Review: Frank Dainese/ORBX - Monument Valley for X-Plane

Frank Dainese and Fabio Bellini have gotten us used to some great quality scenery with a lot to see and do. Their latest release: Monument Valley is no exception.

Frank Dainese / Fabio Bellini / ORBX Monument Valley for X-Plane

What picture comes to your head when you think about the Wild West and cowboys? You’ll probably see images of vast desert with high columns of rock and dust flashing your mind.

Those images probably come from the old western movies which, also very probably, were shot at the Monument Valley, which spans across Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Arizona.

Frank Dainese / Fabio Bellini / ORBX Monument Valley for X-Plane Frank Dainese / Fabio Bellini / ORBX Monument Valley for X-Plane Frank Dainese / Fabio Bellini / ORBX Monument Valley for X-Plane

This is a beautiful region that has its own mystique. Despite being mostly desert, looking at the horizon and seeing the plateaus at a distance is amazing. Flying near or landing or top of them is nothing short of breathtaking. And, for the extra adrenaline, hover slowly to the edge and let yourself “fall” into the abyss.

Marvelous.

The Scenery

Frank Dainese / Fabio Bellini / ORBX Monument Valley for X-Plane

Let’s just cut to che chase: Frank Dainese and Fabio Bellini did a wonderful job. This is nothing new. I would be (badly) impressed if I had to say otherwise.

They actually model the mountains, so you know that everything you’ll see is pretty accurate. This also allows them to work around some of the limitations of X-Plane and therefore they can do a much better job.

Despite being located in the desert, the scenery is not empty. There are a lot of small hubs of activity around that you can visit. You are provided with a small private airfield (UT25) as well as several helipads scattered around. One near the university, one near the hotel, and a couple of other ones in areas of interest.

Frank Dainese / Fabio Bellini / ORBX Monument Valley for X-Plane

This allows you to do different kinds of flights: air taxi to the hotel, for example. A medical evacuation of an injured football player at the university. Perhaps some SAR flights to look for a lost tourist or even a downed aircraft. Or just plain old sightseeing.

I have one complaint.

Yes, I am complaining about a Frank Dainese scenery. But it’s something that, I think, plagues our X-Plane scenery ecosystem.

There’s no people. Anywhere.

I know: human figures consume frames. I’m not saying we should have a crowd added to the scenery. In fact, I would gladly trade some of the vehicles present with folks.

Frank Dainese / Fabio Bellini / ORBX Monument Valley for X-Plane Frank Dainese / Fabio Bellini / ORBX Monument Valley for X-Plane Frank Dainese / Fabio Bellini / ORBX Monument Valley for X-Plane Frank Dainese / Fabio Bellini / ORBX Monument Valley for X-Plane Frank Dainese / Fabio Bellini / ORBX Monument Valley for X-Plane Frank Dainese / Fabio Bellini / ORBX Monument Valley for X-Plane

Having human figures (and animals) to a scenery adds up to the immersion. It makes the scenery pop and look alive. It provides an extra layer to a scenery that I very much appreciate, and I would love to see more scenery being brought this extra notch up.

Of course, I can always add them myself, but I would love to see scenery designers such as Frank add their own folks doing several tasks.

This particular scenery has a lot of different vehicles around. One of them even ready to ferry a client/tourist/business partner from the helipad. It would be nice to see it complemented with a guy waiting next to the car, for example.

Frank Dainese / Fabio Bellini / ORBX Monument Valley for X-Plane Frank Dainese / Fabio Bellini / ORBX Monument Valley for X-Plane Frank Dainese / Fabio Bellini / ORBX Monument Valley for X-Plane

Framerates

Frank Dainese / Fabio Bellini / ORBX Monument Valley for X-Plane

No issues here. It’s a deserted area with plateaus, some buildings and cars here and there (as well as some teepees and small constructions.

It behaves quite well in VR as well (even with my GTX1060) so you can expect a great and smooth experience.

Conclusion

Frank Dainese / Fabio Bellini / ORBX Monument Valley for X-Plane

It’s a Frank Dainese scenery and it’s being released by ORBX. The quality is assured right out the bat.

But a high-quality scenery doesn’t mean that it has something for the helicopter pilots out there. In this case, we hit the jackpot. Frank added a lot of small details and enough helipads for us to have a good time around this stage.

It’s a great scenery and, easily, one of my favorites now.

Our rating

Installation 10
Model 10
Mesh 10
Textures 10
Visual impact and quality 10
Frame rate impact 10
Total score
10
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More about this scenery

Location

Characteristics

Terrain type Desert
Helipads Yes
Sérgio Costa

About Sérgio Costa

Sérgio has been a flight simulation enthusiast for nearly 25 years. His passion with helicopters developed during MSFS 2000 when he discovered the complexity of these aircraft and the challenge it was to control them. Since then he has been primarily a helicopter flight simmer, trying his best not to crash and kill all his virtual passengers. Sérgio is HeliSimmer's editor and writer and one of the Three Grumpy Simmers, a YouTube series and Podcast produced together with YouTubers Bel Geode and NovaWing24, obviously dedicated to flight simulation.

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