If you have been following HeliSimmer.com for some time, you probably have already noticed that I do my best to keep a neutral stance and look at the positive side of things.
You won’t see me bashing developers. I can criticize them, but I try to do it in a way that helps them improve their products. We all win.
So, writing this article is really kind of painful for me, but I believe it's necessary. A warning for those that may not be as knowledgeable regarding helicopters.
Notice that all that you see here in this article are my opinions and perspectives, with the exception of the link to Joe Hudson's review, which you will find below.
Not everyone thinks the same and there are probably folks out there that would be more than happy to grab something that resembles a helicopter they like and fly around the virtual world not caring how wrong system, panels, flight dynamics or other parts are. They just want to fly around that helicopter and that is enough for them.
Let's get started.
MScenery has been flooding the marketplace with products and people have been, of course, curious. When you see the S-76 or a CH-64, it probably gets your attention, and you feel the urge to check it out. A lot of people do but fortunately more people have been asking about the company and the products they release before buying them. Also fortunately, more and more people have been advising against it.
So that we could actually know what we were talking about, we went as far as buying one of their products so we could review it and let you know what we think about it. Click here to read our review on the MScenery OH-6 for MSFS.
As you can see from the review, there is a lot wrong with that model. Collective levers in the wrong position, completely made-up panel and gauges, awful flight dynamics and a turbine helicopter using the Cabri G2 (a piston helicopter) sounds.
And, if you take a look at the screenshots for the other helicopters on the marketplace you’ll find helicopters with a single collective lever (on one of the sides, like on the CH-64, or just in the middle, like the S300 or just on the right seat, as you can see in the S-76.
And yes, they are “cheap” (usually $15 or less) but I will be very honest: I wouldn’t use these models even if they were free. They are that bad and the effort level we see put into these products is zero.
Such blatant errors seem to shout a complete disregard for wanting to provide a good product to the consumer (us).
Not convinced? What about the cyclic on the MScenery Bo-105 for MSFS, which you can see below? Tiny and reversed. The pilot would have to be sitting next to the panel, facing backwards. That would be just a tad uncomfortable.
That's far more than a minor mistake.
Unfortunately, MScenery has a place in the marketplace while other developers are still waiting for Microsoft to approve them. Good developers too that could use the support (and money) to keep doing a great job for the community.
What about Microsoft removing them from the marketplace?
I won't go that far. I don't think Microsoft should remove a product or a developer unless there are some copyright breaches, danger of hurting companies or persons. Where would we draw the line between what “deserves” to be on the marketplace and what doesn’t?
That would be quite a discussion and could bring legal issues.
What I would like to see, though, was Microsoft being a bit faster with accepting developers that do have great products and empowering the community by providing a more robust reviewing system.
Microsoft already knows some of my ideas about it and, even if they decide not to use them, I would at least like to see some tools that would allow the community to reward good developers and warn others about bad ones. The simple 5-star system just doesn’t work.
A few paragraphs above, I asked you to see this article as a warning and that is what I would like it to be. So, please, share this with your fellow simmers, and if you see someone asking about any helicopters by MScenery, send them this article. Hopefully, it will help someone save their money and a ton of disappointment.
If someone reads this article and decides they still want to get one of the helicopters, that's perfectly fine, and at least they will be doing an informed decision. That is exactly my goal.