I have been trying to get into Anime for quite sometime now, and I just never really know what to watch or read. I know that I liked the Fist of the North Star comics when I was little and I just recently finished Fist of the North Star: Lost Paradise and thoroughly enjoyed my time in Eden. I happened to see a copy of Astro Boy on a used game store’s shelf and decided that I might like the tale of a small android boy with a soul. Now I will say this isn’t the game based on the movie, I found myself the game based on the actual series which just so happened to be developed by Team Sonic. They had their hands in a lot of pots back in the day, and their games from the PlayStation 2 era are really yet to disappoint me. The title was released on April 18, 2004 and was published by none other than Sega. This team up should be a match made in heaven right?
The story begins with the birth of Astro Boy, you see Dr. O’Shay make sure that he survives his difficult birth, but also notice that the doctor is raising him as well. You gain control of our beloved little character after he has been alive for 40 days, kind of Biblical huh? As you tinker around in your home and get the lay of the land you begin to find out more about yourself, what powers you have and what you can do. When you leave your home you’re all set to take on the dangers that are suddenly befalling Metro City. You keep defeating boss after boss until all is finally revealed to you in a not so spectacular fashion. This game is painfully short, and would fill up your weekend with little to know replay value. I’m glad I got it on the cheap and didn’t pay the full price fifteen years ago.
Seeing as this game is almost fifteen years old, the controls will take a lot of getting use to. We have been so spoiled by camera control the past couple generations that when I encounter a game without camera control I almost shut it off. It is frustrating to move the right thumbstick and not have the camera submit to your will. Astro Boy uses fixed camera angles which can lead to rage quitting at points. Square is an action button that you use to open doors, interact with the environment and people in the world. In battle it is also punch, yes the square button got all the love from the development team that is in love with rings; so in love with rings in fact that Astro Boy have to fly through them to navigate the hub world. You learn to fly early on in the game so that you can fly to different parts of Metro City, the direction is the left analog stick and the altitude is the right analog stick, once again Square is used to allow you to accelerate. Combat is kind of tough, you lock on to the enemy with L1 and then mash Square until you are prompted to hit another face button to unleash massive damage. The fixed camera angles also do little to endear these big boss fights to you.
Once you get use to the wonky controls of yesteryear this game does have some fun to be had. Ignoring the fixed angles and beating up boss after boss can be very satisfying. The unfortunate thing about this game is that it can be finished in almost one sitting if you really have a couple Red Bull’s. I’m fortunate that I found a copy of this game on the cheap just due to the fact it is a Team Sonic game. Just wished it would have been better. This is really good just for a borrow, I wouldn’t drop substantial money on the title seeing how short it is with little to no replayability. If you want a good Team Sonic game from this era may I suggest tracking down Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg instead? That one will be hard to get, but it is worth the hunt!