Inside PlayStation Network – After Burner: Climax

The digital delights of Sony’s scrumptious PlayStation Network service know no bounds. Aside from letting punters compete in online gaming, stream films, browse the Internet and more, its premier attraction rests in the copious supply of downloadable games ripe for the picking. From PSN exclusives to PSOne Classics, minis and plain old add-on content, Sony’s online space is chock full of goodies battling it out for your hard-earned digital dollars.

Welcome back to another installment of Inside PlayStation Network, where every Monday – Friday we’ll pluck a PSN release—be it new or old—and put it in the spotlight for a thorough dissection. Fancy getting a new PSN game but don’t know what one to plump for? Perhaps this feature will help. Didn’t realize that a game was available in your region until now? We’ve got you covered. Or, perhaps you were musing over what those lucky Japanese folk were tucking into over in the Land of the Rising Sun? You can be sure our coverage will extend to those rare regional exclusives as much as those firmly embedded on the public consciousness.

Today, we hop into the cockpit for some high-flying shenanigans in SEGA’s After Burner: Climax.


Developer: AM2
Region(s) available: North America, Europe
Players: 1

SEGA’s venerable After Burner franchise has remained a staple cabinet down local arcades since the 1980s. Plucking everything that made the classic flick Top Gun so appealing (with the possible exception of Tom Cruise – sorry ladies) and chucking it into an interactive experience, After Burner immediately struck a cord with gamers thanks to its user-friendly interface and adrenaline-fuelled, action-packed dogfights. Not content with being grounded in the arcades, AM2’s launched the 2006 offering After Burner: Climax on PSN and XBL back in 2010 – minus the fancy hydraulic arcade cabinet, naturally.

Climax is bound to resonate with anyone who claims to have a penchant for military aviation, or those who simply want an excuse to blow stuff up. The flight combat romp offers up three planes – namely, the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, F-15E Strike Eagle, and F-14D Super Tomcat. Your mission: subvert a rival nation’s dastardly plot to launch a nuclear strike. No sooner than you can say “chocks away Charlie” you find yourself airborne and blasting heaps of foes out of the sky, while dodging a rapid onslaught of enemy missiles. Lock-on is your main companion here, allowing you to unleash a barrage of rockets at the opposing side, accompanied by the iconic After Burner cry of “Fire” as your sights find their mark. Concurrently, you’ll also have to divert your attention to a variety of objectives sprinkled throughout the rudimentary combat.

These include anything from blasting an enemy troop transport out of the sky to downing a mammoth stealth bomber with your bog-standard guns, seeing as how it’s immune to a lock-on attack. Meanwhile, racking up kills will feed your Climax gauge, which when full lets you slow down time for increased accuracy. Aside from this, it’s pretty much your bread-and-butter After Burner affair, though SEGA’s given the home console version some special treatment in an effort to elongate the game’s lasting appeal. Specifically, players have the chance to unzip fresh features providing you meet certain requirements throughout play. For example, you can blow your targeting cursor up permanently to Climax mode proportions by simply blasting through the game from start to finish.

Other goodies include the chance to bag yourself some swanky armor that absorbs damage like a sponge, though you’ll need to prove your worth in the cockpit by downing a copious amount of enemy aircraft. Still, if things are proving more cruise flight than combat alley, you can unlock the ability to tweak the game’s settings in order to make things tougher of yourself. Fancy reducing the amount of damage your guns do or limiting your supply of missiles? Then it’s all here for you to poke and prod at to your heart’s content. AM2’s also given fans the chance to plump for either the Climax or After Burner soundtrack, living up to the series’ reputation for delivering a pulse-pounding aural assault. Just don’t expect to be strapped in the cockpit for too long — Climax’s vertiginous, relentless blastathon won’t take you more than 15 minutes to cruise through. Still, there’s always the leaderboards to keep you busy once you’ve had your fill of the main campaign.

Tune in again tomorrow for another gander Inside PlayStation Network.