PS2 REVIEW: ASTROBOY

Astro Boy for the PS2 plays out like a special episode of the popular cartoon series. It sets up the premise for the story, then you fight waves of enemies, take on some bosses and eventually save Metro City. The end.

Created 40 years ago by Osama Tezuka, Astro Boy defined what was to become anime. He's the flagship for Japanamation but because of his appearances in comic books and the 60s cartoon series, the boy robot is equally well known throughout North America. As the story goes, he was originally created as a substitute for a scientist's son who was killed in a car accident. Astro Boy is not human but he's infused with human emotions, not to mention incredible strength and weapons.

Metro City is under attack by swarms of killer robots. Astro Boy will do everything in his power to protect the humans that he loves so dearly. With the use of his punch attack he's able to defeat most of his enemies. New moves, weapons and gadgets will be rewarded to Astro Boy after every couple of levels. Some of the new powers will include laser fingers, an arm cannon, radar sight, 100,000-hp of strength and rocket boots in which to fly.

The arm cannon is one powerful weapon. You can't use it all the time but it sure does make a mess. Flying takes a bit of getting used to but in all it's easier than swinging Spider-Man around in either of the two Spider-Man games. Flight is controlled by the L and R sticks which control the direction and altitude.

Metro City has a great 50s, sci fi look with Jetson-style floating cars and Saturn-ringed skyscrapers but unfortunately the game is too linear to allow for exploration. There are items in the environment however that you can pick up and throw which makes it feel somewhat interactive.

Overall the game is short, repetitive and linear. It relies heavily on formula although playing as Astro Boy holds just the right amount of novelty to last through most of the game. The last few levels that take place in space can really drag you out from repetition. In any case you probably wouldn't want to play this game for more than 10 hours. Mini-games and collector cards don't really add much replay since performing or collecting them have virtually no impact on the main game.

Technically the game is darn good. There are no major bugs to report. Even at 30 fps the animation is smooth. Hell, it's even better than the original cartoon. The voiceacting is decent and the music is uplifting and dynamic.

Whatever you do, don't purchase Astro Boy. It makes a great rental since you can finish it in a day or two without having a nervous breakdown.

System: PS2
Dev: Sonic Team
Pub: Sega
Released: Aug 2004
Players: 1
Review by Shelby
RATING (OUT OF 5)
OVERALL
3.5
GRAPHICS
4.0
CONTROL
4.5
MUSIC/FX
3.5
VALUE
1.0