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Back in the day the arcade version of After Burner was one of those special games that took the arcades by storm. One, because it was in this huge kick-arse cabinet and two, because it was a blazing fast, adrenaline pumping buzz to play, just like an arcade game should be. Rushing out and buying the Commodore 64 version left me bitterly disappointed because the vital element was missing, the illusion of speed. Speed is what made After Burner, speed is what is needed to enjoy After Burner. Lets hope After Burner Climax doesn’t turn out to be an Anti Climax.

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Do not worry After Burner fans. After Burner Climax oozes speed, so the core mechanic is safe and along with the beautiful new HD graphics I can definitely say After Burner has been pulled into the modern era with plenty of style. Well drawn landscapes and clouds wiz by at a huge rate of knots, not that you have time to look at them, what with the dozens of enemy aircraft and missiles trying to rid the skies of your presence. All the aircraft, including your own, are based on real world aircraft, even if it is only a cosmetic difference. I never would have though a F-14D Super Tomcat would fly so much like a F-15E Strike Eagle. And to rub it in, if you are going for the Achievements, you have to finish the game with each of the 3 different aircraft available to you.

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Fear not though Achievement whores, I had After Burner Climax completed a half a dozen times and collected the 200 Achievement Points in under 3 hours. Yes, it is that short! So to keep you coming back there are a few Avatar Awards to get. The first of which shouldn’t be too hard, it requires you to unlock all the EX settings, each of which is awarded by reaching certain goals in the arcade game, fire 1000 missiles, complete 5 games, etc. The second Avatar Award is earned in the Score Attack mode, which gives you unlimited lives to finish the game with only your score being the important thing. During Score Attack you are awarded medals instead of EX Settings. Collect all the medals, win the Avatar Award. Easy. Well no, good luck on finishing the game without being shot down at all.

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The basic game play of locking on to enemies and firing your missiles is pretty much faithful to the original with the exception of the added Climax Meter. Fill this meter up and you can enter a slow-mo mode to help target even more enemies and dispatch them with a unlimited supply of missiles. The EX Settings awarded in Arcade mode allow different options to be changed in the Menu. Things like auto-firing guns, larger lock-on reticule and the likes. Basically the more you play the easier you can make the game. It’s all good fun but to be all done and dusted in one sitting makes it unbelievable short. Apart from bettering friends scores in Score Attack and trying to get the last elusive Avatar Award, After Burner Climax could be a very short lived experience.

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Closing Comments.

After Burner Climax is everything I remember and love about After Burner as a kid, but all polished up and looking mighty fine in it’s Sunday Best. The sheer speed of After Burner Climax is how arcade games should be. Fast, twitchy, and short. Yes I said it, short. I love sitting down and having a blast knowing I’ll complete a game. Just think of this like Space Invaders 3D, it’s all about the scores! Granted at 800 MS Points it would have been nice to have more missions but if you liked After Burner then you won’t be disappointed by After Burner Climax.

Released on 21/4/2010 for 800 MS Points.

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