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Astro Boy: The Video Game
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Astro Boy: The Video Game, is rated E10+ because it contains a lot of fantasy violence. Robots, some very human in appearance and behavior, engage in destructive combat blowing each other apart. Astro Boy's weapons include hand cannons, a "drill attack," and a "butt machine gun," in which guns pop out of his bottom. Also, the game's themes and action could frighten younger kids.
What's it about?
ASTRO BOY: THE VIDEO GAME follows the story of the feature, animated film which is an updated version of a classic, Japanese cartoon hero. Astro Boy is created by scientist, Dr. Tenma as a substitue for his dead son. Tenma soon decides the robot boy is no replacement for a real boy and banishes him from the city, a floating metropolis, to earth. There he befriends other outcast robots and re-fashions himself as a hero. Ultimately, Astro must save his father's city from the evil President Stone and his mechanized army. The game uses classic, side scrolling action in 2-D, though the characters and environments are presented with three dimensional look. The fast paced gameplay takes place in the air, with Astro flying and blasting aircraft, and on the ground. Players deploy punches, arm cannons, machine guns, lasers, and a drill attack to defeat mechanical foes. Each weapon and skill upgrades as players progress through the game. There's also a cooperative mode where two players can team up and an Arena Mode to take out as many robots as you can in a limited time.
Is it any good?
The controls are simple, and the gameplay fun and challenging. For older players weaned on 2-D side-scrollers such as Gradius, Mega Man, Contra, the gameplay will scratch a nostalgic itch, and younger gamers will enjoy the fast, sometimes chaotic action. Appropriate difficulty levels make the game easy enough to dip into, but extremlely challenging for advanced players. Cooperative gameplay is particularly satisfying, as players buddy up to defeat an onslaught of robot foes.
Astro Boy: The Video Game is not especially innovative or graphically impressive title. Still, for fans of the franchise and the style of gameplay or those looking for a simple, well-designed and fun experience, this is a worthwhile game.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the story. Astro Boy has a wealth of special powers, but contains human memories and emotions. He's an outcast and rejected by his father/creator and finds a home among the robots. Are there people and situations in the real world that parallel this story?
Astro Boy: The Video Game has similar rejection story themes to Pinocchio, Iron Giant and Wall-E. Familes can talk about those themes.
The style of game (2-D sidescroller) is relatively old fashioned. Does the absence of 3-D graphics and gameplay make a difference?
For kids who love make-believe worlds
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.