|System: Wii, PS2, PSP, DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: High Voltage||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||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Astro Boy has a number of abilities that can be upgraded. You'll locate these blue-colored upgrades throughout the levels. Most of them are located directly in your path, but others will require some searching. Health, jets, and weapons can all be upgraded, but you don't have any choice in what gets upgraded. That is dictated by the blue upgrade. Each upgrade is immediately noticeable and invaluable, as the level of difficulty seems to increase along with your new abilities. Although Astro Boy can fly and has an incredible arsenal of weaponry at his disposal, the game limits the amount of special moves that you can make. Near the top of the screen is an indicator that displays the number of moves you have left, so you have to learn to conserve them. Use the special moves only when necessary. Average enemies can be disposed of with punches and kicks.
The commands are quick and satisfying. Almost every punch or kick connects, as long as you're in range. Astro even has a great backflip move that allows him to get in close and get out fast. Wall jumping is another great move, and you can even link moves together to increase your devastation and unleash some cool combat animations. Pressing the D-pad down will turn all of the enemies into health for a short period. The more enemies that you surround yourself with the more health you will acquire, but at the risk of them returning to full enemy status with you a little too close for comfort.
As a traditional side-scroller, Astro Boy: The Video Game has just the right amount of new features to keep it from being an old-school clone. The backgrounds display depth and detail, although many of the textures look like sheets that were wrapped around the buildings and platforms. The voiceovers, especially the narrative, is well done. The story follows events in the movie and even goes beyond. The music is mostly upbeat and catchy, perfectly capturing the essence of each situation. There's not a lot of replay value here, just increases in difficulty. Parents should note that although the game has plenty of combat, there is no blood, as the enemies are all robots. While that may be admirable, the robots could at least explode. Instead they just fade away, like the memory of this game will from your mind after it's completed.
CCC Senior Writer