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Review: After Burner Climax

Posted by on April 28th, 2010 | 1 Comment | Tags: , , ,

Developer: Sega-AM2
Publisher: Sega
Release Date: April 22, 2010
Availability:
Price: $9.99| £7.99 | €9.99 | ¥900 | HK$ 72.00
Demo: No
Players: 1
Rating: E10+

What I liked:

  • Beautiful visuals
  • Break neck speed of gameplay

What I disliked:

  • Game is a tad short, but that isn’t the real focus of it
  • Playing without EX felt weak

I’ve been looking forward to this game coming out, and I gotta say, this one met my expectations. After Burner Climax lets you chose between three different jets with different paint schemes to tackle the mission of jaguar flight. You’re tasked with taking down your enemies nuclear capabilities. How you accomplish this mission can vary in a few ways, some of which you need to earn.

As you may have judged from trailers, this game is beautiful. For 10 bucks, I really can’t ask anything else from the graphical department. This game is eyecandy. The music is also upbeat and fun. There is an option to listen to the After Burner 2 soundtrack which is a nice touch. You have the option of three different birds to take control of: Boeing’s F-15E Strike Eagle and F/A-18E Super Hornet, or Northrup’s F-14D Super Tomcat. Each have their own paint schemes, I found no difference in their control or perks. Left stick does your controlling of the craft. The barrel roll is performed with a quick movement of the stick. Sometimes this can get in the way when you’re just trying to break in a certain direction. Speed is controlled with the L2 and R2 buttons, X is gun, Square is missiles, and R1 is “climax mode.” This allows you to go into a bullet time kind of mode where you can paint your targets and rack up large combos.

After Burner Climax uses a flight path not unlike a Starfox kind of map. Depending on success of in game missions, the route you take in the game can be affected. Certain missions involve taking out prototype aircraft, destroying scrambling choppers, and staying incognito from searchlights. By succeeding in these you can unlock additional levels and paths. Thinking back to the Ace Combat games, some flight games can get pretty complicated and difficult. AB:C maintains that it is a flight game, but that it truly belongs in the arcade. Everytime I had to hit start to continue, I imagined I was throwing another quarter in the machine. That said, yeah I probably would have thrown down quite a few quarters to beat the game, but it’s so short that I don’t think it would be as much as I thought. After a few play-thrus you can finish this game off in almost under 10 minutes. This is my biggest gripe with the title. Before you know it, you’re done.

There are some things that bring you back to the table. There are unlockable EX options to obtain. These can give or take away certain buffs to your aircraft. Once you unlock enough EX options, you become one pimped out fighter pilot. We’re talking Iceman kind of stuff. While these are fun to unlock, once you obtain enough and start getting AAA scores, you start feeling like you’re being cheap. Cheap as it is…it still feels pretty rewarding racking up a 100 kill combo. There is also a score attack mode where you can compete against your wingmen for best score thru the game ( I know that I am putting a hurt on Chris at the moment). [Editor’s note: You can be my wingman any time, Brad.]

I’ve gotten my fun out of AB:C, but I fear I’ll be done with it too soon. If it had had different story modes for each of the planes I feel like the game would have gotten the 5. While the EX options bring you back to the table, this arcade bird just doesn’t keep you at the cabinet long enough.