiving, and I think you have found a better line than a lot of "official" reviewers (based on reviews of other planes).I think so because your opinion has a lot in common with how I think about Lago's Tornado. I guess a 9/10 or even 10/10 should be reserved for really excellent addons that are nearly perfect in practically every aspect. There are far too many reviewers who give the 9/10 of 4/5 too easily.Don't get me wrong, I like the Tornado, just flew it yesterday, but if the F-16 is of a similar build, I simply don't need that one right now. Maybe when I want to reward myself, and I'm in the right mood, I'll get it. But at the moment 25$ seem a bit expensive for an addon with the aforementioned weak points.I just bought the FSD Commander 115 for 20$. That's a plane with excellent VC (beats everything I've seen except maybe for the B-25, but that's a totally different plane), great flight model, and beautiful exterior - worth every single dollar because it's a well-rounded package.To sum it up, compared to other planes and companies I think Lago should either lower their prices a bit (19$ would seem more reasonable for a product that does not push the limit in technical excellence and has no advanced avionics like an FMC or GPS), or simply produce better planes. Their bush sceneries are of excellent quality (but also a bit on the expensive side), but the planes are sub par.One final word: it's always hard for me to criticise Lago's products, because Mathijs (the "face" and "mouth" of Lago), is such a nice, patient and supportive person.Just my 2c (EUR),VOlker :]

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another great feature is the framerate.. I get better fps in the VC then in 2d

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'I have noticed a few problems myself. The AGM-65 Mavericks are almost as long as the AIM-9M Sidewinders, and the fins on them are to thin. The ventral fins under the fusealage are a bit out of shape. The nose is to short, and it should droop more. The tail is to thin, to tall, and not long enough. Lastly military aircraft don't have all reflective parts, they don't want that as to alert other enemy pilots by sun glare off of the plane, bad news as you could have a AA-11 Archer coming up your tail pipe any second. The VC as said before could be better. On a scale from 0-10 I rate it as a 6.5 or 7. Only if you REALLY like F-16's should I reccommend it, there are alot of great freeware ones out there that have better models in my opinion.'That is incredibly bloody picky!The beta testers asked for a rework of the model and didn't seem to have much trouble with it. Amongst other stupid picky things that only an F-16 lover would notice.Ian Ritchie (see the manual)

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That forward angle isn't too bad, I agree. Not great, but I've seen worse.But when you spin your head around and look in any other direction, the cockpit graphics lose their realism very quickly and become blocky and polygonish. Not so with the B-25 or the CS 727.How realistic would Quake be if a room only looked real from one angle?

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This thread just goes to show that you can't please everyone.I own the Lago F-16 and I am enjoying the heck out of it. My biggest complaint is the autopilot and the glowing orb at the rear. The aircraft otherwise is nice to fly and pretty easy to land following a few simple steps.... Refueling is a bit difficult, but I imagine it would be in real life. The Tornado and the F-16 are great compliments to each other. If you like heavy metal these are the way to go. But opinions are like a__h_____, everyone has one....It sucks that certain individuals feel duped when they buy a product and it doesn't live up to their high standards. With FS2002 I am willing to except that there are some things you can and cannot do. The F-16 pushes the envelope on those things, and Lago does a great job and trying their best to make it work.....

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Agreed.It's just like this... I'm extremely picky about food. A restaurant like Olive Garden or Macaroni Grill is delicious for some people. I can't stand the food at either, so I guess I'm pickier than others. Not that I'm better or they're better, I just carry the "picky" gene in me.My mother once told me that being too picky isn't a good trait. It makes it very hard to make yourself happy. :-(

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Some people would call it anally retentive, OC, yada yada yada LOL J/K. There is a difference between picky and expecting somethingmore than something really is.Bobby

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That is some rig you have there. But where are your rudder pedals?I hate being picky, but I don't expect too much. If I love DreamFleet, the B-25 and the CS 727 then there are companies that can do good stuff. If I hated everything, that would be another thing. I'm not forgiving for payware. Even the Falcon 50 freeware was much better than the Lago F-16. This goes back to my whole living up to the competition argument. Lago didn't get the right people for the project. They needed pickier people to handle the project who have higher standards. That's when you achieve DreamFleet levels of greatness.The Lago F-16 is officially hangar'd for me. It's a shame.There's always LOMAC this August.

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Don't tell me, No rudder pedals makes me a wannabe simmer?.( figured you were getting picky again :))I don't run pedals mainly due to the fact I have run out of room in, under and around my computer desk. I have 3 machines under my desk. A dual monitor setup now that I have the new machine front speakers w control pod, Router, Cable Modem the list goes on. Pedals and yoke are probably more realistic but I tend to favor fighter jets. That and my wife would probably shoot me if I tried to put one more piece of hardware on this desk.LOL It's a shame you've put your F-16 in the hanger so to speak over such trivial issues as those you have stated. I think it's more of a shame that you spent the money on it to put it in the hanger for those reasons. You sound like a hard one to please.LOL. Remind me to keep you out of the loop when I release my first freeware project.LOLBobby

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Yea when you bring up the CS 727 I totally agree thats the best VC for flightsim in my opinion, but the f-16 is still pretty decent

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> Don't tell me, No rudder pedals makes me a wannabe >simmer?.( figured you were getting picky again :))I don't >run pedals mainly due to the fact I have run out of room in, >under and around my computer desk. I have 3 machines under >my desk. A dual monitor setup now that I have the new >machine front speakers w control pod, Router, Cable Modem >the list goes on. Pedals and yoke are probably more >realistic but I tend to favor fighter jets. That and my wife >would probably shoot me if I tried to put one more piece of >hardware on this desk.LOL >> It's a shame you've put your F-16 in the hanger so to >speak over such trivial issues as those you have stated. I >think it's more of a shame that you spent the money on it to >put it in the hanger for those reasons. You sound like a >hard one to please.LOL. Remind me to keep you out of the >loop when I release my first freeware project.LOL >>Bobby LOL Agreed!!Adlion, I find it HILARIOUS that you don't like the visual model of the LAGO F-16 but you do like the DF 737. Did I miss something here...or have you never seen a real 737?? LOL The DF 737 is HARDLY accurate visual model wise...but the panel is great!! ;)Personally, I LOVE the LAGO F-16. It is proably the only payware package that I fly on a regular basis, the only one I don't get bored with. But that is just me :)To each his own my friend :) :)

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I'm glad I'm hilarious, but I haven't been clear enough...I don't like the DreamFleet 737 external model, just the panel, air file and sound set. I never really thought the model was great, even for FS2000. I fly the DreamFleet panel with a GMAX Ariane 737-300 which is very good.Hope you had a good laugh :-)

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