I haven't been flying for awhile, and to fill the void I've been working on a gaem review for GamingNexus.com. I specialize to some degree in the flight and racing simulations that come across the editors desk, and this latest fits into the racing genre. Having been introduced to gaming in the Pong era (1972!) and computers back when you interfaced with them via teletype and an acoustically coupled modem, these simulations available today simply astound me.
I'll post the link to the review when it becomes available, but for now you can watch this PapaGolf Chronicles exclusive video of the game in action:
You may not have noticed, but as I was racing along a few bugs got splattered on my virtual helmet visor. The first really noticeable one was right at the 2:18 mark. At :42 (remaining) I press the button that causes the virtual driver to reach up and pull away a tear-off. It's little things like that...
The software side of these simulations is miraculous, especially when you consider that a game like this will sell for less than $50. Equally astonishing, though, are the controllers that are used to control the game. I have an amazing collection of joysticks, rudder pedals, throttle quadrants and flight yokes, but the most amazing of all is the racing controller. It has incredible force feedback, so the tactile aspects of the bumps in the tracks, the ridges in the curbs and the different resistance feeling as the front tires start to skid in a turn adds a level of realism that rivals actually being in the car. It's possible to actually be sore from racing with a wheel this strong. Add to that the choice of paddle shifting ala Formula 1 or a gated shifter as you'd find in a street/stock car and the three pedal floor unit and you start to see why this stuff can be so addictive. Here's a little video that shows the controller in action:
Did you see how the hands of the simulated driver closely match the movements of mine? Amazing! And that wreck at the end? Well, that's graphic evidence of why race car drivers don't carry phones in their cars. You can hear the phone ringing: Egg was calling. These simulations are very accurate, and as with any form of real-world driving, concentration is of the utmost importance.
As requested by Brent, the Saitek Yoke review