Denny Markovic
05 May, 2010

After Burner Climax Review

360 Review | Somebody call Kenny Loggins, because you're in the Danger Zone.
After quite a few years of waiting for the arcade game to arrive on the home consoles, After Burner Climax has finally flown into the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Arcade, and has given us lazy gamers that can’t be bothered walking to a local arcade (do they even have those anymore in Australia?) a chance to give the super frenetic shoot-em-up title a spin. Going for AU $15.95 on PSN, and 800 MS Points on XBLA, is the super-sonic shooter worth the effort of purchasing?

Well that question depends on what you perceive as value. After Burner Climax is without a doubt one of the shortest titles we’ve ever played. In fact, we managed to hit the final level within 15 minutes of starting the game up for the first time – but then were promptly destroyed by the onset of about 50 missiles and bullets flying at us. It is an extremely short title that doesn’t have any extra stages or any bonus content (apart from an EX Mode which allows you to unlock and alter the Arcade mode with cool cheats and such), and can literally be clocked in its entirety within 20 minutes. And yet regardless of this, we’re still playing the damn thing.


After Burner Climax follows the known formula of the After Burner series, as you fly a lone jet through several stages (and are at points given options to go through different routes) at obscenely high speeds blasting through enemy fighters, choppers, bombers and other craft while at the same time dodging their rockets and bullets. It’s seriously over-the-top stuff, with explosions and smoke effects going off everywhere, and before you even know what’s happened you’ve progressed into the second stage and there’s some random guy on your radio telling you that you have to speed up. Really? Speed up? Crazy. It’s an incredibly adrenaline fuelled experience and very much pure arcade, but it’s so damned fun and mindlessly entertaining that you can’t help but play it again and again after it’s over and done with. Whether you’re going in for just the crazy thrill of blasting through about 100,000 enemies at supersonic speeds, or are trying to master the game by accumulating a higher score and not dying, Climax definitely brings on the explosive goods and at an insanely fast speed.

Apart from having the usual infinite amounts of missiles and machine gun ammo at your disposal, Climax introduces the ‘Climax’ mode, which allows you to slow down time temporarily once fully charged and fire away an infinite amount of homing missiles in even faster succession, which are all locked onto enemies you target with a reticule you get with a wider radius, allowing you to lock onto the horde of enemies easier. Climax mode is over before you know it (we counted 3 seconds... how ‘premature’), but the end result is usually very satisfying, with lots of missiles being ejected from your magic wings and lots of explosions following suit. Sometimes you might not quite lock onto as many as you want, but Climax mode is usually easily recharged, assuming you kill things fast enough.

Ice... man. I am dangerous.

Ice... man. I am dangerous.
Apart from the games amphetamine fuelled gameplay, the visuals and sound certainly suit it as well, with very crisp and clean looking particle effects and lighting that definitely help give the extra oomph in your manic explosion spree. Audio is suitably retro and punchy (and can be completely retrofied with EX options), with random explosive noises going off everywhere and anywhere, and random radio transmissions sent to you saying something completely incoherent as you’re far too busy focusing on living and dodging rather than listening to something that we think was a story. We’re not sure. Either way, After Burner Climax is definitely one of the prettier and punchier XBLA games out there, and runs silky smooth at 720p.

So now that we’ve outlined what exactly After Burner Climax has, does and does well, you can likely decide on whether or not it’s your kind of thing and whether it’s worth that 800 points you so savour. For the lovers of fast paced gaming, massive explosions and just quick and easy mind numbing levels of fun, After Burner Climax is definitely worth a play through or ten, as it certainly starts off fast and finishes off with a bang, but this may leave you feeling like it’s a tad premature, as it is indeed a criminally short game. But with that said, even though it only lasts 10 to 15 minutes, it’s certainly high quality and one we’d recommend if you’re into quickies and big finishes...
The Score
After Burner Climax definitely delivers in the explosions, thrills and fun, but much like a Half Minute Hero, it's over before you know it.
Looking to buy this game right now? PALGN recommends www.Play-Asia.com.

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3 years ago
Soooo tempted to buy this, seems like the perfect pick up and play arcade game. 15 minutes of joy then you can put it down and do some work. Had fun with HAWX but would like something a bit more bombastic. This sounds like one to pick up
3 years ago
I bloody love this game, as el_rezzo said it's the perfect pick-up-and-play-and-try-to-beat-your-high-score type of game.

The sunset level looks amazing too.
3 years ago
I dunno, without the arcade cabinet, Afterburner just isn't the same, no matter how much they pretty it up.
3 years ago
lol... innuendo ftw.
3 years ago
"...............*Daaaaanger Zone.*"

(Good review!)
3 years ago
^I believe you just earned yourself a certificate of 'awesome', as you picked up on the Archer reference. Kudos!
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  Pre-order or buy:
    PALGN recommends: www.Play-Asia.com

Australian Release Date:
  22/04/2010 (Tentative)
  Direct Online by Publisher **

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