Afterburner Climax is a PlayStation 3 version of the classic Sega arcade game afterburner from 1987. I remember playing the arcade version back in my youth and being amazed at the bright colours and the sense of speed that the game had and wondered if the console version could bring that same feeling. In a word, Yes!
This game feels great to play. It’s smooth, simple to understand, the controls are pretty intuitive and most of all, its fun. The menu system is just like an arcade version with the big bold screens and the smooth flow from choice to choice and best of all it has the iconic arcade voice, that helps you really relive your past. You choose your plane and the Sega voice shouts out what you have chosen and then the colour scheme and then the music style (afterburner classic or climax) and then you’re off on your mission.
The game feels like an arcade game. If you are expecting a flight simulator or a more hands on dog fighting game then look elsewhere as this is a through and through arcade game. You have control of your plane in as much as you can make it dance around the screen shooting or firing missiles at anything that moves but you are on rails. It’s not an open world exploring game so don’t be expecting large amounts of choices but
as it’s an arcade port then you shouldn’t be in the first place.
For me this felt like a great game. Faithfully reproducing the fun of the arcades in my living room. All it needed was an arcade button layout on the joypad for it to feel totally authentic. That said although I haven’t personally tried it, you can use a fight stick to add to the authenticity of the game.
The game has the score chase feel that makes it a great game to bring out with friends and challenge each other. A nice, clean looking arcade scoreboard greats you at the end of the game which begs you to fight for the top spot. This would make a great title to gaming nights with friends especially if you want to go for a more classically themed night. It would go great alongside a session of Sonic The Hedgehog and Sega Rally.
One aspect of this game seems to be a sticking point for some and not for others. This is the length of the game, its short. Each game will last you an average of 5- 10 minutes and if you wanted to 100% the game via trophies it took me less than an hour. Some people say this is too short for a modern day title. They may be right for some games but I think that Afterburner Climax is different. Yes it is short but there in lays its beauty and its neich in the modern day gamers collection. Being so short you can sit down and have a quick go when you only have a few minutes to play. It’s good enough to bring you back now and again just to up your top score or to play something simple after spending hours and hours stuck in another game like Skyrim or Assassins Creed Revelations. This game works well being small as the game mechanics wouldn’t hold up well if you artificially made the game longer. This game was designed to be an arcade game where you push in your money and play till the end then move on to something else. Afterburner Climax isn’t designed to be a title that goes up against big release titles, it’s designed to be fast and fun gameplay and that’s exactly what you get. I really enjoyed it for what it was and I would hope anyone else that buys it will get the same nostalgic fun that I did.
Full price this title goes for £7 but I picked it up off the PSN store during the sale with PS Plus for £2 and for that price I think it’s great. Highly recommended for that price and for some good old fashioned fun gaming that won’t take up your whole social calendar.
Score = 70%
Will you be playing it in 12 months = probably not
Available on = PSN & XBLA.
Photos courtesy of Google Images