Astro Boy: Omega Factor

Astro Boy: Omega Factor[lower-alpha 1] is a beat ’em upvideo game developed by Treasure and Hitmaker, and published by Sega (THQ in Europe). The game was released for the Game Boy Advance on December 18, 2003 in Japan; August 18, 2004 in North America; and February 18, 2005 in Europe. The game is based on Osamu Tezuka‘s manga and anime franchise Astro Boy. However, it also features characters and plotlines from the artist’s entire canon of work.

2003 video game
Astro Boy: Omega Factor
Developer(s) Treasure
Hitmaker
Publisher(s) Sega (JP/NA)
THQ (EU)
Activision
Director(s) Tetsu Okano
Producer(s) Mie Kumagai
Designer(s) Mitsuru Yaida
Programmer(s) Mitsuru Yaida
Writer(s) Tetsu Okano
Composer(s) Norio Hanzawa
Tsuyoshi Kaneko
Platform(s) Game Boy Advance
Release
  • JP: December 18, 2003
  • NA: August 18, 2004
  • EU: February 18, 2005
Genre(s) Beat ’em up
Mode(s) Single-player

While Astro Boy had been well known for decades in Japan, the North American release was delayed to coincide with the premiere of the Astro Boy TV series in 2004. During this delay, Treasure made some game improvements to the North American version of the game. The game received positive reviews from critics, with strong praise focused on the game’s visuals, and limited criticism on level design. In 2010, the game was included as one of the titles in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die.[1]

. . . Astro Boy: Omega Factor . . .

Astro defeats aerial enemies.

Omega Factor is a beat ’em up game starring Astro Boy, the main character of the Astro Boy media franchise.[2] Astro attacks enemies using high-powered punches and kicks,[3] which can also knock enemies into other ones and destroy them as well. Doing some damage to the enemies will slowly fill the EX gauge at the top of the screen.[4] Once the gauge is filled, Astro is able to perform a special attack;[5] rather than simply helping the player, these are required in some situations. Astro is also able to fly using rocket power, which is also sometimes necessary.[6]

Every non-player character the player meets scores a point that can be used to improve one of Astro’s stats, such as strength or flight speed.[7] This is generally not necessary to beat the game, but the incremental stat increases can make the game easier, as well as allowing the player to find hidden areas in levels.[6] The game features two difficulty levels in the Japanese version, and three in the North American and European versions.[8]

Omega Factor features elements from Astro Boys different incarnations. The concept of robot rights, Dr. Tenma’s ultimate plan for Astro and the robot city of Robotonia in Antarctica are lifted from the Astro Boy 2003 TV series. Plotlines from other Tezuka series include a time travel plot lifted from Marine Express, a journey to the lost continent of Mu, and a subplot involving Duke Red’s daughter and her role in the “Death Mask” orbital platform. The game is divided into two episodes: Birth and Rebirth. The Birth episode follows Astro’s adventures and other characters he interacts with, and ends with robots being destroyed by a device called Death Mask, after it determines that the robots are too dangerous to be left alive, leaving Sharaku able to conquer the Earth. In Rebirth, Astro is revived by a being called Phoenix, and has Astro go back to the beginning of the story and try to stop the Death Mask, giving him the ability to go back and forward in time to do so.

The story includes characters from Tezuka’s entire canon of work. The characters are listed in the “Omega Factor”, an in-game encyclopedia of the Astro Boyfictional universe, which provides a detailed character biography, including each character’s appearances and roles in Tezuka’s works.[9]

. . . Astro Boy: Omega Factor . . .

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