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#546 Astro Boy: Omega Factor - Treasure / Hitmaker

Release Date: 2003

Original Platform: GBA

Played On: VisualBoyAdvance (GBA) emulator

Objective: Protect the world from powerful robots, human terrorists, and ancient sorcerer's as you move through various aspects of Osamu Tezuka's works.

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How it Works: Astro Boy: Omega Factor contains both beat 'em up and shoot 'em up type levels. Both play very similarly, except that you cannot move backwards or melee attack in shoot 'em up levels. Astro is able to punch, kick, and fire a laser as his primary attacks. Upon successful attacks, his "EX" meter fills up, allowing him to use special attacks: a machine gun and a large laser. For movement, astro can walk normally or use a dash move (temporarily making him invincible), or use a much larger dash by spending EX.

The game features a very large number of characters hidden in the levels. By finding these characters, the Omega Factor web is filled in, and you are awarded a point that can be spend increasing skills.

Thoughts: Astro Boy is not a perfect game, but it is enjoyable. Levels can get repetitive, but the bosses are all a joy to fight. The beat 'em up levels designed with more care than the shoot 'em up levels, which are occasionally unfair. The best aspect of the game is piecing together the crazy narrative and finding all the characters from Osamu Tezuka's universe (which requires two playthroughs). Try it out, but expect some slowdown when playing on an emulator.

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