It’s another weekend for me. Currently in the middle of a 3 hour flight from Seattle to Juneau in a 737-900.
The hard part is the anticipation for many of these flights. I can’t afford to do a 3 hour flight during the week when I have so many other things I’d like to do. Even a one hour GA flight still takes up some time.
With that I’ve been bouncing back and forth from P3D and X-Plane 11 with this Seattle to Anchorage flight. On one hand, if I want to do the flight in P3D, I feel somewhat obligated to purchase the airport addon because it looks really good and it’s a nice destination for some of my local GA flights. On the other hand, I get a very good representation in X-Plane 11 for free.
Both sims feature very good 737 representations. P3D has the PMDG which is the best 737 simulation in the market. X-Plane on the other hand has a really good one (the Zibo 737) that comes in close second.
I think what got me to stick with P3D the expandability of the simulation. With the current addons I have, I get:
- PMDG 737: Accurate 737 representation
- Active Sky Next + ASCA: A very good weather and clouds model
- ProATC: Good ATC system with vectoring and SID/STAR support
- Ultimate Traffic: Real-world air traffic according to real flight plans
- Envshade + Envtex: Great Shaders and airport textures
- Orbx Global, Vector, Pacific Northwest Region, Alaska Region: Great scenery textures and vector information, along with custom objects and autogen.
- DD Seattle X + Airports: Seattle scenery and local airports
- Aerosoft Anchorage: Anchorage airport
- Chaseplane: A very good camera system!
It’s expensive, but it looks great and makes it one of the best simulations in the market.
With X-Plane, on the other hand, I have this:
- Zibo 737: The second best 737 (for free), with arguably more realistic flight dynamics.
- HDMesh v4: Accurate mountains, roads, rivers, lakes, etc.
- DD Seattle X + Airports: The same addon as P3D, takes longer to load though with frame rate issues.
- xCamera: A decent camera system, not as good as Chaseplane
- FSGRW: Updated weather generator.
- Up-to-date airports and navaids
- Great looking graphics and night lighting out of the box.
That’s about it. The weather texturing and cloud detail I’ve used xEnviro, Skymaxx Pro, and Ultimate Weather XP with mixed results. I’m sticking to default for now.
Orthos is another thing that everyone raves about…satellite scenery that comes at a price of blurry ground textures and massive disk space usage.
No ATC or Traffic coverage (the current options are substandard). There’s also not many landmarks out of the box…so if you want to fly around and see the Hollywood sign, the Golden Gate Bridge, or the Statue of Liberty…you’re out of luck.
Along with that there are no decent long range aircraft, aside from the Zibo 737 and the FFA320, which aren’t as good as the P3D counterparts. There’s no top-line 747, 777, 787, etc…
Don’t get me wrong, out of the box and with free addons, I really like X-Plane in many ways over P3D, and I feel over time the base engine be even better. As far as expandability though, I just don’t think it’s there yet…
Other than that, this week has been mostly productive as far as keeping up with entertainment and such. I’m playing a lot of Yakuza 0, on one hand to “get it over with” and on the other hand to prove to myself that I can at least finish a game, even if it takes me over a year to complete. It’s a very good and compelling story…not sure what I’ll play after this (Yakuza Kiwami? Yakuza 6? Some other game?) but in the meantime I’m enjoying it while it lasts.
Also got Two Point Hospital. I have fond memories of Theme Hospital as a kid, and this is somewhat of a spiritual successor to it. It’ll be a nice change of pace from simulators and story-based games.
I’d like to do some truck simming this weekend. The new Promods update is out and it looks great. I’m going to stick with Promods and the previous version of Truck Simulator for a while. I just don’t really like Vanilla despite the recent improvements, so I see no reason to drop my current profile.