"It would have been cheaper to lower the Atlantic than make
'Raise the Titanic'"
ST SOFTWARE REVIEW - PROFLIGHT BY HISOFT
by Dave Mooney
As we never actually got Hisoft to send us this proggy, we were
happy to make use of the review that was published in the "ST
Enthusiasts Newsletter", issue 6. Thanks, Dave Mooney, for
enabling us to use your material!
A long time ago, most people would have thought that a PATRIOT
was someone who stood up for the national anthem and a SCUD was a
These pieces of military hardware have mow joined the growing
gaggle of 'buzzwords' such as 'triple-A' and E.P.W. being
thrown around by both the media and public alike. So if I say
the word TORNADO, how many people would expect this to be a
review of a weather monitoring system?
"ProFlight" is the latest package to join the growing formation
of flight simulators, but this one has a few differences about
it. The first is it's distributors. Yes, it actually is
Hisoft. Hmmmm, this should mean a straight-laced, no frills
flight sim. Just take off, fly in a circle and land again.
Next is the program itself. ProFlight comes on one unprotected,
single-sided disk. Considering the claims made by the creators
of the package, can there possibly be enough room on the lone
floppy? But the most obvious feature (apart from the
horrendous price of £39.99) is the sheer size of the packaging!
If you think "F-19 Stealth" had a big box then check this out.
"ProFlight" runs fairly well in low-resolution, though with a
slightly garish choice of colours, or in high-resolution which
is altogether more preferable. Control is via the mouse which
simulates pitch and roll and the buttons acting as the rudder
pedals. This is a radical departure from other methods, but
HiSoft seem to have stumbled onto something because it works
extremely well! This leaves the other hand free to run the
keyboard, which is just as well because every single key is used.
Except 'l' and 'q'! If you want to know what all the keys do, go
and buy the damn thing and read the (excellent) manual!
An alternative control method is the joystick but I can't get
the hang of flying with it. The mouse is the best controller in
this case. All options are controlled by the FUNCTION keys and
range from the mission creation and combat training to the
observer tracking aircraft option via weather parameters set-up.
Yet again, there are too many options to name individually in
this review so just take my word for it that they are numerous
and comprehensive. The Heads Up Display is also in this menu
and is user definable to be as complex or straight-forward as
The burning question, as always, is: How does it look and feel?
To answer the latter question, "ProFlight" handles like no
other flight simulator, and I mean no other flight simulator
on the ST, and I have flown 'em all! Forget "Falcon" with it's
great handling, ignore "Combat Pilot" with its awkward control
method and impossible landing routine. Even "Flight
Simulator II" pales next to "ProFlight" and although "F-19
Stealth" is graphically better and more playable, even that can't
hold a candle to the Tornado's responsiveness. I already
mentioned the control method and this combined with what feels
like an extremely accurate flight model all lend to a
realistic performance eradicating the competition. In this
area, "ProFlight" gets full marks. Nothing else comes close!
Graphics are a little different. Imagine "Flight Simulator II"
and you're getting there. Just a glance at the screenshots will
leave most pilot's cold, but hope is just Beyond Visual Range.
Hisoft are offering several updates (including graphics) to
registered owners, and though my copy has yet to appear, I
have it on good authority that it is now out and the latest
copies of "ProFlight" contain them. All that aside, the update
is fast, especially in high-res and day, dusk and night with
stars are featured! Sound is the usual engine whine and a few
The complaints are, Errrmmm..... Hang on, There must be
something. Wait there a minute! (muted ramblings as he re-boots
"ProFlight" and flies around for an hour) AH HA! Got something!!
The demonstration flight comes on too quick! (IS THAT IT?!?
ED.) Well, er, yes! This is the sim for people who like to fly
for the sake of flying, not for little Johnnie "zap it" Bloggs
who's only flight simulator is "Defender II" by Jeff Minter.
This is a purist package and will reward patient pilots with
great results. This is the next "Flight Simulator II".
The text of the articles is identical to the originals like they appeared in old ST NEWS issues. Please take into consideration that the author(s) was (were) a lot younger and less responsible back then. So bad jokes, bad English, youthful arrogance, insults, bravura, over-crediting and tastelessness should be taken with at least a grain of salt. Any contact and/or payment information, as well as deadlines/release dates of any kind should be regarded as outdated. Due to the fact that these pages are not actually contained in an Atari executable here, references to scroll texts, featured demo screens and hidden articles may also be irrelevant.