Scheduled release date:
March 20th, 2007
Publisher:
Sega of America
Developer:
Planet Moon
Number Of Players:
1-2 (4 Online)
Genre:
Air Combat


Revvin' up your engine
Listen to her howlin' roar
Metal under tension
Beggin' you to touch and go

Highway to the Danger Zone
Ride into the Danger Zone

Okay, so sue me, but the mention of After Burner gives me
flashbacks of Top Gun. As a child, I always associated After
Burner with Top Gun, and it looks like even today I've retained
that association. Don't ask me why I didn't associate the
official Top Gun game with the movie; an adolescent's mind is a
complicated thing, you know. Either that, or it probably sucked.
In any case, this isn't about Top Gun, this about the rebirth of
a Sega classic on the PSP: After Burner: Black Falcon. While PS2
owners were treated to a lightly updated version of After Burner
with the release of the Sega Ages line, it'll be precisely 17
years since we saw the last proper release of an After Burner
game: After Burner II on the Genesis. March 20th, 1990 was the
original release date of ABII. And on March 20th, 2007, After
Burner: Black Falcon will land on the PSP.

Developed by the guys at Planet Moon (credits include: Infected),
there's one thing that Black Falcon will offer than a game like
Ace Combat can't — sense of speed. While Ace Combat's approach
at action is much more realistic dog-fighting – After Burner is
completely the opposite, as it heavily relies on its arcade like
strengths. The speed of the game ultimately determines the
action, and that, of course, determines the fun. Based on what
we've heard, After Burner: Black Falcon is sure to deliver the
fun, and it'll do so across a number of stages and modes.

The single-player mode will have you run soaring through 18
missions. The campaign mode is complete with a story which
revolves around a group of mercenaries who have stolen 13
top-secret fighter planes. The group calls themselves Black
Falcon, and it's your job to pilot your way to victory and
retrieving what is yours. Throughout the campaign mode, you'll
earn money which you can use to upgrade your chosen air-craft.
There will be 19 real-life military planes featured in After
Burner, all of which can be customized to your individual
preference in a number of ways. Additionally, each plane is also
completely unique, featuring specific characteristics not found
in other planes.

When you're not in the mood to play by yourself, After Burner
will feature something very enticing — a co-op campaign mode!
And if you want more out of your multiplayer experience, then
take your game online and dog-fight against three other pilots in
various modes of aerial competition.

Already you can tell that After Burner is staying true to its
name-sake by providing bright and vivid aesthetics, with lush
greens and sparkling blues. The aircrafts are richly textured,
and the terrain is well detailed. Special effects like
explosions, smoke, and other little intricacies are also well
done – proving that After Burner's visual prowess maybe one of
its biggest strengths. Though clearly the limitations of the PSP
force to the game to have a noticeable draw-in distance; but as
long as the distance is far-out, it shouldn't really deter the
experience. Likewise, because things will get a bit hairy during
each mission, we're hoping Planet Moon cranks out a solid 30 from
frame-rate.

It's been quite a while since I can remember the last time I
played a 3D rail-based shooter that wasn't top down perspective
or Einhander, so I'm really pulling for After Burner to stack up
well to its name and heritage when it sees release on the PSP
this March 20th. Keep your eyes open for it, it may end up
packing quite a punch.

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