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In a series that got its start in 1982, Microsoft has continually updated, enhanced and improved their Flight Simulator on a fairly regular basis. With the release of Microsoft Flight Simulator 2000, the simulation carries its legions of fans and cyber-pilots into the new millennium. In addition to the basic version, Microsoft is offering a companion game entitled Microsoft Flight Simulator 2000: Professional Edition that contains special advanced features geared toward making the simulation a PC flight training and proficiency aid for advanced players and pilots.
Although not a requirement, the game is optimized for the Intel Pentium III. The scenery in Microsoft Flight Simulator 2000 contains 16-bit color, realistic elevation data, seasonal effects and enhanced textures all presented in 3D graphics. As an added option for fans of the series, all of the aircraft, scenery and adventures supported in Microsoft Flight Simulator 98 are compatible with the FS2000 version.
Features in Microsoft Flight Simulator 2000 include the addition of two new aircraft, the Concorde (Mach 2) and the Boeing 777-300. For fans wanting even more, the Beechcraft King-Air 350 and the Mooney Bravo can be found in the Professional Edition of the game. The initial default of the game puts the player in the seat of a Cessna Skylane 182S at Meigs Field but offers easy access to other aircraft and options.
Just some of the options available for adjusting flight parameters and realism include fuel distribution that affects weight, performance and range, flight characteristics, updated instrument panels, exterior lights, flight controls, engine and propeller concerns and crash/damage aspects. Failure parameters are adjustable — the user can select either random occurrences or instrument-specific problems — and can be customized for impact on instruments, systems and radios.
Microsoft Flight Simulator 2000 contains more than 20,000 airports (only 3,000 were available in FS98) around the globe, detailed 3D objects (e.g., buildings, vehicles, towers, ships, etc.) and six new cities (12 in the Professional Edition) including Chicago, London, Los Angeles, New York, Paris and San Francisco. Up-to-date weather conditions can be downloaded from the MSN Gaming Zone on the Internet, with real-world weather systems provided by Jeppesen. The simulation translates these conditions into realistic effects such as clouds, precipitation and lightning and allows the user to customize weather as well.
Enhanced flight planning and navigation tools have not been ignored by Microsoft Flight Simulator 2000. Moving maps, a Global Positioning System (GPS) and a myriad of features regarding navigation are available. Position updates, ground speed, waypoint targets, route fixes, airport information, latitude, longitude, altitude, airspeed and more are just a few of the in-flight aids offered. ~ Michael L. House, All Game Guide