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Astro Boy: The Videogame Review
Review Score:

Spraying bullets out of yer butt is better than sweetcorn

Mentally scarred already? Sorry for the toilet humor, however the whole plotline to Astro Boy is like toilet humor in itself, you just can’t take it seriously. If you haven’t seen the movie already then I suggest you watch it if you haven’t got anything better to do with your life. The plotline is stupid and that resonates in our review today as the version of Astro Boy we are reviewing is based primarily on the narrative of the film. Powerful man’s kid dies, powerful man decides to re-build his kid as a robot and keep all his human memories, powerful man decides to disown his new robot built kid for no good reason other than to make a plotline out of nothing. You see, Astro Boy was never an iconic figurehead in Sega’s tenure at the top, if anything it was a rather obscure game that you had to look sharply for to ever see it. The slick haired robot has had a couple of interesting games during it’s lifespan but unfortunately High Voltage Software has managed to make Astro Boy fall flat on his arse and look extremely mediocre.

oooh, look how crap that mountain looks!

Cut aside the dreadfully muted film clips and cut-scenes out of a Japanese martial arts movie (seriously, they haven’t even bothered to sync the narration up to the CGI) and what you basically have is a two-part game. One that resolves around a side action brawler with some wall and platform jumping sections coupled with other levels that take place in the sky where Astro Boy flies high and shoots lasers at all manner of robotic nemesis that decide to get in his way. The flying sections are definitely more entertaining than the platforming element. Platforming has its own shortfall by the simple fact that Astro Boy will rely on dying and re-using his special moves over and over again because his range of melee attacks are two short and cannot be used at any sort of distance, despite his enemies can. This may have very frustrating if it wasn’t for the forgiving re-spawn ability which aptly makes this game more accessible for the younger generation. Astro Boy has a range of attacks whether it be a drill attack, spraying bullets out of his ass or using a high powered laser these all become reliant to ensure you progress within the game, unfortunately because you use these so much you’ll get bored of them easily. Powerups are similar in the air but the real focus is on the high beam laser that’ll shred through metal with ease.

Graphically this game is woeful, the jaggies on display are perhaps some of the worst we’ve ever seen on the Wii. You can really tell on the platforming segments and especially on the cut scenes. Background scenary is also very sparcely detailed and drives the game into being dull easily. Whilst Astro Boy’s character has been rendered well, you’ll find that there is a distinct lack of imagination when it comes to creating general enemies and whilst some of the boss fights are a little more imaginitive your rinse repeat process will simply gloss over any effort made at that point of the game. Things start to spice up a little in the factory levels but for all intensive purposes gameplay is a bit of a borefest and not even the cheats you can find drive you to stick with the game. My other gripe with the games graphics is the fact that during Astro’s air based missions, he looks blatently layered over the winding 3D background, there is no real sense that he is weaving in and out of buildings and even R-Type on the PS2 managed to do that incredibly well, so that was disappointing.

Just one of the bosses you expect to fight.

In terms of variety Astro Boy does have an arena mode wherby you can take waves of enemies on in both brawl and shoot-em-up fashion, you can try to rack up high scores in five minute sized chunks and for those that are typically a fan with shoot-em-ups they may find something of interest here. The game has a nice drop in 2-player co-op system which should appeal to those with brothers and sisters and ultimately it was a welcomed addition to the game which raised the temperature slightly. I must mention though because you both play as Astro Boy it can be confusing which character you are at times.

In essence then Astro Boy doesn’t do anything original nor does it do anything particularly well. For those that found justification in the movie and wanted a little after movie savour then perhaps this game maybe for you, but for the rest of us we can leave this game in its rightful place, the bargain bin. To be fair anyone who can spray bullets out of their rusty bullet hole deserves a little kudos. Take your son back, he was better than when he was human!

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GD Star Rating
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Astro Boy: The Videogame Review10.0104
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