First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
Avanquest Bus Simulator 2008
Bus Simulator sets you within the fictional city of Megacity and offers the opportunity to complete 34 missions on 18 different tracks, using a variety of bus models and styles.
- Not much.
- Graphics, AI, gameplay
What to make of Bus Simulator 2008? Whether you're after simulation, tycoon based management, or simply a different type of game from that that you are used to playing, I urge you to look elsewhere.
Price$ 19.00 (AUD)
Buy now (Selling at 5 stores)
[Note: pricing for this game is in GBP.]
Whilst I may be in a minority when I admit to having now played more than one bus simulator, I am by no means embarrassed to have played the likes of Bus Driver by SCS Software.
Such a game has a quirky addictiveness and is unexpectedly well produced, impressive looking, fun to play and rewarding.
I have never had any particular desire to become a bus driver, nor will this game realistically teach you to be one. It is what games should be; a game that rewards, surprises, and ultimately contains that all-important balance between satisfaction and frustration that keeps you wanting to play it.
Bus Simulator 2008 by Avanquest Software contains none of these qualities.
Bus Simulator sets you within the fictional city of Megacity and offers the opportunity to complete 34 missions on 18 different tracks, using a variety of bus models and styles, with the option of downloading additional buses via the internet.
Bus Simulator 2008 advertises itself as a realistic driving simulation, with detailed graphics, and tycoon elements. Perhaps here lies the key problem in the conception of this game. In my experience any game that tries to be all things to all people will ultimately fail in every aspect. Concentrate on one key area and do it well and there will be a hope of succeeding.
In Bus Simulator 2008, animation is non-existent to the point that other vehicles will simply go from being like bricks floating down the road to bricks suddenly facing in another direction, with no animation in between. Similarly, the whole driving experience feels horribly unrealistic and your bus will essentially slide down the road, or bounce off the kerb like a dodgem.
Artificial intelligence is another key area in which Bus Simulator 2008 performs woefully. In essence, there is none. Cars don't seem to realise that you've actually bothered to stop at a red light and frequently just carry on driving until they crash into you, whereas people are like zombies. At their worst, people have even been known get run over by your stationery bus by walking into it at random locations.
The 'tycoon' aspect of Bus Simulator 2008 is superficial and largely revolves around trying to encourage more passengers to travel by running marketing and advertising campaigns on the side of your vehicle, and by altering the price of tickets. The aim being to be able to afford more expensive/different buses. It features an interface littered with spelling mistakes and one section still written in the game's original language of German.
This German theme continues on the Web site made available to download additional content and much needed bug fixes and patches, where most of the English sections are actually written in German. The resource itself is futile, as the only fixes and upgrades available at the time of writing were for the German version of Bus Simulator 2008. These fixes are already at the 1.40 stage, so I wouldn't hold your breath to find a fix/upgrade for a UK version of the game.
Graphically, Bus Simulator 2008 is extremely poor. Try and run the game on a mid-upper level PC by today's standards at its highest level of 'detail' and it not only isn't going to happen, it's still going to look appalling. Little effort or talent has clearly been put into the graphics engine, and this is the story throughout the game.
Compounding the issues is the complete inability to run Bus Simulator 2008 within Windows Vista (despite the rather unhelpful FAQ entries on the separate support website suggesting that all that is required is administrative privileges).
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GGG Evaluation Team
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.