AVSIM Commercial Scenery Review

FSCENE VOLUMES 1-3

Europe and Africa

North and South America

Asia, Australia and New Zealand

Rating Guide
Publisher: Just Flight
Description:  Add-on scenery for FS2004
Download Size:
N/A
Format:
DVD
Simulation Type:
FS 2004 Add-on
Reviewed by: Gene Davis AVSIM Staff Reviewer

The AVSIM Commercial Rating System: 1 Star to 5 Stars (with 5 stars being exceptional) Please see details of our review rating policy here .

Introduction

Flying over the default scenery textures can get a little tiresome and at times somewhat repetitive as there really isn’t a big difference in the textures world wide.

Recently released from Just Flight, is FSCENE Volumes 1-3 that will literally transform your flying environment into a more realistic and vibrant looking world. As you fly off into the sunset, your world below will become more alive and VFR flying will take on a whole new meaning!

Installation and Documentation

Installation is a breeze. Each volume comes on a single CD and after a quick and painless install you will be up and flying in no time.

Each volume comes with a written manual that explains what each scenery volume does and explains the areas that are covered in great detail. Each volume will require about 100 MB on your hard drive and comes packed with demos of other Just Flight products. The uninstall process is also a snap as the core installation file will store all of your default textures in the event you want to remove FSCENE, so there is no worries about having to rebuild MSFS in the event that you need to revert back to the old textures.

If you end up with all three scenery volumes you will have coverage for the entire world, otherwise your environments will be limited to the areas covered in the volumes that you bought. If you can afford all three, I would strongly recommend it.

FScene - Volume 1, 2 & 3

Just Flight has supplied the FSCENE textures on 3 different volumes:

VOLUME 1 EUROPE AND AFRICA
VOLUME 2 NORTH AND SOUTH AMERICA
VOLUME 3 ASIA, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND

Many of you will recognize these scenery textures as they have been around for quite some time through FSCENE and have now been re-released through JustFlight as a newly boxed product.

The benefit of owning these products on disk, is that you don’t have to worry about storing downloaded material plus you get a written manual with each volume that goes into detail of what each scenery volume entails. Another nice feature is there is no need to store a key or registration code. You simply insert the disk and go.

What these products accomplish is rather astonishing. They will give MSFS a total facelift and you will find yourself in awe as you venture out into your new world. At times the scenery will look almost three dimensional in appearance and thus making the world below look a little more realistic.

 

Europe and Africa

As you journey over the different continents, you will start to notice a significant difference in the land textures. European textures have a totally different look than that of North and South American textures. My personal favorite is what Volume three has done for the places like Vietnam and Japan. Flying over Vietnam is incredible as the textures give off a whole new look. Rice patties and villages look more convincing than that of the default textures as they are significant to the region. Mountainous regions have been given a total facelift and in my opinion, are much more realistic looking with the FSCENE textures. The rock faces and valleys just have a more realistic feel to them. Desert textures and forests are also nicely done, and are different in every region that you fly in. Compare places like Vietnam and Australia and you will see a significant difference.

 

North and South America

All four seasons are covered in these packages as well, and change quite nicely. When I received this package I started using it in the summertime and now I have changed over to fall. I have to tell you, the fall textures are simply spectacular! The changes from summer to fall or fall to winter are not subtle like I thought they would be. Take New Zealand for example, the difference between summer and winter textures are quite significant and you will be able to really notice the changes in seasons anywhere you fly.

 

Asia, Australia and New Zealand

The Pros and Cons

The biggest problem with using these textures is that they don’t match with some of the major cities.

Take Seattle; FSCENE VOLUME TWO replaces the default city textures with its own, I always thought the Seattle area looked pretty good in the default MSFS but with FSCENE, you now have a more realistic looking city. Albeit the textures no longer match the placement of the buildings in the area.

Test System

CPU: P4 (Intel) – 3.0 GHz
RAM: 1.0 GB
Video: ATI RADION PRO 256

Flying Time:
18.5 hours

This is a small price to pay, as the residential areas are far more distinct in their appearance. I noticed that in Volume 2 the city textures use a little too much orange for some of the residential areas. But you get used to it as the rest of the package makes up for it.

Compatibility doesn’t really seem to be much of an issue with these add-ons, as they only change the default scenery textures and they seem to work really well with products like Flight 1’s UT USA and UT Alaska and Canada. Another interesting note on using these titles with the Flight 1 scenery add-ons, is that they make the roads mix better with the textures and don’t stand out as much. I think its because the textures actually stand out more since they are much brighter looking than the default textures. The textures will not interfere with any photo scenery that you may have installed and blend in a little better when the photoscenery stops and the default scenery takes over.

If you have an add-on that adds its own scenery textures, you will find that FSCENE does not override the add-ons, but merely blends in with them or doesn’t show any difference at all.

Performance

Performance doesn’t seem to be an issue at all. I didn't notice any impact on my frame rates.

Iin fact I sometimes think my FPS have improved some since I installed this package, but that could just be me.

Conclusion

Buying this package has to be a big decision since it does literally transform MSFS into a more realistic environment. But when looking at the price that includes the entire world, it may scare some away.

This is a very nice package and does offer a lot for MSFS. I really don’t think you will be disappointed with your new sim environment. With other titles of this sort coming on to the market, I am hoping that these prices will drop since there is now some competition!

Pricing

The biggest downside to the each expansion is the cost. Each add-on is a whopping $44.99 each, but if you order them as a 3 pack you can get it for $119.00. This seems like a lot of money to spend when there are other titles of this type at a lower cost, but the FSCENE series has been around for some time and has built quite a reputation for itself and I think that some will find the price reasonable.

 

What I Like About FScene Vols 1-3
  • Vibrant looking textures!
  • Realistic looking environment.
  • Ease of use.
  • Printed manual
  • Easy installation, no registration codes!

 
What I Don't Like About FScene Vols 1-3
  • The price!

Printing

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FScene

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The review above is a subjective assessment of the product by the author. There is no connection between the producer and the reviewer, and we feel this review is unbiased and truly reflects the performance of the product in the simming environment. This disclaimer is posted here in order provide you with background information on the reviewer and connections that may exist between him/her and the contributing party.

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