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Microsoft Resurrects Flight Simulation, Bloody Military Conquest

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Bound to make Homeland Security just a tad more nervous, Microsoft's famous flight simulator franchise is being resurrected after a four year hiatus. Microsoft Flight Simulator is set to return boasting updated graphics and gameplay, making for a more realistic experience.

The future of the series was in doubt ever since Redmond dissolved the team behind it, however the company assured that the flight sim would return in time. And sure enough, this week Microsoft asked fans to have their boarding passes ready as the franchise will resume under the name Microsoft Flight.

Kevin Unangst, a senior director in Microsoft's game unit, announced the sim will retain the realism that made the series so popular and include other modes of interaction. Unangst said, "It's an opportunity for us to branch out even more into something that's approachable."

The game is said to be nearly ready for internal testing and its official website -- featuring what could easily be an ad for Allegra -- is now live.

But the company isn't stopping there. Another cherished video game series is returning to desktops.

According to CNet, a new online version of Age of Empires is in the works with a release date even sooner than Flight. The real-time war strategy game will include "a new level structure as well as the notion of cooperative multiplayer quests and trading," but will be, according to Unangst, "faithful to the real-time strategy game heritage of the original."

With another title in the Mario series released this year, imminent Metroid and Zelda street dates, and now Microsoft Flight and Age of Empires, ever-evolving entries in classic video game franchises seem like a safe -- and popular -- bet.

Maybe there's still hope for Duke Nukem Forever. Eh, who'm I kidding?
POSITION:  No positions in stocks mentioned.