Handheld Adventures Part 3: Astroboy: Omega Factor

Astro Boy. What can I say about this famous anime series? It was basically the first anime series ever created, and still stands as one of anime’s best series of all time. I have to admit, I just enjoy this old series. Still, with every popular series of anime, there is always some plan for a game of the same name. Now, only two Astro Boy games have come here into the American audience, one for the Playstation 2, and one for the Gameboy Advance. The one I will be reviewing today is the Gameboy Advance game, Astro Boy Omega Factor.

The plot of this game is kind of a mixed bag of stories, since it combines different elements from all the different Astro Boy incarnations. In my opinion, it’s a pretty good story. It has to do with Robot Rights, an ancient underground city, time traveling, and it is just awesome how they tied all this into one handheld game. Now, before I talk about the game play, I want to talk a little bit about who made the game. I didn’t really rent this game because of the title of the game. I picked it up because of a little-known name that produced this game. That name is called Treasure. Treasure in the Past has been known for making great high quality games like the Gunstar Heroes series, the Guardian Heroes series, and single games like Alien Soldier and Wario World.

The game is a hybrid, in the form of a part beat em’ up and a shoot em’ up. It’s like they took the game play styles of some of their last games and put them into this one game. You basically go through 7 levels divided into multiple chapters, beat down enemies from the Astro Boy universe, and fight a boss at the end of each chapter, like Atlas, Pluto, Blue Knight, and etc. Now, for physical attacks, you have the basic punch and kick attacks, but since this is Astro Boy we’re playing, you also get weapons like a finger laser beam, an arm cannon, and, umm, machine guns coming out of your backside. You also can use your boosters to get to higher places, and you use them to fight some bosses and to go through the shoot em’ up sections of the game.

The graphics are just awesome for a Game boy Advance game. Still, you can’t really be surprised since Treasure has always done a good job in the graphics department and the sound department. The story is amazing. It is serious and dark halfway through the game, and there is always a plot twist from time to time. The sound is interesting, and it’s enjoyable to listen to. The animations are smooth and pretty to look at. This is, to my surprise, one of the only few licensed games I actually care about. That’s kind of hard to say this time around, since so many licensed games are just horrible. Alas, there is a few licensed games to actually care about, and this is one of them.

Sadly, it is time to get down to the bad parts of this robotic creation. The really only bad thing I can say about this game is the procedure you have to go through during the second part of the game. You have to play through all the levels twice, and then after that, you have to backtrack through a couple of the levels and do certain things and that can get pretty confusing since you don’t get a clear note on where to go and where that person is. In a game, I kind of like a linear progression, and I think this game should have stayed linear. The hints are also kind of confusing since they can tell you where to go, but the hints themselves aren’t that descriptive.

My final conclusion is that this is a really fun game and it is one of the better Game Boy Advance games out there. I would highly recommend giving this game a try, so I say, rent it or buy it. For people who don’t know this, there is a new Astro Boy movie coming out later this year and I am just excited.

This game gets an 8.2 out of 10.