Developer: Planet Moon Studios
Release Date: 03/20/2007
Available Exclusively On
I’m not up to date on the After Burner series, but I do know Sega has put it on the back burner for a long time. They brought it out for the PSP and boy is this a bland and boring game. A stupid story, repetitive level design, and just insanely boring gameplay are peppered throughout the game with almost zero redeeming qualities.
I will give the game the token for a sense of speed. You do feel like you’re flying incredibly fast over oceans, jungles, deserts, or cities. I just wish the gameplay reflected this. You start out with a comic book-style story based on one of the three generic pilots you pick that literally has no difference in the actual gameplay. This was clearly filler to try and convince you it’s worth playing through this long laborious campaign three separate times. You then pick your jet which most are locked behind cash. You can then pick your paint and buy any weapon upgrades and go. There’s no tutorial here so the manual would help some, but it’s fairly simple. Green circles are for ground missiles and blue circles are jets for air missiles. You also have a gun to fight off any planes that come up from behind you.
An arcade game like this needs simple gameplay like this. Just three buttons and you can boost and barrel roll as well. The first issue I can across is that no matter how hard I tried I couldn’t dodge missiles. They homed in on me no matter what unless I barrel-rolled, but you can’t shoot while doing this. Your field of movement is restricted and I could only move around and boost through missiles, but no matter what I always took damage. You have bonus objectives you can complete to earn more cash such as reaching a certain score, shooting down certain enemy types, etc. Every single mission is exactly the same with no differences say maybe a boss. You can shoot down ground units or the same five jets over and over. Even the attack patterns start repeating. It got a little fun when I had tons of enemies coming up and I had to alternate between ground and air missiles, and if you do this you get combo awards in form of health or lame power-ups like slowing down time which is useless.
The levels drag on for 10+ minutes as well. The checkpoints are unfairly placed and if you run out of lives you start the entire level over again. Just on the first mission, I had to play it five times in order to beat it and that was probably out of luck. You can’t change the difficulty without starting a new profile which is really lame. Outside of that, the graphics are bland as hell and the game slows down when there are lots of explosions. Everything just looks flat and lifeless. It’s not ugly just tiring and boring to look at. It’s honestly one of the dullest games I have played on PSP And this was a high-profile well-covered game as well. I can’t recommend this to anyone unless you are a fan of the arcade game. I would have liked to have seen the series brought to modern standards. This works in an arcade cabinet and not a home console.