No matter how old you are--you've probably seen or heard of the amazing Astro Boy in some form or another. Armed with finger lasers and handy-dandy red rocket boots, the lovable child robot will be flying onto the silver screen later this summer. High Voltage Software, the developer of The Conduit, is working on the video game adaption of the movie, so you can take to the skies and play as the young boy who has far too much firepower for his age. At the 2009 San Diego Comic-Con, we were able to meet with Cameron Rains, the producer of the game, to talk about Astro Boy and see how this action hero performs on the Nintendo Wii.
Astro Boy has been around since 1951, but in the upcoming movie/video game, the story will focus on how he came to be and finding acceptance. But in between all the drama, he'll use his full arsenal of weapons (including butt machine guns) to try to save Metro City from the wicked President Stone and his robot army. One thing we noticed immediately was that Astro Boy was fully clothed in the game, whereas he's usually parading around in superhero briefs and rocket boots.
Cameron talked about wanting to create a fun action platformer for fans and gamers alike, referring to developer Treasure and Astro Boy: Omega Factor as an example. Astro Boy for the Wii is in 2.5D, with 3D character models and environments but 2D-style gameplay. You'll be side-scrolling like you would in a traditional platformer and will shoot enemies from the sky in the flying sections, which will be roughly 40 percent of the time. What's great about the game is that there is drop-in, drop-out co-op play, so you can vanquish robotic minions with a buddy. It can get chaotic onscreen, especially during the flying segments, but it's always more fun to go on an adventure to save the world with a friend.
The controls are easy to pick up because you're basically moving around and firing. In typical HVS fashion, you can customize the controls to your style of play. There are motion controls as well, if you want them, but Cameron emphasized that the goal is for players to play with whatever feels the most comfortable to them and not be stuck with a default control scheme.
The story mode will take you on a six- to eight-hour adventure, but because Astro Boy can be upgraded with items that you find, chances are you won't be able to fully deck him out by the end of your first run-through. There's an arena mode, which was described to us as a round-based survival game in which you try to beat your high score, whether you're playing solo or cooperatively.
Astro Boy retains his charm and appeal on the Wii, but that's not hard to do considering how talented this android is. (Did we already mention butt machine guns?) He can fly, he can drill, he has arm cannons, and he can shoot lasers from his fingertips. See Astro Boy in action when he swoops onto the Wii, PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable, and Nintendo DS (by Art Co. Ltd.) on October 20.