Astro Boy, the little boy robot that helped to pioneer Japanese of animation in the early ‘60s, has made his triumphant return to TV in a remake of his anime series. Due to his newly restored popularity, he debuts in his own PS2-exclusive game thanks to Sega’s Sonic Team, Sonic the Hedgehog creator Yuji Naka, and Astro Boy creator (a.k.a., the “Father/God of Manga“) Osamu Tezuka.
According to the new anime, Astro Boy is a little robot with human emotions who was created by a grieving scientist who lost his only son, only to turn around to become a cute little superhero to thwart the schemes of the evil robot Atlas and other shady characters. In the game, Astro will have to battle with giant mechs who threaten the peace of human and robot kind in Metro City, and with his 100,000 horse power strength, his ready to rumble. With his Jet-powered legs, he can fly circles around his enemies, only to blast them good with his powerful arm canon. His x-ray vision helps him to reveal invisible foes, and his hearing is unparalleled. Astro’s superior brain has the helpful ability to decode robot languages and secret codes. And this is only a preview of Astro Boy’s full potential.
Players will have to awaken and strengthen Astro Boy’s seven super powers throughout ten non-linear, interactive levels that are based in a huge 3D world. They must decide the super power most effective against each of the robot bosses within the game. Secret side quests and items are to be discovered, along with new areas to explore and trading cards to collect. Characters from the anime are within the game to interact with, such as Dr. O’Shay and Zoran. The graphics that make up the world of Metro City don’t do Astro Boy much justice. From what’s seen in the screenshots, the 3D textures look a bit plain. However, the world is very colorful, and the various effects, such as weapon attacks and the smoke trail from Astro’s leg jets, look better than satisfactory. The large environment complete with helpful citizens and nasty adversaries makes up for what, which is in opinion, could’ve been better in the graphics department
The game keeps the mood of the newly produced Astro Boy anime series. Fans of the nostalgic little robot should definitely give it a fair go around when it hits store shelves scheduled in Summer 2004.
3/3/2004 Dmitry Malayev