Created 50 years ago by Manga progenitor Osamu 'God of Comics' Tezuka, Astro Boy is the star of a popular 60s and 70s Japanese comic and television series that also ran in the US, and was more recently re-made in colour and distributed worldwide. A jet-powered robotic boy, Astro Boy’s brief is to protect the good citizens of the futuristic and heavily mechanised civilisation of Metro City from the forces of evil. He is endowed with ‘the strength of 100,000 horses and a heart of gold'.
His adventures, in essence a science fiction re-telling of the Pinocchio story, are the subject of two new video games, one on the Game Boy Advance developed by hardcore favourites Treasure, and this offering on PlayStation 2, published by SEGA and developed in-house by Yuji Naka’s Sonic Team. As Astro Boy, the player explores Metro City, rendered in the style of the animated series, through 10 different stages, making use of his jet-powered boots, laser beam hands and searchlight eyes to combat the forces arrayed against him. Gameplay features seven different special abilities, varying in style and power, for the robotic one. Sub-missions where scenes from the animated series can be unlocked should please fans of the cartoon, as should 46 character profile cards, collectable in game.