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Conclusion

Is it worth the money? Considering the mountain of free content available on the Web and the fact that the latest patches pretty much brought Vista compatibility to the original titles, should anyone spend $20?

If TK was only offering the original game with no additional content, just a reboxed version of the original with nothing added and only making the changes necessary to get it to run on Vista without a hitch, I’d say no.

As usual, he didn’t go that route. He’s offering hi-res cockpits, true to the time frame they were flown in. He’s included the majority of the ground objects and AI aircraft he’s ever made in the original titles. He’s tossed in extra campaigns, liveries, skins, units and the freedom to pick just about any one of them to do anything you want.

F-4J

Is that worth 40% of the cost of a new release of an Xbox 360 title that people will quit playing in four months? Yes. It damned sure is. Are there some glitches and things to fix? Yes. There are some missing .LOD files, some problems dealing with campaign editing, the multiplayer has been removed. For some, that might be a deal breaker. For the majority of fans, it’s pretty much been a single-player experience since day one.

If the cost was higher, I’d probably have balked, but I’ll bet you’re still wondering why you should buy this. So, I’ve included a list of things you’d spend the same amount of money on and get less out of:

  • The office coffee order at Starbucks
  • Controlling interest in General Motors
  • A McCain/Palin 2008 coffee mug set
  • An autographed copy of The Personal Beliefs of Jimmy Carter
  • The average bottle of scotch in Tom Cofield’s liquor cabinet
  • Filling your car with premium instead of regular
  • Movie tickets
  • Two cases of Natural Light
  • The hospital co-pay after drinking more than three Natural Lights
  • An ear/nose hair trimmer… for your mother-in-law
  • A Yanni CD

Should you buy it? Put me down as saying wait for now, but yes, definitely as more tools for it (like a weapons editor) become available.

Pros

  • High-resolution cockpits
  • Out-of-the-box compatibility with Windows Vista
  • New liveries for stock aircraft
  • New campaign options that make it easier to fly whatever you want
  • More ground objects and enemy aircraft than the original release

Cons

  • No multiplayer
  • Missing .LODs for certain weapons
  • Limited mod-ability due to weapons pack
  • Editing campaigns is a hit-and-miss journey of searching for landmines

Reviewer’s System Specs

  • Intel E6550 dual-core proc (2 X 2.33Ghz)
  • 2GB Corsair XMS PC6400 DDR2 RAM
  • ATi Radeon 4870 512MB video card
  • Creative Audigy2ZS sound card
  • 300GB SATAII HDD
  • Saitek X45 HOTAS
  • CH Rudder Pedals
  • Windows Vista

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