|System: Wii, PS2, PSP, DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: High Voltage||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|
by Cole Smith
Astro Boy is a futuristic take on the story of Pinocchio. A man's longing for a son drives him to create an artificial life form; in this case, a robot. But this robot is the most sophisticated piece of machinery ever created. So powerful is this robot that it must be used for the good of mankind and not just to be kind to one man. Astro Boy: The Video Game will actually be kind to you as well, since this is a darn good game, much better than expected for a game designed to coincide with the launch of a movie of the same name.
Astro Boy: The Video Game for the PSP is an action-platformer. It's well designed and offers plenty of fun. It does tend to get repetitive after a while, but that's the price you pay for an arcade-style game. My advice with such games is to savor them by playing a few levels at a time. Of course, I can't do that since I have to complete the review as soon as possible, but I know I would enjoy this game much better over a couple of weeks rather than a couple of days.
Astro Boy has been around since before I was a kid, and that's a long time... a long time. The cartoon series was released to North American audiences in 1963. It existed in Manga form back in 1951 - long before my time.
The cartoon series was the first anime ever released from Japan. There have been numerous remakes of the TV series as well as comic books, Manga, and video games. Astro Boy the movie has just been released at the writing of this review. So as you can see, Astro Boy has quite the illustrious history. Aside from the last GBA version a few years back, most Astro Boy video games have been forgettable if not downright despicable. This PSP version may not become a classic, but it's a fun game that does the franchise justice.
The game starts out with the origin of Astro Boy. We learn that he was once a real boy named Toby. During a scientific demonstration he was accidentally trapped inside a force field with a berserk robot that eventually killed him. His scientist father felt responsible for the incident and constructed a robot in the likeness of his son Toby. But it turns out that Astro Boy is more of a weapon than a cuddly kid, and his father ultimately rejects him. With jets in his feet for flying, super strength and lasers, cannons and machine guns equipped in his body, Astro Boy is ready to take on the challenges of Metro City. Did I mention that he has a machine gun in his butt?
Essentially, the gameplay is an amalgam of genres including brawling, shooting, and platforming. Astro Boy is also able to fly, adding another dimension to the gameplay. But this isn't a thinking man's game, it's pure arcade fun filled with platform jumping, kicking and punching enemies, collecting power-ups, and battling bosses. Astro's enemies are the evil President Stone's army of robots, and there is a good assortment of character models to battle. The bosses are huge and take up most of the screen. They require some patience in learning their patterns in order to ascertain their weaknesses and to learn to attack at the optimum moment while hiding when they are in attack mode.