An enjoyable 2D adventure,
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This review is from: Astro Boy: Omega Factor (GBA) (Video Game)
As a fan of the more modern Astro Boy anime series (although not of the more recent film) I felt that this was a must-buy. Although it doesn't exactly follow the plot of the series, the usual characters make their appearance, however briefly, as well as a number of other characters from the author's other works. Most have very little relevance however and only have a brief description on the main menu after they've been discovered, and only appear once, essentially there only for those familiar with the author's work.
Without wanting to give too much of the plot away, it was engaging and interesting, but not exactly gripping. The changes in dialogue after the first playthrough as you try to unlock the real ending are sometimes amusing thanks to Astro's prior knowledge, as well as the changes this makes to the world and the gameplay. Tracking down and discovering the various hidden characters was challenging, but some were rather obscure and needed either a guide or pure luck to find, and other than granting Astro a power up they didn't greatly add to the gameplay.
As for the gameplay, it was nothing as revolutionary as Astro Boy himself. The most basic commands are punch and kick and jump, with the boosters increasing the jump distance and chances to dodge depending on how much they've been upgraded. The digi-beam fires a small laser across the screen, while the arm cannon fires a larger and much more powerful one and the machine gun scatters bullets across the screen and stuns enemies, but only after Astro's powered up a little.
Once you've got the hang of the controls however, it quickly becomes repetitive - a small bit of dialogue sets the scene, then enemies appear and Astro beats them up, travelling through several sections and discovering different characters along the way who may or may not have something interesting to say, before finally beating the boss by attacking their weak points. I realise I could have just described pretty much any video game there, but that's kind of the point - other than the setting, and a little gimmick at the end of the first playthrough that I don't want to spoil, there's very little to set this apart from the rest.
In the end, that's the game's main problem. It plays fine, but it does little to draw you in. I enjoyed it, but that's because I was already a fan of Astro, and even I can't say there's much replayability. A shame, as it could have been something really special, but in the end this game as more in line with the average robot going through the motions rather than the state-of-the-art Astro built with cutting-edge-technology. Essential for fans, but for anyone else I'd advise them to give it a miss unless they're looking for some casual fun. 6/10