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Gaming Evolution
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Gaming Evolution
Gaming Evolution
Published By: SEGA
Developed By: SEGA, AM2
Genre: Flight Action
Players: 1
Rated: E10+ (Everyone 10 and Up)
Release Date: April 22, 2010
Screenshots: Link
Price: 800 Points
Written By: Matthew Prunty

May 6, 2010 - SEGA and AM2 are teaming up once again to bring us a high-octane aerial experience known as After Burner Climax via the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Arcade. While it wonít take you 8-10 hours to complete this intense arcade title, you find enjoyment within the fact that this title is very fast-pace, requiring you pay attention at all times. For a true arcade experience, you definitely canít go wrong with After Burner Climax.

Just like any arcade title, After Burner Climax is very limited in what you would call a story. Right before being thrusted into heated battles, you are required to choose one of three fighter jets --Super Hornet, Super Tomcat and Strike Eagle-- to do battle in. Each one has one of four different paint styles --standard paint, camouflage, special paint and low visibility-- all of which have an impact on the gameplay, though very minimum. Once you have chosen your jet, you are given direct orders that you must carry out. With your fighter jet chosen and orders received, itís time for you to set out on your missed, which stretches across 13 stages.

With ever stage you come across, you are met with great hostility and sometimes almost impossible situations you must overcome. Beyond the 13 stages, you can expect to come across multiple paths, hidden areas and two bonus end stages. Whether you partake in the extra stages, or simply completed the 13 mandatory levels, the whole experience shouldnít take you more than 15-20 minutes to complete. While this seems like a short amount of time to complete a game, one must keep in mind that this game was designed within the vein of similar arcade titles, while also boasting three different fighter jets to choose from and loads of unlockables to exploit. The unlockable exploits include constant speed boost, larger targeting crosshair, unlimited missiles, unlimited continues, etc. All of these unlockables are accessible via the EX Option within the gameís main menu. When you add in this wealth of extra content, you can easily see that this game will last well beyond the half an hour it takes you to complete the game once.

While avoiding enemy fire, one must also keep a look out at the surrounding areas. The reason for this is that there are several stages where you are flying through tight spaces in mountain areas and on the inside of tunnels. It is here where you will need quick reflexes or simply slow down the speed of your jet in order to get through these tight sections. Considering arcade titles were designed to acquire lots and lots of quarters for players, the latter levels are brutal and downright difficult to pass without dying a couple of times. And with only three continues to complete the entire game, you will be very mindful of everything flying towards you, with you and firing at you.

When it comes to controlling the action on screen, you have the choice of three different control schemes. With the standard settings, you control your aircraft with the left analog stick, with gunfire and missile launching controlled by the X and square buttons respectively. The shoulder buttons all you to take advantages of extra speed boosts and even slow your aircraft down, allowing enemies to past you and being able to blow them up. The speed boost is determined by a Climax meter gage and once it fills up, you will see the world Climax flashing letting you know that your speed boast is available. After the first couple of levels, you will feel right at home with this control scheme. However for those who feel none of these control schemes suit them, you can customize the controls to your liking, making for a welcoming experience.

Beyond simply completing the Arcade mode, there is also a Score Attack mode, which tasks you with scoring the highest score possible and having said score compared with other players around the world. Performing combos and keeping the combo number going higher and higher will be key for you scoring a spot on the leaderboards. So far my best within this mode is 612,990 points. While that score might seem impressive, the highest score on the leader boards is more than 2.6 million points. So like me, you will need a lot of time and dedication in order to be ranked within the top 25, let alone the top 10 or #1 spot.

The visuals in After Burner Climax are pretty impressive. Considering you are flying through these stages at blazing speeds, you are still able to make out the surrounding areas and see the level of detail that has went into them, as well as your fighter jet. The framerate is very consistent throughout the entire experience, even when using one of the unlockables that allows you to have the Climax bust on at all times. This game doesnít fall along the lines of the best visual presentations for either the PS3 or Xbox 360 console; itís still very visually pleasing to the eye. In regards to the soundtrack, whether you go with the up to date music or harken back to the days of After Burner II soundtrack, you can expect the music to be very energetic and intense, lending itself well to the action going on.

After Burner Climax is one of those arcade experiences where you want to make sure to you have done everything humanly possible within the game. While some may be disappointed in the length of each playthrough, the game makes up for that with a wealth of content and gameplay enhancements to keep the action interesting and intense. If you havenít picked up this title, you owe it to yourself to feel the adrenaline rush of After Burner Climax.


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