|System: Wii, PS2, PSP, DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Art Co.||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: D3 Publisher||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Oct. 20, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
One of the aspects of Astro Boy that I found to be the most contemptible is also one of the least noticeable. In most platforming sections there are sets of spikes (or pointy stalactites) that stun the player if touched. The problem I have with this is that the spikes do next to zero damage. So... why are they there? If all they do is stun the player and make platforming a more frustrating experience, shouldn't they have been taken out entirely? The developers have gone out of their way to frustrate the player and negatively impact gameplay at the same time.
At least Astro Boy is a decent-looking game. The main character is well defined and looks relatively good, and there are some unique enemy designs and boss monsters. However, the stages are pretty weak and uninspired. Most of them are made up of a series of tiles that repeat endlessly, but as a backdrop for punching robots they do their job sufficiently.
The same cannot be said for the audio in this game. Considering that most of the potential consumers of this game will be buying it because they love the characters from the movie and want more of that experience, it is a glaring fault that the game doesn't include voice acting of any kind. In fact, even the typed dialogue between characters is weak and often nonsensical. In one scene Astro Boy is alone in his room and all of a sudden starts talking to a spray bottle. The bottle is apparently a robot. In the very next frame, with no explanation, Astro is clutching the bottle while falling out the window.
Fans of the movie version of Astro Boy who are looking for more Astro should stay away from this game. The Wii version is a bit better, so if you're desperate for more Astro Boy, that would be a better pick. However, the best Astro Boy experience you're going to find is easily Astro Boy Omega Factor for the GBA (which can also be played on your DS).
CCC Freelance Writer