B-17 "Memphis Belle" PC CD-ROM
by Just Flight
Developed by Just Flight
Released - Out Now
Required: MS Flight Sim 2002/2004 or CFS 3
Price : £19.99
It didn't take Just Flight long to release their first Flight Simulator 2004 expansion did it? I have to be honest here and say that my review copy of B-17 "Memphis Belle" arrived before my review copy of Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004. Of course you all know that the latest Flight Simulator celebrated 100 years of flight and rather fittingly Just Flight's B-17 "Memphis Belle" celebrates one of the most recognisable aircraft of all time. This expansion supports Flight Simulator 2002, Flight Simulator 2004 and Combat Flight Simulator 3.
The installation, as always, was very simple. You are simply offered a choice of installing the expansion in either FS2002 FS2004 or CFS3. Of course if you own more than one you'll need to run the installation for each of the products you own.
As always with Just Flight expansions the quality of the aircraft model and artwork is top notch and the authentic livery and famous nose art, of the lady with her head turned away, has been wonderfully recreated. The cockpit and virtual cockpit both look good. You really get a sense of how difficult it was to fly the plane and it's seems more tricky to take off and land than a lot of virtual aircraft that I've flown. The view is a bit restrictive compared to most other aircraft but this is how it was in the B-17.
Just Flight recommend that you use a 1.4GHz CPU (which exceeds the requirements for Flight Simulator 2004) to run B-17 "Memphis Belle". This is actually highly recommended by us too as we experienced a dip in the framerate whilst using the B-17 "Memphis Belle" aircraft. In addition to the aircraft you also receive the additional scenery of Bassingbourn airfield where the B-17 "Memphis Belle" was based during World War II.
What features you'll be able to enjoy with B-17 "Memphis Belle" depends on what software you are going to install it into. Without a doubt you are going to get more from this expansion if you own Combat Flight Simulator 3. With B-17 "Memphis Belle" installed into CFS3 you get a chance to participate in 25 of the missions that the Belle participated in. You'll also have access to the bombardier, waist, nose, tail and upper turret positions as well as the under-belly turret gunner positions. In many ways it feels like a more complete expansion when used with CFS3. Should you not have access to CFS3, but own a copy of FS2002 or FS2004, then you'll have access to the 25 missions of the War Bonds tour.
B-17 "Memphis Belle" is fine for deaf gamers and is no different from Flight Simulator 2004 in it's provision for deaf gamers. The expansion comes with a 48 page manual that is actually very impressive. The manual contains information on the B-17 panels, the tour and missions that are featured in the expansion and general information on how to use the new features in the program of your choice. There is even a section on the great history of the B-17 "Memphis Belle" and short pieces from those who flew with her. It's fair to say that the quality of the manual rounds the package off nicely.
B-17 "Memphis Belle" is an impressive expansion that fans of this historical aircraft will really enjoy. Those who own Combat Flight Simulator 3 will get the most out of it though as the missions are definitely more fun than simply flying the routes of the War Bonds tour. It's also a nice touch that the expansion is officially endorsed by the Memphis Belle Association and that a portion of the profits from this expansion goes towards the upkeep of the aircraft.
Game Rating: 8.7/10
A very good expansion pack based on a truly legendary aircraft. The experience is even improved upon if you own Combat Flight Simulator 3.
No problems at all for deaf gamers.