Friday, January 14, 2011
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
A new Astro Boy video game is set for release on the iPhone. This is a colaboration between Tezuka Productions, Widefos, and SJgames. It's a side scrolling action game that seems akin in many ways to the GameBoy Advance classic Astro Boy Omega Factor. It has a unique art style and looks to feature battles with both Atlas and Pluto. Other famous characters like Dr. Ochanomizu and Inspector Tawashi also make an appearance.
Check out some gameplay footage below!
The game is set for release in 2011 for what will be the 60th anniversary of Astro Boy. It is be available in Korea and Japan first, but other regions including North America and Europe will follow. Stay tuned to ABW for more information on this exciting new game as it develops.
Source: GamePron - ThisIsGame.com
Friday, April 30, 2010
Hidden Numbers-AstroBoy is another point and click type hidden object game from Games2dress. Examine your observing skill by finding the listed numbers which are in different forms. Avoid clicking unnecessarily as otherwise your score will get reduced. Good luck and have fun!You can play Hidden Numbers - Astro Boy here.
Friday, March 26, 2010
Guys, the Alphabets are in danger! We need to help Astro Boy save the alphabets!description.
AstroBoy - Find the Alphabets is another point and click find the alphabets type hidden object game from 123peppy. Analyze your power of observation by finding out the alphabets. For each accurate click, score will get increased and for wrong click, score will get reduced. Good luck and have fun!You can play Astro Boy: Find the Alphabets here.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
It's one day before the release of the Astro Boy movie. And it's a decent enough day, too. The wait has become slightly more bearable. Look what I found waiting for me on my doorstep.
Expect reviews sometime in the next week or so, right here on ABW!
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Thanks to Worthplaying, check out some new screen shots from the upcoming Astro Boy video game.
Included in this batch is a look at an absolutely enormous boss battle with the Peacekeeper, who has grown in size by absorbing other machines and has basically filled up an entire half of the screen! That's huge! If you were wondering why Astro looked so small in comparison to the rest of the screen, now you know!
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
I'm not sure when this happened but it's news to me!
There is a whole bunch of new content on the official Astro Boy movie website. You'll find fully animated video all throughout the site, some exciting new games, and probably more that I haven't seen yet. Check it out!
International fans will be pleased to find a "Worldwide Release Dates" listing for when the movie is set to debut in different countries. Or, maybe you won't be pleased if it turns out that you'll have to wait awhile! Some countries won't be getting the film on October 23rd, and in some cases not until next year. If you're not living in North America, the list will let you know when the film should be showing up around your neighborhood. Have patience, grasshoppers!
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Here it is, folks! I am very excited and proud to share with you this exclusive interview between myself, speaking on behalf of the Astro Boy fan base, and Cameron Rains, producer of the Astro Boy Video Game for High Voltage Software. There are some great pieces of information here, more than any other coverage this game has gotten if I do say so myself, and it's all for you Astro-fans! I also threw in a funny bonus question at the end, and I think you'll all get a kick out of the answer!
The Astro Boy Video Game is set for release on October 20th from D3Publisher. After reading this interview I'm sure you'll be looking forward to picking it up!
Extra special thanks to Cameron Rains for taking the time to give such detailed answers and to David Saba of fortyseven communications for arranging the interview!
Now, without further ado, click the link below for the entire interview, and be sure to leave your comments!
1.) How did High Voltage first get involved in the Astro Boy video game?
CR: High Voltage Software is full of manga, comic, and anime fans alike and when we were presented with the opportunity to make an Astro Boy game, well, elated doesn’t quite cover it.2.) What are some of the challenges faced in developing a game based on a movie that is itself still in production at the time?
CR: With movie license games, schedule is always going to be the biggest challenge. We were very lucky to have such incredible partners such as D3P and Imagi to work with. The professionalism of these two companies helped us so much by making approvals and asset delivery a breeze, facilitating a quick production process. This allowed us to make a high quality arcade shooter/brawler in a short period of time.3.) Who do you hope to be the target audience of this game? And don't just say "Everybody!"
CR: We are definitely reaching out to fans of the film, but we also hope to excite all Astro Boy fans the world over. We also strongly believe that the game features an accessible arcade-like experience that gamers will really enjoy.4.) Games based on cartoons and movies don't always have the best reputation. What does the Astro Boy game do to avoid this trend?
CR: Above all else, we adopted a gameplay first approach. We wanted to make an action-platformer/shooter that rocked and stood up to the perennial champions of the genre. Following in the footsteps of classics like Defender, Mega Man, Ikaruga, and Treasure’s Astro Boy: Omega Factor, we had a solid understanding and appreciation for what makes this genre great. Funneling that good old nostalgic feeling into a new game that really pulls on what is best in the genre definitely allows Astro Boy: The Video game to avoid the pitfalls that most traditional license games fall into. 5.) I really like the decision to design the Astro Boy game as a "new classic". What factors went into making the game this way?
CR: Early in design we all reminisced about the fun we used to have frantically jamming quarters into arcade cabinets as kids, and really wanted to channel that into our game. We also were huge fans of the Treasure title, Astro Boy: Omega Factor for the GBA and noted how well they handled the license. That being said, working in a 2½D perspective (definitely the look of the “new classic”) also allowed us to create an experience that is accessible for players new to games but decidedly nostalgic for people that grew up with the NES.6.) How challenging will the game be on its various difficulty settings?
CR: Astro Boy: The Video Game will be released with four difficulty settings spanning from Easy to Hero. We did this for several reasons, but the primarily accessibility. We wanted to make sure that there would be an optimal way to play for all players. We want a father who has been playing Mega Man his whole life to be able to play the game, enjoy it, and then hand it over to his son who is new to gaming, who in turn will play the game and enjoy it. 7.) How will the motion controls work on the Nintendo Wii version?
CR: The Wii version provides the player the option of playing with Standard or Motion controls. Utilizing motion controls the player can shake the Wiimote or the Nunchuck to engage a special attack. Additionally, we provide the player with the option to completely remap their controller. We do this across all systems, and it is just one more way that we are striving to create a comprehensively accessible experience for the player. 8.) I understand that there is a two-player co-op mode, but both players will be controlling Astro. How exactly does this 2 player mode work?
CR: Players have the opportunity to play through the entire story mode of the game utilizing drop-in-drop-out gameplay. It is truly as easy as a second player picking up a free controller and playing, and since both players get to be Astro Boy, everyone gets to unleash his amazing powers. In addition the story mode, players can play cooperatively through our Arena Mode, a round based survival mode where players compete for high scores.9.) Do Astro's powers and abilities have to be earned through gameplay, or are they all available from the start? Are they upgradeable?
(Additional clarification about this two player mode was provided after the interview. There will indeed be 2 different Astros on screen at the same time when there are two players!)
CR: Astro is provided with all of his abilities pretty much from the get-go, but he will need to find and collect upgrades throughout the game in order to grow more powerful. We have gone to some good lengths to hide his upgrades throughout the levels of the game, so if getting 100% completion on a first playthrough is something that is important to the player, they will have to be diligent in their approach.10.) Without giving too much away, explain a little about the game's story and how it relates to the movie as well as the classic manga and anime. Are there any major changes or additions?
CR: Astro Boy: The Video Game follows the major events of the film, a fantastic coming of age story that bends rejection into the ultimate triumph. We were able to do some traveling in the game that the film cuts between, creating new fiction and some new characters that are unique to the game.11.) Will there be any appearances by other famous characters from the history of Astro Boy band the works of Osamu Tezuka? How about an appearance by Tezuka himself?
CR: Astro Boy: The Video Game works within the narrative framework of the film, and with that in mind you will see some cross-over. We were able to create brand new characters for the game that are inspired by the story of the film, but are decidedly Tezuka in style. We were really in awe of the manga’s style and were really excited to bring that to the game.12.) What kind of secret stuff can we look forward to unlocking?
CR: Sprinkled throughout the game are hidden collectables which will both upgrade Astro’s powers and abilities as well as unlock powerful cheats for the player to use in game. Good luck finding them all, we went out of our way to hide them really well. Old school style.13.) What else can we look forward to from High Voltage in the future?
CR: High Voltage Software always has a few pots boiling! We are really excited to be working on a brand new IP, The Grinder. The Grinder is a brand new cooperative FPS that focuses on taking the fight to some of the most famous monsters of all time. This definitely takes us back to our roots in the Hunter series, oh yeah and the guns are pretty sweet too! In addition to The Grinder we are now working with TRI’s Infernal Engine and are looking forward to bringing our solid track record with the Wii to the XBOX 360 and the PS3, with more solid HVS titles.14.) Anything you'd like to say to the Astro-fanbase as we await this game?
CR: When making this game, the entire team went to great lengths to ensure that we were creating an amazing game that would honor the license and Astro Boy fans to the highest degree. This game is truly for the fans and we can’t wait to give them all an opportunity to check it out this October.15.) And finally... The eternal question! Astro Boy versus Mega Man: Who wins and why?
CR: You have to give props to the original Astro Boy. I mean, where would Mega Man be without Astro Boy to pave the way? Not to mention these three words: Butt Machine Guns. Enough said!
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Found some cool videos featuring the upcoming Astro Boy video game. First is an interview with High Voltage producer Cameron Rains.
And here is a video with Freddie Highmore and Kristen Bell talking about reprising their film roles for the game. This video originally comes the Astro Boy Video Game Facebook page. I uploaded a copy to my YouTube account simply for the sake of posterity.
We also have an actual release date: October 20th, 2009. Three full days before the release of the movie, you can play the game.
Friday, August 14, 2009
Prior to working on Astro Boy: The Video game, I had spent a recreational amount of time with Tezuka’s manga as well as the Treasure GameBoy Advance title, Astro Boy: Omega factor. From reading the manga, I always thought that Astro would make a great game character and Treasure’s title definitely drove that point home. The team was really inspired by the film and especially the manga to create a fun, intuitive game with a strong replay value and amazing characters.Check out the entire interview here.
There are some good questions but I think that we can do better! There are a few days left to get in your questions about the Astro Boy video game for an interview right here on AstroBoy World. Don't miss this excellent opportunity!
Friday, August 7, 2009
UPDATE: Questions have been sent!
All right, Astro-fans! Consider this a call to arms!
I've got the opportunity to make a list of questions about the upcoming Astro Boy Video Game and have them sent to be answered by one of the game's producers. But I'm not going to hog this privilege to myself!
So I am asking you, the fans and readers of AstroBoy World to make this list of questions the best it ca be!
Send in your questions about the Astro Boy video game to Astroboy @ SykoGrafix.com with "Video Game Question" in the subject line. I will pick the best questions, gather them together, and send them off to my contact who will (hopefully) have them answered by a producer. I'll share the results with all of you here!
A few points to consider.
- Questions about the game only, no suggestions. It's a little late for suggestions at this point.
- Please send your questions via e-mail only! Not by leaving a comment here on the site.
- Take a look through the "Games" tag here on this site to familiarize yourself on what we know about the game at this point, so they you can ask a really good question that isn't already answered.
- Try not to ask any questions that obviously can't be answered, including serious spoilers.
- There are no guarantees that your question will be selected, and even if it is, there are no guarantees that it'll be answered at all. But, we're going to give it a try!
- Don't have a question? Help spread the word! Ask your friends, post on anime and video game message boards, and get as many other people you can in on the action.
Click the link below to read the Astro Boy video game Fact Sheet.
ASTRO BOY: THE VIDEO GAME
In ASTRO BOY: THE VIDEO GAME, players become the iconic hero, Astro Boy, and take to the streets and skies on an epic adventure to save Metro City from the clutches of the evil President Stone and his robot army. Utilizing Astro’s entire arsenal of iconic weapons and abilities, players will battle hordes of fearsome foes including some never-before-seen enemies across Metro City and the mysterious Surface. Using an intuitive combat system that adds depth to gameplay, players will experience classic platform action and exhilarating flight combat levels as they use Astro’s unique rocket boosters to hover, avoid enemies and zip out of the way of danger. ASTRO BOY: THE VIDEO GAME offers numerous unlockable and collectible elements as players live the story solo or side by side with a friend in 2 player co-op mode. ASTRO BOY, the new CG-animated movie from Imagi Studios, blasts off into theatres everywhere on October 23, 2009 from Summit Entertainment.
- Become Astro Boy – Play as Astro Boy, the beloved character from the feature film and classic anime and interact with the much loved characters from the movie universe.
- Experience Astro Boy’s Iconic Weapons – Use Astro’s entire arsenal of iconic weapons and abilities— Strength, Flight, Finger Lasers, Arm Cannon, Butt Machine Guns and Drill Attacks.
- Unique 2 ½-D Graphics and Gameplay – Experience classic platform action and exhilarating flight combat that pit players against waves of enemies.
- Battle Fearsome Foes – Battle hordes of robot enemies and colossal bosses including some never-before-seen enemies across Metro City and the mysterious Surface.
- Two Player Co-op Mode – Live the story side-by-side with a friend in 2 player co-op mode for Wii™ and PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system.
- Numerous Collectible Items – The game offers numerous unlockable and collectible elements that include exclusive artwork, different versions of Astro to unlock and more.
ASTRO BOY, the new CG-animated movie from Imagi Studios, blasts off into theatres everywhere on October 23, 2009 from Summit Entertainment
Platforms: Wii, PlayStation 2 system, PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) system and Nintendo DS™
● Wii, PlayStation 2 system, and PSP system versions created by High Voltage Software
● Nintendo DS version created by Art Co Ltd
Release Date: October 2009
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Big time update on the Astro Boy video game, set for release this fall from D3Publisher to coincide with the CG animated movie by Imagi.
Freddie Highmore (Astro) and Kristen Bell (Cora) will be reprising their vocal roles from the film in the game. This should give players a great experience to go along with the movie. I would not expect others like Nicolas Cage to be in the game too, but at least it's something.
There is a brand new Astro Boy: The Game website, with pictures and information, as well as a Facebook page dedicated to the game, for you kids out there who are into that sort of thing.
Thanks to David at fortyseven communications for sending me this info directly! You can check out a press release with all the details by clicking the link below.
Freddie Highmore and Kristen Bell Reprise Their Film Roles in Video Game Based on Imagi Studios’ Astro Boy Movie To Be Released by Summit Entertainment On October 23, 2009
LOS ANGELES – July 14, 2009 – D3Publisher announced today that ASTRO BOY: THE VIDEO GAME, based on Imagi Studios’ highly anticipated CG-animated movie, will feature the voice talents of Freddie Highmore and Kristen Bell. Both actors will reprise their onscreen voiced roles of Astro Boy (Highmore), and Cora (Bell) in a video game that will take players on an epic adventure to save Metro City from the clutches of evil. ASTRO BOY: THE VIDEO GAME will be available in North American retail stores for Wii™, Nintendo DS™, PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, and the PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) system on October 20, 2009 to coincide with Summit Entertainment’s nationwide domestic release of the movie on October 23, 2009.
“We’re pleased to work with both Freddie Highmore and Kristen Bell on ASTRO BOY: THE VIDEO GAME,” said Alison Quirion, vice president of marketing, D3Publisher. “Their participation adds an even greater level of authenticity to the video game and further immerses players in the Astro Boy universe.”
Erin Corbett, president of Imagi Studios U.S. and chief marketing officer worldwide, said: “ASTRO BOY: THE VIDEO GAME is a prime representation of the deep and wide-ranging partnerships we have lined up in all major licensing and promotional partner categories. We are pleased to be able to expand the Astro Boy universe along with the fan experience through the film’s video game companion.”
In ASTRO BOY: THE VIDEO GAME, players become the iconic hero, Astro Boy, and take to the streets and skies on an epic adventure to save Metro City from the clutches of the evil President Stone and his robot army. Utilizing Astro’s entire arsenal of iconic weapons and abilities--Finger Lasers, Arm Cannon, Butt Machine Guns and Drill Attacks, players will battle hordes of robot enemies and colossal bosses including some never-before-seen enemies across Metro City and the mysterious Surface. Using an intuitive combat system that adds depth to gameplay, players will experience classic platform action and exhilarating flight combat levels as they use Astro’s unique rocket boosters to hover, avoid enemies and zip out of the way of danger. ASTRO BOY: THE VIDEO GAME offers numerous unlockable and collectible elements that include exclusive art work, different versions of Astro Boy and more, as players live the story solo or side by side with a friend in 2 player co-op mode on Wii and the PlayStation 2 system.
ASTRO BOY: THE VIDEO GAME for Wii, PlayStation 2 system and PSP system is rated “E10+” (Everyone 10 and up – Fantasy Violence) and is under development by High Voltage Software. The Nintendo DS version is rated “E” (Everyone – Fantasy Violence) and is under development by Art Co. Ltd.
For more information on ASTRO BOY: THE VIDEO GAME, including game features, screenshots, and videos, please visit: www.AstroBoytheVideogame.com.
About Astro Boy
Imagi Studios is currently in post-production on Astro Boy, produced by Maryann Garger, directed by David Bowers (Flushed Away), and written by Timothy Harris (Kindergarten Cop, Trading Places) and Bowers. The CG-animated motion picture features the voices of Freddie Highmore, Kristen Bell, Nathan Lane, Eugene Levy, Matt Lucas, Bill Nighy, Donald Sutherland and Nicolas Cage as ‘Dr. Tenma’.
Set in the future, Astro Boy is a classic superhero origin story about a young robot with incredible powers and his adventure-filled journey in search of his identity and destiny, taking him into a netherworld of robot gladiators before he returns to save Metro City.
The iconic character Astro Boy has found global popularity since his creation in the early 1950s by Japan’s Osamu Tezuka, known as the “god of manga” and “father of anime”, and has been the hero of three acclaimed animated television series aired around the world.
Astro Boy, slated for North American release on October 23, 2009, is being distributed worldwide by Summit Entertainment except for Imagi’s reserved territories of Japan, Hong Kong and China.
About Summit Entertainment, LLC
Summit Entertainment, LLC is a worldwide theatrical motion picture development, financing, production and distribution studio. The studio handles all aspects of marketing and distribution for both its own internally developed motion pictures as well as acquired pictures. Summit Entertainment also represents international sales for both its own slate and third-party product. Summit Entertainment plans to release 10 to 12 films annually.
Imagi International Holdings Limited (Stock Code 585, OTCQX: IINHY) is a listed company on the main board of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Imagi Studios’ principal business is the development and production of CG-animated theatrical feature films. Imagi’s first theatrical movie TMNT was released in March 2007, opening #1 in U.S. box office revenue, the first time in history that an Asian animated film achieved that honor. Imagi’s CG production studios are located at its Chai Wan (Hong Kong) corporate headquarters with development and marketing operations based in Los Angeles, California, and an office in Tokyo. Astro Boy is Imagi’s next motion picture for worldwide theatrical release in October 2009. For further information, please visit www.imagi.com.hk.
About High Voltage Software, Inc.
High Voltage Software, Inc. is an award-winning studio that has been developing games and simulations for over 16 years. Located in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, it now employs over 170 staff members. The independent company has successfully produced a wide variety of license-based video game titles that include competitive racing, professional sports, horror, motion picture adaptations, and military simulations, and is now making its foray into original and innovative intellectual properties. More information about High Voltage Software and its products can be found at www.high-voltage.com.
D3Publisher, a subsidiary of D3, Inc., is a leading interactive entertainment publisher and distributor for licensed and original titles for personal computers, major console platforms and handheld systems. D3Publisher has operations in the U.S., U.K., and Japan. The company also owns development studio Vicious Cycle Software, Inc., and its technology platform, Vicious Engine. Recent releases have included Dark Sector®, Dead Head Fred®, Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords®, Ben 10™: Protector of Earth and BEN 10 ALIEN FORCE™The Game. For more information about D3Publisher, please visit: www.d3publisher.com.
Friday, July 3, 2009
Wow, that's a lot of bad guys.
Kotaku recently got a close look at the Nintendo Wii version of the upcoming Astro Boy video game, developed by High Voltage Software and published by D3 Publisher. There are plenty of screens and some new impressions of the game, including a little bit about how the game will take advantage of the Wii's unique controller. Make sure you check out Kotaku's Astro Boy Video Game Impressions and see for yourself.
It seems to be shaping up nicely!
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Here is a great video interview from E3 with a producer from High Voltage Software, who is talking about the upcoming Astro Boy video game, which is set for release this fall from D3 Publisher.
There is a fair bit of detail about the game's features, inspirations, and challenge level here. One thing that's quite interesting is that Astro will have the ability to absorb his enemies' projectiles, which he uses to heal himself.
Check out the video below! Thanks to TRUEGAMEHEADZ!
Source: Nintendo Raw
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
The fallout from E3 is still in effect. Siliconera brings us their impressions on the Astro Boy video game, set for release this fall from D3 Publisher and based on the upcoming animated film by Imagi. There is some clarification on how the different ground and air modes will play like, and confirmation that the classic GameBoy Advance game "Astro Boy: Omega Factor" is in an influence on this new game. Some light is shed on the 2 player mode as well.
Here are the highlights.
“Omega Factor was a big influence,” a developer explained. He also cited Ikaruga and Einhander as other games that the team examined when planning Astro Boy: The Video Game. In the air Astro blasts mechs with his finger laser. On the ground Astro has his butt machine gun. I mostly saw the sky stages where enemies flew at Astro in patterns that reminded me of Gradius.
D3’s game also has a cooperative two player mode. Instead of making player two Uran or Astro’s doofus brother Cobalt, both players control Astro. So, I guess one player gets Astro’s long lost clone brother.
So, by the sounds of this, it looks like there will be two Astros in this game. It's probably best not to think about the logistics of that.
Read "D3’s Astro Boy Game Inspired By Omega Factor" on Siliconera.
In other news, D3 Publisher now has a small Astro Boy section on their website.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Gametactics managed to score some face time with a representative from D3 Publisher at E3 last week and get a first hand look at the upcoming Astro Boy video game, based on the animated movie by Imagi set for release this fall. Check out the video interview below.
"A classic game for a new audience" - Sounds good to me! I absolutely think that is the best approach for this character.
Check out the full scoop at the Gametactics.com Astro Boy preview.
Friday, June 5, 2009
Check out the trailer for the upcoming Astro Boy video game, developed by High Voltage Software and set for release this fall from D3 Publisher.
The game has been getting quite a bit of coverage, mostly with a positive outlook on it, which is suprising for a movie tie-in game. We can now confirm that this game is indeed being influenced by "Astro Boy: Omega Factor". Here are some of the gaming sites that have covered the game thus far. You may find some screen shots or new tidbits of information there.
All the coverage I've found has been for the Nintendo Wii version of the game. The PS2 and PSP versions are likely to be much the same, gameplay wise. However, I have yet to find any new info on the Nintendo DS version, which is developed by a different company and will likely be a completely different game entirely.
I am glad to see that the game will be a simple 2D platformer rather than anything else. Not only does that style of game lend itself well to Astro Boy's personality, but every year there are so many licensed games that try to be too much, totally miss the point, and don't turn out very good. It remains to be seen how good this game will wind up being, but at least this way there's a pretty good chance that we'll be playing a decent game this fall.
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
The Electronic Entertainment Expo is happening right now in LA, and the world of video games is abuzz with all of the bombshell announcements and playable demos that have come out of the show.
D3 Publisher is on hand with our very first look at the Astro Boy video game, and it is looking good! 30 levels of 2.5D, left-to-right platforming and shooting action on the Wii. From the look of the screen shots, it's looking like the now classic GameBoy Advanced game "Astro Boy: Omega Factor" may have been a big influence. This new game also uses the same engine as High Voltage Software's anticipated release "The Conduit", so you know it's going to look great on Nintendo's little white box. There's even a 2 player mode!
Most movie-based games don't turn out very well, but Astro Boy certainly has some promise. It'll be released in October, right along with the movie. You can read more info and see some some screen shots thanks to Gaming Nexus E3 2009 coverage, or by clicking the link below for archived coverage right here.
E3 2009: D3
Posted by: John at 6/3/2009 12:53 AM
At the D3 area in the Namco booth, I was shown a few titles that tied into movie and TV shows. Astroboy is a movie coming out in a few months and High Voltage was brought in to bring the game based off the movie to life. The game, which is slated for the Wii, PS2, PS3, and DS, uses the same engine as The Conduit but turns it into a side scrolling platform game. It’s a 2.5D game where you have a left to right action but set in a 3D environment.
Astroboy is easy to pick up so it’s accessible for all range of age groups and gamer experience. Besides melee attacks, Astroboy also has a drill attack, arm cannon, finger laser, and the popular butt machine gun. Yes, Astroboy shoots bullets in a circular motion from his butt. It’s always a crowd pleaser.
The game has four difficulty levels ranging from easy and for those that are hardcore gamers wanting a challenge. There are 30 levels comprised of both material inspired by the movie and all new content. The levels aren’t just side scrolling platform style game as I was shown an R-Type like flying sequence with Astroboy. The one really unique feature of the flying sequence was seeing Metro City rotate around in the background. It was really smooth and unique looking to a side scrolling shooter.
When you encounter enemies in Astroboy, some may look the same but the color they exhibit tell you what kind of attack they can do. For example, an enemy with green will throw grenades while those same enemies in blue will carry a machine gun. It’s a system that can benefit kids who will know what kind of enemies they are based on the color scheme.
If you got a friend, the person can pick up a controller and join in as a second Astroboy. It’s nice to be able to cooperatively play with someone. While there aren’t any hard-coded team attacks, you can use Astroboy’s basic abilities to setup some tag teaming.
High Voltage as taken great care to keep the iconic image of Astroboy. No matter which way he’s facing, you’ll always see the two spikes of his air. They also worked hard to make sure the game is easy to play for everyone and to pay homage to the manga and anime. Look for Astroboy in October to be released with the film.
Source: Gaming Nexus
Saturday, May 30, 2009
Video Game website Kotaku has a new opinion piece about Astro Boy, largely inspired news of the upcoming Astro Boy videogame coinciding with the CG Animated movie coming to theaters this fall.
In this article, an important question is asked: Why isn't Astro Boy in more video games?
An excellent question, don't you think?
While no firm answers are given, there is some discussion about Astro's prior video game outings, as well as the connection to Mega Man. It's quite an interesting read.
The image to the right is from "Astro Boy: Omega Factor" for the Nintendo GameBoy Advance. It's one of my favorite games ever and I hope to get a chance to write more about it here some time.
You can read "Our Missing Video Game Robot Hero" on Kotaku or by clicking the link below for an archived version.
Our Missing Video Game Robot Hero
By AJ Glasser, 2:00 PM on Wed May 27 2009
Osamu Tezuka's beloved boy robot, Astro Boy, defined an art form, inspired a nation, and is a cultural icon worthy of the Robot Hall of Fame. So why doesn't he get more video games?
Not counting his first Japan-only forays on the Famicom and Superfamicom, Astro Boy has only appeared in one PlayStation 2 game and one GameBoy Advance game. The year was 2004 and both Sonic Team and Treasure Inc. (partnered with Hitmaker) developed games based on the 2003 anime remake of the original 1960s Astro Boy cartoon. Sonic Team's PS2 game, Astro Boy, was pretty lousy while Hitmaker/Treasure's GBA Astro Boy: Omega Factor was one of the best things to happen to handhelds that year. Since then, we've got nothing but a quietly-announced, never-demoed tie-in game to the upcoming CGI Astro Boy film directed by David Bowers.
Astro Boy's absence from video games could be due to many reasons – licensing, marketing, etc. – but two big ticket items ultimately tank any hopes of a serious Astro Boy gaming franchise: demand and need.
There's not enough demand for Astro Boy video games in the United States because we don't love him the way they do in Japan. The 1960s cartoon didn't even complete its full 193-episode run in the States when it originally aired in 1963; and it took decades before Dark Horse Comics to translate and publish the manga. Poor Astro Boy just wasn't on the radar as America's resident robot hero.
Back in 1960s Japan, when Astro Boy was first created, there was a desperate need for heroes. World War II had been over for more than a decade, but there was a loss of hope in the country and a profound fear of technology and nuclear weapons*. Anime and manga icons like Astro Boy and Ashita no Joe restored to Japan a sense of purpose and youthful optimism they'd lost in the war. Also, science-y things like Astro Boy put a friendly, rosy-cheeked face on technology, which helped the country cope with the devastating fear inspired by the A-bomb attacks.
In short, Japan needed Astro Boy and America didn't. Without the need for the robot boy hero, America never established a connection to Astro Boy that would inspire parents to make their children watch the 1960s cartoon. Later when the 2003 reboot of the anime series reached America, the show still couldn't find its audience and was canceled after spawning the hideous PS2 game and the wonderful GBA game.
That's not to say America can live without robot heroes.
We have one, in fact, and his name is Mega Man. Mega Man does most of the same stuff as Astro Boy – he even has the beam cannon on his arm – and he beat Tezuka's beloved boy robot to the US gaming scene by a good decade or more. He may not be as fleshed-out a character as Astro Boy, because Mega Man didn't start out with a manga or cartoon series to establish his back story. But he did have the whole filial piety thing going on with his creator, Dr. Light, which was similar to the connection Astro Boy had for his adoptive father figure, Dr. O'Shay (a.k.a. Dr. Ochanomizu, Dr. Packadermus Elefun, Professor Peabody, Jimmy Durante's nose-twin). So what if Mega Man wasn't about childlike wonder or youthful optimism; so what if he never did anything serious like address racism against robots. Mega Man was about kicking robot ass and Americans can totally get in on that.
So, alas, Astro Boy. We loved you in Omega Factor and we respect you as a cultural icon worthy of Mickey Mouse's company – which is why you're in the Robot Hall of Fame. But Mickey doesn't have a great gaming franchise and so far, you don't either. Maybe your upcoming tie-in movie game on PS2, Wii, PSP and DS will be good. Heck, maybe the film itself will be awesome. But in the meantime, we'll be sticking with Mega Man 9.
*The Films of Akira Kurosawa, Donald Richie
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Thanks again to GoNintendo, here is an updated look at what should be the final box art for the upcoming Astro Boy video game, developed by High Voltage Software and set for release this fall through D3 Publisher.
Looks like they'll be using unique artwork instead of the movie poster, which I certainly approve of.