Afterburner Climax – Game of the Year 2010


See that blurry picture taken with my camera phone? That’s me purchasing Afterburner Climax on the the 23rd of April. Unfortunately, I’ve been too busy playing it to get around to posting my thoughts on it. Because it truly is that awesome.

But is this just hyperbolic dribble from a Sega fanboy, making the bold statement that this game should qualify as for GotY? Probably. But there’s a method to my madness.

You see, for me there’s a special place in my heart for the classic Sega approach to making a score-attack title. The original two Afterburner games are a double-dose of amazement foe example, and I’ve put more hours than I can count into OutRun. Then you can look at some of spiritual (or actual) sequels to these games that I’ve sunk even more time and money to continue with the classic fix they brought – Galaxy Force, Panzer Dragoon, Gunblade; Outrunners, Power Drift, Daytona, Sega Rally, OutRun 2/2006/Live Arcade (you could even throw Initial D in there as well). Amazing lineup of games that have quantified the definitive arcade experience over the years, and in this sense Afterburner Climax is a completely nonsensical throwback to pickup-and-play mechanics, score attack, increasingly steeper difficulty (arguably unforgiving at times), blue, blue skies and more than a casual nod at Sega’s arcade lineage.

What’s particularly commendable is that the game managed to survive the transition to a home format – I first came across the Afterburner Climax DX cab in… 2008 when checking out one of the few remaining arcades still around the place. The experience was absolutely amazing – having cut my teeth on the Afterburner hydraulic cab back in the day, it was a perfect re-imagining of the original concept but on a modern platform with more current technology.


Despite the lack of the fancy-pants cabinet, it’s still a blast to play – hyper-fast, an orgy of destruction and plenty of hat-tipping to the original games, especially the option to swap between the original YM2151 X Board hardware audio and the new soundtrack put together for Climax. There are plenty of unlockables that can alter the difficulty of the in-game experience too, which is handy if you’re rubbish at the game like yours truly and adds extra incentive for playing through the game over and over again.

And even though it’s not difficult to fire through the game in 10 minutes, I constantly find myself coming back to it every time I put the PS3 on. There’s something immediately refreshing about the no-bullshit attitude the game has – this is an arcade experience, and if you don’t like it, bugger off. No stupid tutorials to explain complicated controls, no unnecessary backstory to slow things down (there is a backstory mind, but it never gets in the way of blowing stuff up), barely any frame-drops or tearing, just pure, high-quality Japanese arcade performance gaming.

Welcome back Sega – what took you so long?

What would Virtua Fighter look like if it it went in the same direction as Street Fighter?

You know what? This is funny (and a joke – read up more from the source), but you know what? It looks awesome 😀

Thanks Kotaku!

Now, Sega – where’s the announcement for the PS3 port of VF5:FS? With my nerd powers, I have the console ports of all the VF games (well, only VF4:E instead of vanilla VF4 on the PS2), as well as PCBs of VF2 and VF3, give me extra nerd love in the form of a port of this one, please!! Online play would also be nice since you added it to the XB360 port of VF5 standard 😀

Either that or give some attention to possibly making a new Fighters Megamix game 😀

Joygasm – Afterburner Climax coming to PSN/XBLA?

The wonderous people over at Kotaku have reported that Afterburner Climax looks like its coming to next-gen download services.

Why is this retro-worthy? Because it’s one of those rare cases where Sega got it right and made an arcade game that simultaneously looked stunning, was a joy to play, and echoed the beautiful and glorious blue skies from the days of yore.

And while the home version won’t have the amazing hydraulic arcade cab (obviously), the game is still a ball.

Man, if I had $20k, I’d totally buy one of those Afterburner Climax cabs. I’d have nowhere to store it so it’d have to sit in the driveway, but for that one day before it got ruined by the weather/neighbourhood kids/ninjas/etc, it would be a slice of pure awesomeness 😀

Kung Fu gets rebooted – Revenge of the Wounded Dragons

Indulge me, this is the second post with more than a passing glance at the current generation of gaming (be warned there might be one or two to come – Braid and Trine are now up on PSN).

So, this round of hooplah surrounds Revenge of the Wounded Dragons, a new game coming to PSN shortly-ish (release date is TBA, was supposed to be coming in the next week or so or somethingorother?). Why is it awesome? It borrows from the plotless (and awesome) Double Dragon for its duo-toned heroes, hails back to the arcade with its ‘avenge your family/girlfriend/dog/mortgage broker’ premise and, most importantly, is using the classic formula from Irem’s classic Kung-Fu Master but giving it fresh coat of paint, a few tweaks, 2-player coop and plenty of awesome:

See, you can’t tell me that isn’t full of awesome. Assuming it doesn’t play like a giant douche or something.

There’s more info on the official PS Blog at: UPDATED: Coming to PSN: Revenge of the Wounded Dragons.