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Puerto Vallarta from Pacific Island Simulations
There is a lot to see in Puerto Vallarta. The vendor has included many of the buildings found inside the fence and out. The terminal area is well represented and highly detailed from a modeling perspective. The jetways look really good but I noticed something odd when looking at them. They do not appear to be lined up with the terminal very well.
They appear to be connected to the terminal too low. Look at the pictures in the table below to see what I am talking about. Also, the scale is off on the jetways or perhaps the texture scale is not correct. If we slide around to the front of this terminal area we can see a double door that is completely out of scale with the buses or jetways around the other side. Am I being picky? Absolutely, but it’s pretty noticeable as you get closer to the terminal.
I’m not too fired up about some of the photo-realistic textures used in and around the terminal. In some instances, they look flat and “painted on”. This is really noticeable when combined with non photo textures right next to each other.
There is only one static aircraft included in the scenery, so if you are into that sort of thing you’ll have to add it yourself. I like to add my own AI so I’m always grateful if static aircraft are not included or they are easily removed.
You can see from Google Earth that Puerto Vallarta is a relatively small airport so there are not a lot of buildings outside of the terminal area. You will find, what I assume, is small cargo and general aviation areas. These areas are reasonably well done but also suffer from some not-so-realistic looking photo textures.
There are many buildings included outside of the airport as well. I thought it quaint to find a building with a huge Corona sign on its roof. Is Corona the national beer of Mexico? I did find one instance where the texture was backwards at a gas station/strip mall. Again, this isn’t a big deal but I do like a bit more attention to detail.
Many of the hotels along the beach are represented in the scenery and add a nice touch. It must be heavenly to fly into such a tropical paradise and see all the lovely beach activity! The hotels are fairly well done and add that nice bit of realism. The apartments behind the hotels, however, do suffer a bit from some fairly poor textures.
You can see in the included pictures how the same picture is tiled again and again; the worst part is that it doesn’t look very uniform. I can’t tell where one apartment ends and another begins.
The nice thing is that you find custom buildings scattered around the airport. Some of these buildings are well done and others are simpler in nature. You’ll also find many billboards with probably-realistic advertisements for the area. I like when scenery designers add something more than what you’ll find inside the airport wire; especially when the airport is so small.
The night lighting is fairly standard but tastefully done. My take on the subject is that you shouldn’t notice night lighting one way or another. It should just blend into the scenery and it does so here. The terminal lighting is soft and provides the perfect ambiance. The billboard lighting may be too bright but that’s not a problem, obviously.
Overall, I didn’t suffer too big a performance hit with this title. At any one time I had several AI aircraft (commercial and general aviation) on the tarmac and never saw my fps drop by more than 50%. There were a couple of occasions where I experienced some stuttering but it was hard to reproduce, so I don’t know if I can blame that on the scenery.
I noticed no difference in performance whether it was day or night, though dawn and dusk were harder on my system. Again, that’s pretty normal no matter where you are and what you are doing in the game.
Summary / Closing Remarks
This is a fairly solid effort from Pacific Islands Simulation in a region that I love to fly in and around. Even though this is a fairly small airport, the designer has added lots of different eye candy for the simulator pilot to enjoy. The texturing of the models leaves something to be desired and detracts from an otherwise nice product.
Take a look at the screenshots and visit their website for more information on this airport and others if you are interested.
What I Like About Postcard Puerto Vallarta
What I Don't Like About Postcard Puerto Vallarta
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