Astro Boy is a classic Japanese superhero who's had somewhat of a resurgence in recent times, using his butt-machine gun to thwart the globe's evil doers. The world famous animator, Osamu Tezuka, created Astro 50 years ago and his legion of fans have been sweating on a gaming adventure for years. Why? Probably has something to do with his cool powers - the arm cannon, X-ray vision, and his famous 100,000 horsepower strength. As such, he deserves a stronger game than this.
Astro Boy is very simple fare for kids who are fans of the TV series. The graphics do their duty by faithfully re-creating characters and environments from the show, and Astro in particular is a sweet-looking robotic kid. His flying animation is especially awesome - when he uses his famous rocket feet, the effect is right on target. The sounds are a mixed bag, though, with lively music but spare and uninteresting voices.
The uneven controls are a handful, especially during combat sequences. When there's no threat around, Astro cruises like a dream through the air. But once the action heats up, the wonky game cam bangs around and has a tendency to get lost in the scenery. It places poor Astro in peril by forcing you to fight enemies off-screen. Although you can lock-on to individual targets, fighting multiple enemies looks and feels like major chaos.
The game's challenge is moderate in keeping with the youngsters it's aimed at. If you're an experienced gamer who's also an Astro Boy fan, this will leave you wanting more.
Score CardVisuals: Nice graphics and great animation
Audio: Lively music, but uninteresting voices
Gameplay: Moderately challenging; poor combat and camera controls
Developer: Sonic Team