Intense & let down spring to mind when I think of playing After Burner Climax and it brings you that experience & more. With it’s Climax mode, you get to experience the raw power you can unleash upon your forsaken foes. It’s perfect for an XBLA version of the classic arcade title. I hope I convey my fondness of the game in this review and tell you why I feel that it deserves me using words like; intense & let down.

A remake of the classic arcade game, After Burner Climax returns in HD. Fast and intense action, dodging planes, rockets, and bullets while trying to target multiple on-screen enemies; all equals awesomeness! It may seem to you reading this, that the game is overwhelming? Well fear not, if your any kind of gamer you will be able to handle the frantic action and dodging on-screen rockets with ease. The game has two modes; Arcade & Survival.

The arcade features 14 levels and a few secret levels along the way. You have 3 fighter jets to choose from, each being customizable to an extent; you can change the paint on the fighter jets. The arcade mode is one sit-down playthrough, no saving at a certain point and coming back later to continue on. Instead it gives you 3 lives, and when those 3 lives you get the dreaded GAME OVER screen, fear not, you then have 3 credits to continue playing the game. As you progress through the levels you will unlock Ex-Options. These are basically like “cheats” but I don’t feel like “cheats” is the right word to use, simply because you unlock them by doing various tasks, like reaching the end of the game X number of times, getting a 50 combo (which I did!!) & entering climax mode X number of times. Your very first playthrough may seem overwhelming and impossible at certain points to clear, but when you unlock more Ex-Options the Arcade mode seem a breeze. Arcade mode isn’t long by any means (7:58mins my best score!!) but it provides an adrenaline rush fueled mayhem and I certainly had a great time playing through it.

Next up we have the Survival Mode which is the exact same as Arcade mode only difference is you have an unlimited amount of lives. The objective here is to amass a high score and get on the leaderboards. This mode is great if you have friends around at your house and you can all playthrough and see who amasses the highest score possible. Ex-Options are not allowed in this mode because it would be unfair if your friend had unlocked all Ex-Options and you had none, he would obviously get the higher score.

The fast paced action and countless enemies approaching sure does get the adrenaline pumping even for a gamer who has played countless FPS games. It was an enjoyable experience while it lasted and was fun to play with friends at your house.

I just had few gripes with this remake, why is the gameplay still so short? The game is way too short, like I mentioned above 7:58mins is my best time (so far) and there is only so many times one person can playthrough the same game again & again without getting fed up with it. The Ex-Options do make the lack of gameplay a BIT better, but not a whole not. Some of the Ex-Options are over powering; the giant cursor and auto-lock on. They make the game way too easy to play and makes the game require no skill to play. When I was actually dodging and shooting enemies with skill and precision it made the game more enjoyable. The last thing was no form of Xbox live, not even co-op. Co-op would have worked brilliant in this game but alas no on takes my word for it.

Andrew’s Say: After Burner Climax is great fun, everything from dodging missiles and beating the game, but the lack of gameplay is what lets it down most. Yes it’s a remake of the classic but simply porting a game over to XBLA isn’t enough to keep current gen gamers occupied with your game. The game is only 800msp and that is quite a lot for what your actually getting; 2 game modes and no Xbox live. Something along the line of 400msp would have been perfect for this game and would have probably got a lot more people buying it. I would say wait until this game is on sale on pick it up for half the price, BUT if your a fan of fighter jets & fast paced action go ahead & buy it now.