Astro Boy: The Video Game Review
Wii | PS2 | PSP | DS
Astro Boy: The Video Game box art
System: Wii, PS2, PSP, DS Review Rating Legend
Dev: High Voltage Software 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: 1-2 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+ 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

The other half of Astro Boy's equation is the SHMUP gameplay. It's side-scrolling, in-the-air action, á la Nanostray 2 (DS), but it's completely formulaic and uninteresting. Enemies swarm in from the front, behind, and corners of the screen - everything you've come to expect from a typical, Galaga-esque-type game - and aside from utilizing your Specials, all you have is a dull laser to combat enemies with. There are no cool blasts and explosions that fill the screen, and as a whole, Astro Boy is a journey that just feels lifeless in almost every way.

Astro Boy: The Video Game screenshot

The production of the game bears a lot of blame in that respect, too, since neither the sound nor visuals do much to elevate the experience. There are elements of Astro Boy that look really good, such as various aspects of the lighting and shading, but there are many more chunks of really poor visual design. Certain portions of grass are represented by huge, blocky green textures, and things only look worse when the camera comes in close during cutscenes. The aesthetic is mostly there for this game, but the execution feels completely rushed.

The music sort of straddles the fence in terms of what it has to offer the adventure - neither taking away from the game nor offering anything of value. Themes are generic and loop without cadence during moments of excitement. The sound effects, though, do add a bit of satisfaction to portions of the combat, but it's just not enough to make Astro Boy a fun game to play.

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Though many folks will consider this game because they enjoyed the movie and want to extend the experience at home, others will be curious because of the enjoyment they had with Treasure's version of Astro Boy for Gameboy Advance some years back. The latter group, unfortunately, is sure to be let down by High Voltage's use of the license. An Arena mode (a type of survival mode) makes the short list of extras, but the package is still incredibly anemic. The game controls fine, and there are moments of mild enjoyment, but Astro Boy for Wii and PS2 is an otherwise premier example of "average" in gaming. With so much great content coming out for the holidays, there's little reason to throw your gaming dollars at this adventure.

By Tony Capri
CCC Freelance Writer

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
2.5
Graphics
There are elements of the visuals that are impressive, but conversely, there's a whole lot of ugly design here.
3.5
Control
Controls feel responsive, and the selection of moves during beat'em-up combat is fun. The SHUMP portions are pretty uneventful.
2.9
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Some sound effects add flavor to combat, but the music is completely lackluster.
2.0

Play Value
The story mode clocks in at roughly three hours in length, and the Arena mode does little to add value to the package.

2.5
Overall Rating - Average
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • Become Astro Boy - Play as Astro Boy, the beloved character from the feature film and classic anime and interact with the much loved characters from the movie universe.
  • Battle Fearsome Foes - Battle hordes of robot enemies and colossal bosses including some never-before-seen enemies across Metro City and the mysterious Surface.
  • Two-Player Co-op Mode - Live the story side-by-side with a friend in two-player co-op mode.


  • Screenshots / Images
    Astro Boy: The Video Game screenshot - click to enlarge Astro Boy: The Video Game screenshot - click to enlarge Astro Boy: The Video Game screenshot - click to enlarge Astro Boy: The Video Game screenshot - click to enlarge Astro Boy: The Video Game screenshot - click to enlarge Astro Boy: The Video Game screenshot - click to enlarge Astro Boy: The Video Game screenshot - click to enlarge Astro Boy: The Video Game screenshot - click to enlarge

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