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Mike T

Is PCPilot reputable?

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Here is an excerpt from a PCPilot review:""The depth of detail is simply staggering... The finest 2D cockpit ever made for an airliner simulation... The whole 2D panel and pop-ups are simply a work of art... The attention to visual detail is stunning... the finest rendition of this aircraft we have seen within desktop simulation... one of the finest airliner expansions ever made... Nothing short of a tour-de-force"The reason I ask about their reputation is because I leave you to guess to which product they refer in the abovementioned snippet. However, knowing what I know of the product I am wondering the following:1) They got a totally different product than I got.2) They got access to a patch that the rest of us didn't get3) They actually reviewed a completely DIFFERENT product and got the reviews confused.4) They are counting down the days until Marijuana is legal in the United States, but in the mean time they are doing their reviews from a smoke shop in Amsterdam! :(

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Kind of hard to say without knowing which aircraft they were referring to, although why they would be waiting for Mary Jane to be legalised in the US when they are based in the UK is beyond me. :( I occasionally buy PC Pilot, generally speaking it's an okay read, and I invariably find it tells the truth, but then again, it's not really the sort of magazine that goes in for trashing products in a bout of Rolling Stone-style gonzo journalism. It's hard to say whether they have a contradeal going on; such practices are certainly not unknown in the press (I know, because I've worked at several newspapers and magazines in the UK as a writer).As far contradeals go, there are a few clues you can spot when that sort of thing is going on. The most obvious one is 'linked editorial', which is when you get a guaranteed spot of coverage in a publication as part of your advertising deal for buying a slot for a regular advert. Strictly speaking, such things should have an 'advertisement' banner at the top of them to distinguish them from normal editorial content. This is both a legal requirement in the UK and a preference for editors too, since it distinguishes 'gushing' text from genuine editorial comment (you'd actually be in breach of the UK Advertising Standards Authority's publication guidelines if there was no such banner over copy of that nature). Occasionally sub-editors (the guys who lay out the publication and correct submitted copy) are a bit smarter at publications than normal, and will place 'advertorial' (advertising editorial) text away from the product's main advert to make it seem a bit less partisan, although you'd be surprised how hard it is to convince companies that this is a good idea, in order to make it seem less 'paid for'. Quite often there will be 'unspoken agreements' going on, whereby advertisers will submit things for review, under the general understanding that the thing is to be written about favourably, lest lucrative advertising gets pulled. This is rarely spoken of, unless you happen to go the other way and slam something, in which case you get 'a quiet word' from the editor, or one of their underlings, most likely the advertising director. I got pulled up for doing that on more than one occasion at the Guardian Media Group in the UK - a paper which likes to portray itself as the pantheon of honesty - and eventually left because I disagreed with the lack of honesty one could employ in what one wrote. One way to spot this shady nonsense is by virtue of the fact that many journos are lazy, and will sometimes cull quotes (or even vast tracts of copy) directly from a press release. That goes on a lot incidentally, and we would often deride the journos who indulged in that kind of thing, so take a look on the product's website and see if any copy seems strangely familiar.Those quotes you added would lead one to believe they were talking about something very good indeed though, so if it aint that good, then that might be, if not a smoking gun, then at least a bit suspect. But you should bear in mind that all reviews are open to a bit of interpretation, since they are a person's opinion (notwithstanding the fact that it uses the collective 'we' in it, which would lead you to believe it is an editorial stance of the publication).Al

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I've been buying PC Pilot since the first issue and generally its a very good informative read.I do think they might be over generous in some of their reviews, but agree with what Alan says and reading between the lines from the quotes that the product must be pretty good.Its about the only magazine I buy these days, with the internet being used for all my other interests. before I had the net I was buying a lot of magazines a month ranging from Astronomy to Cinema and it cost me a small fortune!

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""The depth of detail is simply staggering... The finest 2D cockpit ever made for an airliner simulation... The whole 2D panel and pop-ups are simply a work of art... The attention to visual detail is stunning... the finest rendition of this aircraft we have seen within desktop simulation... one of the finest airliner expansions ever made... Nothing short of a tour-de-force"PCPilot's shining words of praise and adulation are adorned upon, non-other than....LDS 767? Nope!PMDG MD11? Try again! Eaglesoft CitationX v2? Uh, uh! wait for it....Captainsim 757! :(I understand that reviews are subjective but if the Captainsim 757 is 'Nothing short of a tour-de-force', then I am Her Royal Highness The Queen of England and WE ARE NOT AMUSED! :(

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LOL .. I take it you have bought it and are not impressed :)I'll have to go look at this review now, but since I dont own the add-on I wont be able to comment on it.But I really like what add-ons Captain Sim have produced so far, the C-130 for FS9 and FSX are amongst the best out there, IMHO.If they ever finish that B-52 I'll be the first in line.

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I stopped buying the magazine last year exactly because of this. They heap praise on products that quite frankly don't deserve it. I remember one issue where a single reviewer did about five or six reviews, and gave everything very good scores.If you have any questions about how reliable the magazine is, just look back through the reviews for Just Flight products and see how positive they all are. Then count how many Just Flight ads there are in any given issue...

I don't have CS757 but it's an Avsim "gold star award" winner.
When that review was published it created something of a controversy in this forum.If anyone here is a fan of PC strategy games they will know about the recent release of Empire Total War. An A++ category high profile release, LOTS of publicity and advertising, eagerly awaited. All of the big websites and magazines gave it glowing reviews. When it got into the hands of the public it was found to have huge stability issues, and the artificial intelligence is broken to such a degree that many people find it pointless to even play the game.

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It only took me a few issues to realise PC Pilot was a waste of time and money..... a shame really.It would be really nice for us PC Pilots to have our own magazine, but if I find myself in a magazine shop with a long train ride ahead I would not even browse PC Pilot on the shelf ...but grab a copy of Airliner World instead.

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Wow ... It looks like the Gloves are off now against this magazine for some reason?Guys, why is it when I visit the FS9 forum I see half glass Empty posts all the time :) The FSX Forum is much less so.As I've said before ... I do believe they report accurately, but perhaps a bit too enthusiastically? They have been fairly critical in the past, but I agree, no where near enough for some articales.I have to agree.I've written to them before, they will respond, but not necessarily print it, from what I've seen, they are receptive to constructive Criticism though.Give em Hell :) I'm sure they read here ... or they should, but honestly, they seem to try and do listen.

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Mike Totally agree with you I purchased 757 Captain partly based on the reviews in PC Pilot and Avsim and boy did I make a mistake. I cannot understand how this product managed to get released in this sorry state and how it got on the shelves of what I was led to believe was a reputable FS Store. Yes I am talking about the boxed FS9 version (still unpatched). I think some of the developers and flightsim merchants are starting to take us for mugs. Just throw the products out and rely on user forums to get customers to help each other out and fill in the missing bits and if you are lucky we might just provide you with a patch at some point down the line but not if you are an FS9 user. What an attitude No more CS for me and a bit more caution when reading reviews.

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To be fair, they have alerted me to a few products I may have not been aware of. Just bought 'Around the World in 80 Flights', sounds like fun. Also bought the DA Cheyenne after their review. I do take many of their reviews with a pinch of salt, especially products by a certain distributor based in the UK that often advertises with them. The best bet I've found to to do my research on the web after a product has piqued my interest.Also, their 'Guide to flying Heavies' has been really useful to me. Worth the price just for this set of articles!Cheers, SLuggy

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I read PC Pilot just for the enjoyment of it. I never rely on their reviews...as everything is always "Great" or "not bad" is as bad as it gets. Like someone mentioned, I may find out about certain add-ons from the mag, than head over to AvSim reviews to get the real deal...but now someone mentioned that Avsim might be a bad source too, so now I dont know.EngineRoom,All that was pretty ridiculous wasn't it? I must have read the first review months ago from PC Gamer, high 90s...at that point I uninstalled MTWII and waited for ETW. Now, I just reinstalled MTWII with the lastest SS mod and will not look back : D

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I subscribe to PCPilot.It's not brilliant.. and the coverdiscs are rubbish, but its something to read and the only real FS mag in the UK.Agree with the comments about the reviews though. They only seem to do 2 scores. If they like it lots - 95%If they like it no so lots - 75%They should review freeware.. if only in a brief section. They'd get loads more content and the mag would be much more useful.

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Avsim reviews are usually reliable...
I don't trust any reviews. You read review like this one and author's lack of deeper knowledge of aircraft shines through. Reviewers are volunteers who generally "like" the product they are reviewing (otherwise they don't like write about it). But even if you read this review it is also educational to notice important things (like systems modeling) that are simply omitted entirely - a clear signal of superficiality. Long ago I learned to read reviews between the lines .. things that are not there will often say more about the product than all the flowery words.

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Reviewers are volunteers who generally "like" the product they are reviewing (otherwise they don't like write about it).
Actually that's not true in my case. Yes Avsim reviewers are indeed volunteers, and the reviews are usually assigned by reviewers 'bidding' to review a product from all those available for scrutiny. But even though that's the case, I will often email Robert Whitwell (the Avsim Reviews Editor) and suggest that he can throw the less popular products my way for review. And I'm happy to do that because I like writing and I like reviewing, so that could easily mean reviewing something I'm not keen onI think it keeps things interesting to write about stuff you wouldn't necessarily favour, or may not know much about before you tackle the review. I (and I daresay most other Avsim reviewers), go to a lot of trouble to research anything I review. For example, I spent well over sixty quid on reference books when I did the Avsim combined review of the Me262 and F-104 Starfighter last year, in order to ensure I knew a lot about the subject, and I also contacted NASA for information on the tests they conducted with the F-104; when I reviewed the P-40 for Avsim I specially ordered an original pilot's manual for the aircraft from the US, and interviewed a wartime flyer of the type for further first-hand information. And these are by no means isolated incidents.Al

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