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Archive for ‘After Burner Climax’


   
 

After Burner Climax: Launch Trailer and EX Mode!

Now that After Burner Climax is out for both Xbox 360 and Playstation 3, hopefully a lot of you have had a chance to experience it. First though, we have an awesome “launch” trailer for the game:

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Second, if you haven’t played the game on a console yet, it has a feature called “EX Mode”. Basically this is a set of options that adds both a ton of replayability to the game, as well as lets you customize the difficulty level. You unlock the various EX mode options through gameplay, and they include things such as toggling “autofire” for your main guns and the number of lives and continues you have available. It’s also worth noting that while simply completing the game is not terribly difficult — especially once you’ve unlocked the additional continues options — mastering the game, and achieving a superior ranking, is another proposition entirely.

 
   
   
 

After Burner Climax Takes Off On Xbox 360 and PSN!

Get ready! The wait is over, and one of the most indelible arcade experiences of the past decade is now available for download, in glorious HD: After Burner Climax has taken off, releasing today for Xbox Live Arcade and tomorrow, April 22nd, for PlayStation 3 over PlayStation Network.

After Burner Climax

Additionally, we can now announce that there’s some great extras also available with the game — including premium themes for both PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Additionally, the Xbox 360 version will have two exclusive gamer icons, and two avatar awards — a slick looking t-shirt with the distinctive After Burner logo, and a solid gold helmet. That last part is italicized for awesomeness — here, check out a picture, along with the other avatar award item:

ABC - Xbox 360 Avatar Award
ABC - Xbox 360 Avatar Award

I’ve already rhapsodized quite a bit about this title, but just to rehash: After Burner Climax was released in 2006 on the high-powered “Lindbergh” arcade hardware. With 20 stages and fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants branching missions, this is what an arcade game is meant to be like — I keep saying, as good as the screenshots look, the game looks even better at full throttle. For me, the After Burner series has always balanced the extreme difficulty of quarter-hungry arcade-bred beasts, and the intuitive straight-ahead fun of really good air combat games.

After Burner Climax also features three flyable fighter planes, all officially licensed: Pick from the Northrop Grummand F-14D Super Tomcat, or the Boeing-manufactured F-15E Strike Eagle or F/A-18E Super Hornet. The different fighters do have different balances in-game, and that combined with the branching mission adds a hearty amount of replayability to the title.

After Burner Climax
After Burner Climax

After Burner has a feel all its own, and while the best of today’s home computers may be capable of better graphics, there is a fluid grace to how excruciatingly gorgeous this game looks in HD. It’s one of the best looking games I’ve ever played and the thrill of accelerating through a narrow canyon is something that I indelibly think of when I think of “arcade action” games. Home gaming has of course become far more popular over the years, and we’re seeing fewer and fewer real life arcades — After Burner Climax really is a slice of that old arcade experience though, and it fits perfectly on the consoles.

After Burner Climax is available for Xbox Live Arcade for 800 MS Points, or via the PlayStation store for $9.99. Additionally, check out these awesome premium themes available for both consoles. The Xbox 360 theme is available now and the PSN theme should be available in early May:

After Burner Climax - PSN Theme
After Burner Climax - Xbox 360 Theme

Lastly — my lead-in line for this blog, “Get Ready” was actually a reference to the first After Burner game I played, and the first of the series to appear on a console — After Burner, on the SEGA Master System. One of my favorite games from the era, it’s worth linking to a video of the first stage (complete with the digitized instruction to “get ready!”). Enjoy this nostalgic reminder of After Burner’s origins.

I’m very excited to see this game show up on consoles. Take the the skies and enjoy this unique and awesome arcade experience!

 
   
   
 

Four New After Burner Climax Screens

I’m happy to be able to share with you four brand new screens for the upcoming After Burner Climax. Here we get to see a few stages we haven’t had a great look at before, including the (always exhilarating) canyon stage and a mission over a refinery/factory area.

Stay tuned for more news (coming soon!) on After Burner Climax!

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New After Burner: Climax Screens

There’s no question that After Burner: Climax is one of the most visually stunning arcade games ever to come along. And while it certainly has gameplay to match, we can’t share the gameplay with you until release — what we can share though, are these great new screens for the game, featuring one of my favorite environments (the one with the Northern Lights!).

Enjoy, and click on the image to get full-sized versions on Flickr!

After Burner: Climax

After Burner: Climax

After Burner: Climax

After Burner: Climax

 
   
   
 

After Burner Climax Takes Off This Spring!

There are arcade games and then there are arcade games: the former of these, you can ignore row after row of, while the later hold a kind of regal place in the arcade, with attention-grabbing cabinets, lines waiting to play, and graphics and sound that draw you in from halfway across the room. With a lineage dating back to SEGA’s golden age of arcade games, the 2006 game After Burner Climax can safely be called an arcade game, the sort of game that made going to the arcade an indelible experience, even as the arcade itself has become more and more of a scarce creature.

All of this is to say, you can start getting excited, because After Burner Climax is heading to Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network this Spring! In After Burner Climax you take to the skies in one of three officially licensed fighter planes (the F-14 Tomcat, F-15 Eagle, and FA-18 Hornet — all with customizable paint jobs) and do battle with hordes of enemies in a series of fast-moving stages; the player picks the course of the game on-the-fly, choosing which path to take at the end of missions, and depending on those selections and player performance the game will unfold differently.

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With HD graphics this is a mind-bogglingly gorgeous game: the stages and aircraft look at once photo-realistic and stylized, with incredibly bright colors and, in particular, a stunning use of light: flying into the sun on some stages, it is almost painfully easy to be distracted by the nuanced way that light reflects off of a crisply detailed ocean. Likewise, the aurora borealis in one stage is mesmerizing, and flying through canyons has exactly the sort of exhilarating feel that a top-notch air combat game should have.

The game comes from SEGA’s AM-2 studios — the same arcade developers who crafted Out Run, Hang-On, Virtua Cop, and even the original Space Harrier. Actually, this jet-fighter game has a lot in common with games like Out Run — it isn’t just a fast-paced arcade action game, but a full immersion in beautiful settings and top-notch arcade graphics with sound & music to match; a tour of every conceivable vista in which you could do battle. Also like the recent Out Run arcade games released on Xbox Live Arcade, this is a game that may look great in stills, but the screen shots don’t really do justice to how good the game looks when playing.

I feel compelled to mention some more of After Burner’s lineage, too: even the Master System port of the original arcade game (with its tiny voice compelling you to “Get Ready!” as you rocketed off the aircraft carrier) was incredible, with amazing action and exceptional difficulty (I only beat the game a few times, which is saying something considering how often I played it). But the original arcade game itself was designed by SEGA legend Yu Suzuki, who’s creation Virtua Fighter has the distinction of being the first Japanese game ever to be housed in the Smithsonian.

Need more proof of the game’s pedigree? Among its biggest fans are Hideki Kamiya — creator of none other than Bayonetta — who lists After Burner Climax as one of his favorite games, with references to its titular (and titillating) subtitle scattered throughout Bayonetta.

Stay tuned for more on this terrific arcade game!

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