After Burner Climax Review
Xbox 360 | PS3
After Burner Climax box art
System: X360 (XBLA), PS3 (PSN) Review Rating Legend
Dev: SEGA, AM2 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: SEGA 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Apr. 22, 2010 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+ 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

There are two main modes of play, Arcade and Score Attack. Both options run you through the same selection of stages, though dying in Score Attack will never present you with a "Game Over" screen. In order to rack up points in Score Attack, however, you'll need to achieve and maintain large combos. To offer some perspective, my high score for this mode is a little over 500, 000, whereas the current world record is roughly 1.9 million.

After Burner Climax screenshot

There is, of course, a leaderboard where you can view the overall world rankings, your personal ranking, and the ranking of folks on your friends list. To keep the playing field level, you can't use any of the EX unlocks in Score Attack, and everyone is presented with the same level of difficulty.

In terms of production values, After Burner Climax looks like the exact same game you might have seen in the arcades, which is to say, it looks great. The engine running the game might not be the most technically impressive on current-gen consoles, but when everything's running at top speed, the game looks fantastic, with a lightning-fast, super-clean framerate. Upon running into the side of a mountain, however, you'll get a close-up look at the texture work, which admittedly, can be a bit unsightly. Regardless, Climax offers some of the prettiest visuals we've seen in a $10 downloadable game. Each of the three jets has four color schemes to choose from, and the environments too are varied up nicely.


The audio work is equally impressive, offering a soundtrack that harkens back to F-Zero GX for the Gamecube. The music continuously blasts you with flurries of notes as you attempt to make your way through a sea of enemy fire. The sound effects are chunky and exciting, offering tons of glorious arcade flair. The two ground-control personnel who are constantly barking commands at you and exchanging banter can be annoying at times, but ultimately they serve the over-accelerated pace of the game well. You can, however, tinker with the settings in the options menu and turn off the chatter if you so choose.

After Burner Climax is, without a doubt, one of the most exciting new entries into the downloadable space. SEGA managed to preserve most of the intensity and all of the fun of the original game, and this latest iteration packs in a few extras that complete the package in a meaningful way. Whether you've got points to spare or are carefully weighing your options, After Burner Climax is an absolute must-buy.

By Tony Capri
CCC Freelance Writer

The few moments when you see environmental textures or character models up close might fail to impressive, but everything else about this game looks gorgeous.
The standard controls work great, though the intensity of gameplay can be quite a workout for your hands.
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The audio package is strictly arcade fare, and to that end, it is sheer excellence. Background chatter will likely be a "love it" or "hate it"-type thing for most folks.
Play Value
Imagine being able to own an incredibly expensive but amazingly fun arcade shooter without mortgaging your home or clearing out an entire room to make space for it. Sure, you'll Climax fast, but you'll be ready for seconds (and thirds) shortly after your first encounter with the game.
Overall Rating - Must Buy
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • Over 20 Stages - Play through each stage at blazing speed with your personalized fighter aircraft.
  • Branching Storyline - Keep your head under pressure with limited time to make adrenaline-fuelled decisions, and experience different paths through the game based on
  • EX OPTION Mode - Enjoy the exhilarating flight in overwhelmingly superior condition and take down multiple enemies at a time.

  • Screenshots / Images
    After Burner Climax screenshot - click to enlarge After Burner Climax screenshot - click to enlarge After Burner Climax screenshot - click to enlarge After Burner Climax screenshot - click to enlarge After Burner Climax screenshot - click to enlarge After Burner Climax screenshot - click to enlarge After Burner Climax screenshot - click to enlarge After Burner Climax screenshot - click to enlarge

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