In the last week and a half, I have played through Astro Boy: The Omega Factor two and a half times. This is actually a fault of the game.
You have to go through everything twice — and repeat certain parts some more in an annoying fetch quest — before you can finally get to the true end of the game. There are some interesting variations in the second play-through, but they are all story related (it’s done in a clever, if simple, way) as all the stages are identical (with a little bit of a difficulty increase). These fetch quests and forced repeats do not work for the for the type of game Astro Boy is.
Ignoring those annoyances, the game is a solid throw-back to classic gaming. Just some good old fashioned punching, kicking, flying, and shooting. Simple and very fluid, with a good challenge if you want it.
It definitely feels like a title that wouldn’t have been out of place during Treasure’s 16-bit heyday. This bodes well for Treasure’s other (half) project, Gradius V, because upon hearing its soundtrack, my frothing demand has increased.
It’s not the best soundtrack ever — not even in the genre* — but it builds anticipation well. The best in the genre would, arguably, be Hitoshi Sakimoto’s other shooter score: Radient Silvergun, which I have neither played nor *fully* heard.
Curious as to what else he had scored, I searched for more information on Hitoshi Sakimoto (discography). I was suprised. Not only is he working on Final Fantasy XII now, be he also did the Final Fantasy Tactics games, Vagrant Story, and pretty much all of the Ogre Tactics games — including a role as co-composer for one of my favourite SNES scores, the original Ogre Battle.
These facts I have likely encountered before, but for some reason his name never stuck with me. Not within the, er, namespace that contains Koshiro, Mitsuda, Iwata, Kondo, Yamamoto, and Tanaka at least.
/me takes note of “Sakimoto”.
In related Treasureness: Treasure’s latest, Guardian Heroes Advance, is scheduled to be released on the same day as Gradius V. odd.