Astro Boy: The Video Game
This latest Hollywood film-to-game adaptation fails to do Astro Boy justice.
Astro Boy: The Video Game is based on the CG-animated film of the same name. In it, you control a heroic young robot with a bevy of talents (from laser fingers to rear machine guns that come out of his butt), which he'll need to defend the futuristic Metro City from incoming robots. It sounds like a real thrill, but Astro Boy fails on every single level.
D3 Publisher tried to mimic the same style of play that was used in Astro Boy: Omega Factor, a game that was made by Treasure a few years ago for the Game Boy Advance. In this way, it kind of succeeded, as you can easily see the influence. However, as you play through it, you'll realize that it's not the same game, not even by a mile.
First, there are the uninspired graphics. Astro Boy looks freaky in 3-D, compared to how he used to look in classic anime cartoons. The levels are tired and redundant, with the same backgrounds repeating over and over, combined with poor enemy design. Seriously, someone scraped the bottom of the robot creation barrel with these guys. Worse yet, the flying stages, which should be a breath of fresh air, simply aren't. You just shoot bad guys against the same boring scenery.
That's nothing compared to the gameplay, though. Astro Boy is sloppy, no matter what you're doing. The controls are horrendous. Astro Boy has a nasty habit of sliding everywhere, so just when you think you're going to come to a stop on a ledge, you slip to your death. As for the combat, you punch and kick your way through most of the stages. The only way to activate your special technique is to build up a special meter, which is bogus. Astro Boy should have these moves on command, and not have to wait for them to load.
As if gameplay wasn't enough of an issue, there's also a huge problem with the difficulty. Most of the robotic enemies are a breeze to beat, but the bosses are ridiculously cheap. These guys will pound you, even on the simplest setting. This becomes a real problem in the game's Robot Arena battle stage, where various bosses come at you in a row, without any chance to refill your health.
Finally, the game doesn't have good things to unlock. Some movie art, and that's really about it. It's a huge step backward for a franchise that rocketed forward earlier this decade with Omega Factor. Just avoid it and go see the movie instead. And if you have an original DS system, go with Treasure's game. It's cheaper and far more enjoyable than this.
What's Hot: Tries to copy the style and structure of Treasure's previous Astro Boy game, Omega Factor.
What's Not: Gameplay is too loose and causes inadvertent deaths, bosses are incredibly cheap and give you no chance to recover your health (especially in the Robot Arena), graphic design is bland and repetitive, flying stages leave a bad taste in your mouth.