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Review: Sydney Extreme X for FS2004/FSX

Sydney, Australia, is a place well known for the Opera House. However, it’s airport is well known amongst pilots for scenic approaches and being one of the busiest airports in the world. Auscene has given us their rendition of the airport for FS9 and FSX.

YSSY has three runways. 16L/34R measuring 2,438m (8,000 ft), 16R/24L measuring 3,962m (13,000ft), and 07/25 measuring 2,530m (8,300ft). The runways are large enough to handle any aircraft including the A380 and the Concorde, not in real life but in FS, of course. In the 12 months leading up to June 2012 YSSY handled 35.8 million passengers putting it in the top 25 airports of the world, for sure. It was 27th in 2010.

YSSY is a very nice airport in real life and in the sim for approaches. The airport is close to the sea and approaches from every direction, except to runway 25, are over water with very nice views along the approach path.

Installation and Documentation

Installation is straight forward whereby you choose the version of FS to install and then following the prompts entering your key where requested. You have to enter the scenery into your FS database manually.

The manual is short and covers installation and history on the airport itself. There are no charts but a link to the most recent charts is provided. The link takes you to Australia’s AIP service site. You can spend hours there poking around if you’re really into aviation. The manual includes the developer’s suggestions to maximize the scenery quality. This is a really helpful section to new users and avid users alike.

Also noted on Simmarket is that if you have the CLS version of YSSY this one is the more updated version. Interesting…

There is no web site for support and updates. The only support offered is through email.

Let’s get down and dirty…

 

The Details

I ignored their suggested settings and left the sim at my current settings, which are pretty high, to see the difference in frame rates. There was a significant hit so I recommend you follow the developer’s suggestions. I lost over 20 fps with my settings.

Good…

They have included allot of buildings around the airport and surrounding area. This makes the approach more interesting and scenic. The ground textures are nice and probably closer to reality than we’ll admit. Airports are not known for rich looking vegetation and the grounds are usually pale except in the passenger areas.

Around the airport they have added some boats in the harbor, constructed a port with some cargo ships docked, and included the heliport service area buildings. The custom AI file places the airlines at their proper gates. There are more but these are the most noticeable additions.

Not so good…

The terminal textures were the same with the scenery enabled as without. Added bridge near airport looks nice but doesn’t line up with their ground textures.

See for yourself. Here are some before and after shots.

First up, the highway area has been improved.

The ground textures and the added trees make an improvement in the tower area.

I don’t see any difference here other than the ground textures but it does add some life to the dreary look.

Here you can see the difference ground textures make plus they’ve added the runway extension area.

No difference here other than the ground texture and the wall surrounding the area.

In this shot you can see some added buildings and a more detailed area maintenance/administration area.

Here you can see the bridge mentioned above. Given that the ground textures are custom made by Auscene I thought that the custom bridge should line up better with the textures.

Conclusion

So the big question is whether this is worth spending money on. At a price of 18.99 Euros ($24.83 US/Can.) I think it is if Sydney is one of your popular destinations. Here’s why. The default terminal area scenery for Sydney is done well. The reason why Auscene hasn’t replaced the terminal textures is because it won’t make much of a difference, in my opinion. Instead, they’ve worked on adding more detail to the areas that required it such as the heliport, approach, and admin/maintenance buildings. Ground textures being the biggest difference here.

If you were to take this scenery and combine it with some of the photo scenery for the city of Sydney I think you’d have a pretty good area to fly in with lots of detail.

Also, it has versions for FS2004 and FSX included in the price.

Download size: 268 mb

Price: 18.99 Euros ($24.83 US/Can.)

Simmarket link: Auscene Sydney Professional X

 

7 comments to Review: Sydney Extreme X for FS2004/FSX

  • Alex

    Well, I personally believe this is way too expensive for a scenery that keeps the default objects and just adds a (nice) ground photoscenery and a few medium quality objects. Compare the quality/depth of this scenery with an Aerosoft airport scenery, at nearly the same price range and I think I made my point. I’d buy it if it was much cheaper, around 5-8 dollars perhaps but never at this price. Regards

  • Alex

    I’m sorry but if this is supposed to be an objective review I have to say I won’t be able to trust simflight in future. This scenery is a shameless money grab. It is essentially the third version of a scenery that has been thrown together with a few “whatyouseeiswhatyouget” editors. Those editors can be used by anyone who can operate a mouse, and don’t constitute scenery design. The problem with using them is that performance is usually terrible, as is the case here, and they tend to produ e very por looking results. That leaves the ground textures as the only reall improvement, and that looks to be poor resolution. The price therefore is not at all justified in my opinion and I wonder if this review would have been as kind as it is if this wasn’t published on simmarket. I’d suggest to the author to rewrite it.

    • Ian P

      So, Alex, presumably you have produced numerous sceneries to substantiate your claim? Care to link to them please?

      Just for the record, there is no pressure or requirement for anyone to give a “good” or “bad” review of anything, regardless of where it comes from. If you want to review this product (or anything else) then please write your review and submit it using the “Send us your news” link at the top of the page. Any review is always one person’s – occasionally a group of peoples’ – opinion. Yours differs in this instance, clearly, and you are entitled to hold that opinion. If you wish to share it and provice evidence to substantiate your claims here, please let us and everyone else see it!

      Edit… Am I the only person not called Alex on this thread!?! I’m glad the reply button posts immediately below the post you are replying to!

  • Interesting, but where is the EXTREME in the title, I don’t see too much of that from the presentation. Think I’ll be sticking with ORBX/FTX. It looks FS9 adapted to FSX or if I am being uncharitable, it looks freeware but with a price label attached.

  • Andrew Barter

    Alex#2, there will be no rewrite.

    Using WYSIWYG editors does not define the quality of work. It allows you to do the work faster. I don’t judge based on whether they used “old school” development methods or modern WYSIWYG editors or even reworked FS9 scenery.

    Your Simmarket accusations are unjustified. I provided details that the developer didn’t… such as frame rate hit, a misaligned bridge, and the use of default textures on the terminals. Does that sound like I am biased? If I was biased I wouldn’t have mentioned those things at all.

    My final conclusion is based on how my experience at the airport was in virtual flights. Despite the negative items, I still feel this add-on improved my visits to YSSY.

  • Graeme Wright

    Thanks for the review Andrew. You answered many of the things I was still very curious about with this product. Since a few other reviews I’d seen elsewhere (for the CLS release) had really just rolled out the song and dance on how great it was over the default scenery but didn’t really touch on the realities you have in your review here (which I’d got suspicions about from the odd forums posts by users of the CLS product).

    Personally I think your review serves all in a fair and level fashion, basically stating the pros and the cons as deserved, and then leaving it to the reader to weigh up the additions vs the price and con factors for them. For me I think the points on FPS, misalignment of objects, and textures all speak pretty clearly for those who tend to frequent the more upper end of scenery packages in FSX, and gives enough between the lines information to paint a clear picture without being too biased or negative about it all.

    The comparison photos were absultely great too, I only wish more reviewists spent the time to do things like that. I felt more like I was getting it straight, and not just seeing only the very best and anything worse was not on display. Being able to see the scenery unobscured can’t be understated either. Not having to try and see past the latest addition to the reviewist’s hanger in front of them really helps. Not to say that you do that in other reviews, I just find that other sites seem to do that in their reviews and it does make it hard to get a full grasp of the scenery itself with 30 to 50% of the scene blocked by aircraft.

    Thanks for your effort, and I hope you can keep the enthusiam up so we may continue to enjoy these insites into products of interest in the future.

  • Andrew Barter

    Thanks, Graeme. My enthusiasm has not, nor will, diminish. I love this community and it still blows me away to see how big it is and involved the users are given the limited audience it has to begin with.