Thursday Feb 25, 2010
Get ready for some adrenaline pumping aerial arcade action with After Burner: Black Falcon, now available, once again, for purchase from the PlayStation Store.
Thank you for your support of After Burner: Black Falcon. Many of you experienced an issue with the digital copy of this game earlier this month. Well, good news! Both SEGA and Sony have worked to rectify the issues and are happy to announce that After Burner: Black Falcon is now back online and ready for download.
For those of you who had previously downloaded the game, please delete the old version from your system and re-download this new version. You will not be charged for re-downloading a purchased item.
Again, we apologize for any inconvenience that this may have caused.
And, last but not least, as a thank you to the great After Burner fans out there, we have an exclusive wallpaper for After Burner: Black Falcon (with more on the way!). Click the image to get to the full-sized version of the wallpaper!
Thursday Feb 04, 2010
Already available on the PlayStation Portable, After Burner: Black Falcon is now available as a download for the PSP Go!
Occasionally while writing these blogs I’m fortunate enough not just to review a classic game that I’ve always liked, but to actually discover something new to me. Since I didn’t play a lot of PlayStation Portable games until recently, I got to experience a lot of these games, in particular, for the first time. I am happy to report that After Burner: Black Falcon is now among these games.
After Burner: Black Falcon takes the basic formula of the arcade versions and adds a lot of features appropriate for playing at home (or, in this case, on the go — but you get the picture). There is a ton of customization in the game and I was actually quite surprised at how deep it is. Aside from the abilities to pick your own paint job and such, there’s 19 different aircraft available to fly, all with differently balanced stats and capabilities. Those aircraft, all officially licensed models, have a huge variety of weapons to pick from. Setting up the right aircraft (balancing raw speed, maneuverability, and payload capacity) is key to doing well in missions, and what’s more, it really feels tailored to developing a play style you like — for example, if you want to go crazy with fast guns, or be more precise with a carefully selected arsenal of air-to-surface or air-to-ground missiles, and you can always modify this payload based on the mission and your objectives.
As I mentioned in my post about the upcoming After Burner Climax, the original Master System version of After Burner was a core part of my formative video game years. It is, frankly, awesome to see some concentrated After Burner love. What’s also exceptionally nice is that Black Falcon retains the truly challenging difficulty of the arcade games, but gives you a lot of different options along the way. This is, actually, a really well-balanced game — you purchase upgraded weapons and buy new planes with cash you earn during missions, and different missions have main objectives and secondary objectives that earn you more cash to spend on upgrades; the secondary objectives are based on both skill (destroying additional targets) and speed (making it through a level in a certain amount of time), meaning you really can customize the way you play the game.
The game even has a story to it, which is sort of epic and awesome in its own right. You pick from three different pilots, including the suspiciously named Billy “Sonic” Blaze (how many SEGA references are in that name? Anyone care to guess?). The plot concerns stolen prototype planes, and while no one anywhere is playing an After Burner game for its plot twists, it is actually quite cool the way the story drives the missions forward, giving context to the amazing scenery and quite spectacular-looking levels. The plot lends a kind of tongue-in-cheek kookiness to the proceedings, too — this includes the fact that the ex-girlfriend of Billy Blaze (her name, unfortunately, is not “Amy Ecco”, which by the way, would be a fabulous name for a pilot) has defected to the bad guys. “I’m sorry,” your commanding officer tells you early in the game, “but you have to face the fact that your ex-girlfriend is now working for the enemy.” Doesn’t everyone hate it when their ex steals military technology for a foreign government? Additional plot detail: In one mission you have to rescue kidnapped scientists in mid-air as they eject from enemy planes. The “scientists” whoop with glee as you scoop them up at Mach 2. Aside from being painstakingly realistic (don’t believe me? Try it yourself, in real life!), this is very, very awesome.
Also — check out this exclusive gameplay video!
I have always admired PlayStation Portable graphics, but even considering that, After Burner: Black Falcon feels really impressive. One of the hallmarks of the series (aside from, you know, flying planes really fast and blowing up other planes) has been the impressively designed levels, and that is definitely true of this one. The levels, aside from looking terrific, are incorporated into the game, and there is a no-denying-it visceral thrill to punching the afterburner to accelerate through a thin mountain pass while pursuing a fleeing enemy fighter at the end of a level.
Lest I forget! The game even has multiplayer capability, with a variety of eight-player competitive (!) and two player co-op (!!) modes. I’ve really loved going through the game in single-player and I’m looking forward to trying it over Wi-Fi.
Give After Burner: Black Falcon a spin if you get the chance — and stay tuned for some awesome wallpaper giveaways and video trailer for this game!
SEARCH BY GAME
|No public Twitter messages.|
VIEW THE GALLERIES