[Reader Review] After Burner Climax

By Jeremy M. Zoss
Friday, April 30, 2010 at 2:09 pm

One of our goals at Joystick Division is to create a site with a community. We may not have forums or user blogs or many of the other features that larger gaming sites have, but we still want you to feel like you can interact with us and tell us what you're thinking about. One of our regular readers and commentor "Ben-jamin" took it upon himself to write a review of a game that we hadn't covered and sent it my way. I love the he did so and have reprinted the entire (lightly edited) review below.

I'd love to see more reviews from readers in the future. There's a big difference in the way professional reviewers and average gamers play games, and we value your opinions. If you'd like to contribute your own review, send it to joystickdivision@gmail.com and we'll take a look at it and possibly even post it. You can also interact with us on our Facebook and Twitter pages, or just hit us up in the comments section. And with that, on with Ben's review!

After Burner Climax
Reader Review by ""Ben-jamin" Wallen

After Burner Climax is like a blast from the past that still kicks ass and takes names! Over and over again.
I was playing Splinter Cell: Conviction and got to the part where the chopper is shooting at you and you basically play a game of 3D Frogger to get to the safe area. After several attempts I gave up. I was tired - it was just past midnight and the string of 5 days up past 2 AM was getting to take its toll on me. I hopped back over to my dashboard and figured I'd go check out some new possible demos, trailer and arcade games.

I'm pretty up on DLC when it comes to demos, videos, and arcade games but I was shocked to find an arcade game that I must have missed some how. After Burner Climax, (which I will make ABC from now on, cause that's how I roll) was the game I played many times at my local Scandia Family Fun center between rounds of mini-golf and resting my still-stinging batting cage hands.  After Burner would kick my ass so fast, I never had a chance.

I loved the OG arcade version of ABC. I'm guessing it was AB at the time, but who knows, I can't recall what I did last weekend, let alone when I was a wee pup. I do recall the awesome arcade console it was housed in. It rotated, moved, it was just awesome. Worth 4 tokens, FOR sure, even with the wonky nav-stick never calibrated correctly. It was super fast, missile launching explosions all over the place FUN! Pure and simple it was the game that got me eventually into air combat games. Anyway, enough of my trip down memory lane, lets get back to the NEW game.

After realizing I could download a demo I was super stoked. I really wanted to try this game back out before I crashed. My eyes caught a glimpse of the graphic upgrades from the wallpaper shots that show when you select it and I thought, man maybe the newer version would have more than this game did in the actual arcade version.

I fell asleep at this point for a good couple minutes. Before I knew it my headphones plays that o-so -familiar noise, BAA-LOOOP. My download is completed, sweeeeet! I hit play and give the demo a go!

Wow, that was fun. Super-fast handling made easy by the 360 analog stick as opposed to the actual flying pilot stick. The controls were much tighter and felt much smoother. I didn't feel that if I moved the stick to the side I would bank 90 degrees and crash. None of that M**key Mo*se BS here here.

I get to the end of the fist level/run and it shows UNLOCKED items. I was very happy to see this. I really wish more arcade games had more unlockables, especially when it comes to classic games like this. Arcade games that maybe made console debuts but were really kings of the arcade room.  Imagine that the TMNT Arcade had alternate costumes or weapon types. Or Perfect Dark had MORE levels redone from GoldenEye.  The potential changes are endless.

I checked to see the price of the game and with my balance I was about oooo, a hundred or so points behind the amount needed. Was it worth 5 duckets more to play the game?  WORD!

I launched back into another game and at this point I realized there was only one level. I had a few different paths I could take but all in all this was a scored based game. I was bummed at this point and thought, "oh well! Hell I'll finish the level." After a serious ass kicking was handed to me at the last stage, causing me to continue three times, I made it through and unlocked MANY more things! No missile smoke? Faster plane? 5 lives? I thought they were cheap upgrades, but I started them both up and was shocked at the results.


Super duper way big time epic massive gargantuan fun! Blazing through the level got me another unlock for speed in completing, the non-missile smoke was awesome at keeping my visibility open and dropping planes w/o even realizing I was firing a missile. BOOM, BOOM, BOOM! Missile after missile pounding planes down. I finish my third run and I got EVEN MORE unlocks.

Before I knew it I glanced at my clock and it read 3AM. I hadn't even registered the time at all. I was totally absorbed in the game and having a blast. I even shouted out a few times when I'd nail every dam plane! With headphones on I guess I was loud and woke one of my five roomies. Sorry Johnny, but if you had owned a game that had kicked your ass so many times over, you'd holler too! It made me think, man I wish Splinter Cell Conviction had me feeling this way.

I think this is the happiest I have been with an arcade purchase since I've bought my 360 many, many years ago. It fun, its nostalgic, it fast, it pretty and its just pure entertainment. It kept me up waaaay past my bed time, woke me up from a sure-fire sleep coma and I highly recommend this game to any fans of the old game or fans of flying action games that place you as a kick ass pilot taking entire armies down like they are flies. Its worth every penny if you are a gamer who strives to get that last plane and unlock EVERY unlock you can.
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