Astroboy is probably fondly remembered by a lot of people in their twenties and thirties. The young boy turned into a robot became one of the most popular cartoons on television and considering it came from Japan one of the first forays of the anime style cartoon to the western world. Astro recently celebrated his 25th anniversary and to celebrate SEGA teamed up with some developers to make games for the PS2 and GBA on the series. Despite the fact the game is more in the latest series of Astroboy then the older cartoons, its still very much the astroboy many of you will remember, and its also one of the best GBA games to boot.
Astroboy: Omega Factor in terms of storyline is incredibly weak, in fact unless you actually read piles and piles of text and look for a storyline you won't find one. This however does not matter as the gameplay makes up for it and the storyline is pretty much what the whole series is about. Astro being the link between the humans and revolting robots, trying to prevent a war. There is mini stories for each mission but really its not the focus of the game.
Astroboy is a side scrolling platformer which doesn't sound overly interesting at all. However the developers have crafted a unique mix of Astroboys technology and decent platforming games to have us comparing it with Mario and is definitely a must buy for platform fans. Depending on the level you will either be bashing up enemies and moving forward, solving a puzzle in a maze, flying through the sky in a very r-type fashion amongst other things. As you can see there is variety on offer and thats what makes the game one of the best gba games.
Astroboy in line with the cartoon has special abilities such as the finger laser and the ability to use his feet to fly. Also as you progress through the game, you will be rewarded with special moves such as Astro using guns from his back, and a large beam to decimate enemies. This is all determined by the Omega Factor, Astro's brain. When Astro comes into contact with people they can affect him and give you the ability to change astros abilities.
The enemies aren't overly original and perhaps not from the Astroboy cartoons but they are robots and they add to the game experience, making it somewhat like double dragon due to the multiple hits required. They seem borrowed from other sega games such as Sonic which may be why they are such a bright addition to the game. One thing which is stupid is the developers decided large versions needed to be in the game in a very pixelly fashion which somewhat ruins the impressive graphics.
The visuals of the game also help with the impressive side of the game. The cut scenes are freeze frames but look exactly like the cartoon with accurate depictions of Astro, his sister and the professor both in the game and scenes and also the 'moving' 2D backgrounds which adds depth. The levels are also varied enough to keep you wanting to play.
Astroboy: Omega Factor really shows how impressive GBA games and handheld gaming can be when done right. It is possibly the most must buy title on the system right now and even is up there in terms of play value with the DS titles.