After Burner Climax

After Burner Climax Review for PS3

On: PS3Xbox 360

Home console port of the popular arcade action game.

Review Verdict Read Review
7Out of 10
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After Burner Climax screenshot
After Burner Climax screenshot

Afterburner was the very first arcade game I completed, and the only arcade game I've completed. Not that I was any good at it. My feeble nine-year-old brain was no match for the lightning fast jetfighter action, so I had to counter the onslaught of enemy planes with my [parents'] 10p coins. I can't remember how much my brother and I pumped into the machine, but in today's money we'd probably be able to buy SEGA. That's how bad I was. Despite this, Afterburner is a game I'm understandably nostalgic about, so the release of Afterburner Climax, the modernisation of the classic arcade original, on Xbox LIVE Arcade and PlayStation Network, got me more than a little excited.

Climax, originally released into arcades on the Lindbergh hardware back in 2006, took the classic title and spruced up the visuals. In terms of gameplay it still required you to shoot down enemy aircraft using missiles and your rapid-fire gun, using an aiming reticule to mark numerous targets before taking them out in quick succession. Here your grouped attacks earn you combos, with the game allowing a tiny gap between one successful kill and the next before starting back at zero. High score chasing is the name of the game, and combos are key to ranking high on the scoreboards.

Helping you gain those high scores is the Climax meter, filled up steadily as you play to eventually grant you a slow motion target shooting sequence. Once activated your aiming reticule increases in size and missiles become unlimited, allowing you to rack up huge attack combos and earn mega points in the process. Combine all of the above with a breakneck pace and Afterburner Climax is an exhilarating experience that certainly rekindles memories of the original and is one of few modern arcade games to hit the current set of consoles.

The problem with Climax, compared to the likes of SEGA's other modern arcade to console game OutRun 2, is that it feels a little lightweight. Part of the game's replay value comes from branching paths, but this is nowhere near as developed as the system in OutRun, providing only a few branches to explore. The shooting also has none of the depth of OutRun's powersliding. A fancy barrel-roll move gives a slight illusion of complexity, but it's more of a show-off move than anything that adds considerable gameplay to the experience.

After Burner Climax screenshot

SEGA has created a blisteringly fast game, and as such you don't get long to take in the scenery, but the backdrops are largely quite pretty. It's a shame that more dramatic locations aren't used more often, such as the interior of a base complete with cool laser beams shooting out of the walls, but there's something rather nice about soaring through the blue sky even if it does get a bit samey. It must be said the music does get quite annoying after a while, but if you're into the kind of tunes SEGA always includes in its arcade games, you're in luck.

In terms of extras over the arcade game, you obviously get online leaderboards so you can compare yourself to the best players in the world and a Score Attack mode, in which you have unlimited credits and simply need to work your way through the stages scoring as many points as possible. More interesting is a series of unlockable game tweaks, called EX Options, that let you alter the arcade experience. These range from giving you infinite credits to more interesting stuff, like changing the length of the combo window and the size of your targeting reticule.

Afterburner Climax is a great, and reasonably priced way to play the arcade game in the comfort of your own home, but it's a remarkably simple game that will leave some people wanting a lot more. There's skill required to earn really high scores, but the gameplay simply doesn't have the depth required to be called a classic.

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6 Comments

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Highest Rated Comment

IndoorHeroes's Avatar

IndoorHeroes

If you're getting an after burner after you climax you should see a doctor.
Posted 13:55 on 20 April 2010

User Comments

guyderman's Avatar

guyderman

Downloaded this tonight and It's a blast!
Nothing Deep here so I hope no one goes in expecting HAWX or Ace Combat - this is old school Afterburner with a new and dazzling look!
Pure adrenaline rush - and you can even select the original Arcade music which was a great trip down memory lane - so PB you can put the 'Your Sinclair' cassette away - you won't need it!

I feel the need... the need for speed!

I'm off to play some Volley Ball now!
Posted 00:29 on 23 April 2010
clangod's Avatar

clangod@ guyderman

Yeah what you said!!!
Posted 05:54 on 21 April 2010
IndoorHeroes's Avatar

IndoorHeroes

If you're getting an after burner after you climax you should see a doctor.
Posted 13:55 on 20 April 2010
guyderman's Avatar

guyderman

this is a definate purchase for me - based mainly on fond memories of the original Afterburner back in the 80's and as an excuse to throw on my Topgun LP.
Posted 13:03 on 20 April 2010
pblive's Avatar

pblive

Sounds a bit like the issues I had with the original game, a bit shallow and too fast to be strategic.
Posted 11:30 on 20 April 2010
SexyJams's Avatar

SexyJams

Not bad for an Arcade game.
I've been on the machines that bloody vibrate your spine like crazy.
Posted 11:17 on 20 April 2010

Game Stats

After Burner Climax
7
Out of 10
After Burner Climax
  • Looks great
  • Fast paced arcade action
  • Extremely brief
  • Quite simple
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 21/04/2010
Platforms: PS3 , Xbox 360
Developer: In-house
Publisher: Sega
Genre: Action
No. Players: One
Rating: PEGI 7+
Site Rank: 8,023 27
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