On August 10th 2017, Aerosoft released Airport Bali XP for X-Plane, developed by A-Flight. The scenery was before announced on June 26th 2017 and they shown quick progress during the reassuring beta testing at that time. In this review, I will take a thorough look at the features of Bali and what it has to offer from the immense quality of this scenery.
Before I start, I’d like to have a quick background run-through of the airfield and its history… Ngurah Rai International Airport, also known as Denpasar International Airport or I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport, is the main airport in Bali, located 13 km south of Denpasar. Ngurah Rai is the third busiest airport in Indonesia after Soekarno–Hatta International Airport and Juanda International Airport. In first half year of 2017, the airport served 10,156,686 passengers. The airport has category IX and is capable of serving wide-body aircraft including the Airbus A380 (source: Wikipedia).
So… I decided to virtually fly into Bali VFR style as the scenery covers the surrounding area with custom modelled buildings for a true Bali look and feel. Into a left downwind for runway 27, you can really see the high detailed 0.40/pixel aerial imagery for the airport and immediate surroundings and it simply looks stunning.
Following the Benoa Bay to a left turn over the harbour, the modelling of the buildings seems to be immaculate. I have never really seen this much detail on such a traditional area dating back to around 1512 so I believe the representation of the buildings in the area are well observed. A lot of developers seem to miss out on the little things such as buildings around the area which really stand out when VFR comes into play. All of the textures on each building are clean and simple, with the occasional details on some buildings linking them back to the ages when Bali was discovered.
Another VFR phenomime to my amazement is the Mandara Toll Road going straight across the bay on short finals. It isn’t something you see when arriving into your average airport so I believe this highway is something that makes Bali stand out to me… Apart from the fact you can’t plane spot there in real life because it is a toll road.
Once touched down in the 26°C (79°F) heat of Bali, you see the traditional terminal to the left of runway 27 which is another feature that makes Bali really stand out. I really can’t begin to explain the shear amount of detail that has gone into the modelling and texturing of this airport but it is so clear that it makes X-Plane look as real as can be. Also, the highly detailed custom ground polygons really show off the asphalt and concrete in as much detail as possible. Like everything to do with this scenery, there is not a pixel in sight!
Being parked at a stand with the building in front of you, the textures look as clear as they can possibly be, so there is literally no room for improvement for those textures, however, those textures wouldn’t be possible without the stunning modelling beforehand. I couldn’t actually find the name of the sculpture in the (last) image below but I have never seen modelling so accurate to the real-world sculpture. The representation is amazing with the modelling being the best out there for traditional objects such as the ones in and around Bali – Keep it up A-Flight!
Let’s move onto the night life, shall we? As for the textures, it really could be better on the north apron. The ‘LIT’ textures as they are called for night textures really don’t blend into the traditional day time look of the airport, it just looks like it has been painted on. I feel like A-Flight could try and add some ‘life’ so to speak to their night textures by possibly adding some terminal detail or just a little bit of dirt on the windows. Mainly, I think they just need to lower the brightness of the night texturing so it will blend in nicely with the dynamic lighting around the apron.
Now… Obviously there is going to be a couple of cons to weigh out those outstanding pros a little so please don’t dig on me for this…
Firstly, I really wish A-Flight would have implemented the free to develop and free to use plugin… The notorious AutoGate Plugin! For people like me who often fly airliners, I think this would have been a great feature to implement. It would have been nice to fly to the remote island of Bali in Indonesia and then to be able to get the jetway to attach to the plane would have been great. I really hope they do implement this in the future so that we can see the airport come to life with the jetway animations. Don’t get me wrong… The texturing and modelling is again, outstanding on the jetways but it is just a shame that they don’t actually move. In addition to this, the AutoGate plugin would also allow for transparent glass on those jetways instead of just some really dark looking paint like window on the side of the jetways.
Secondly, some things appear floating… I have noticed a few random objects around the airfield that just have not been placed properly including this stand 17 sign. It is little things like this that kind of ruin the vibe for how good this scenery is and it does have the potential to be immaculate if it wasn’t for these little mistakes which wouldn’t of took more than 10 minutes to fix before release. Just a shame to see that it hasn’t been checked thoroughly after those approximate 2 or 3 months of beta testing.
I also mentioned this earlier in the review so I won’t go into it much but, the night lighting in the textures is lacking a little, mostly shown in the north apron and taxi signs. I feel like they could be improved a little by toning down the brightness and adding that little bit of dirt just for the immersive experience as I find that they don’t have ‘the light bulb’ effect that real lights do on any object. It’s very rare to see taxi sign lights to cover 100% of the sign in the same amount of light contrast as everywhere else.
Lastly, I am finding some small but rather annoying flickers in the modelling of some of the buildings on the north apron – Mainly the statue which I can’t find the name of. I know it’s a small issue but it is rather annoying to see on such a large scale of magnificent artwork so I wish A-Flight would take their time and more care during the beta testing of their product to get a really good quality piece of work out there with zero issues. The texturing problems are shown in red circles in the image below:
In conclusion, Bali is, well… Fantastic! Despite the minor issues I have with it, there is way more positive things about this scenery than negative. The airfield and surrounding area look stunning with the accurate representation of the bay, including all or most of the buildings found in real life. For €25.16 ($24.99), it is well worth it considering it is not just the airfield you are paying for. It really is nice to see the traditional sculptures that are found in the surrounding area of Bali, it keeps a traditional feel to the area compared to the everyday modern airfield we see almost every day. I also feel like Bali is one of the most VFR friendly airfields I have ever flew into or around. It’s a great way to see the amazing scenery at a low altitude, really does make your purchase shine! Other than that, it’s still great. The crisp textures fit perfectly with the outstanding modelling. I feel like the modelling can’t be any better as they have done a great job with the unique objects in and around Bali which shows exceptional detail that I have never really seen in any other scenery before. I’d also like to add that the aerial imagery with a resolution of 0.4m/pixel is outstanding when flying around doing VFR (It also looks good doing IFR but you don’t see it all). The high definition imagery is without a doubt one of the best main features of the scenery, without a pixel in sight you can really get one of the best immersions when arriving into Bali.
So… Is Bali worth it after all? Well, from the ups and downs I have covered in this review, I still think this scenery is definitely worth your time and money to get your hands on. The representation of the airfield is truly stunning. 100% worth it!
Thanks for taking your time reading this review. This is the first post I have ever made at FlightDeckX so I hope you enjoy it and please accept any silly errors I may of made during this first review. Many thanks, Matt signing out!