Astro Boy: Omega Factor, released in Japan as Astro Boy: Tetsuwan Atom (アストロボーイ・鉄腕アトム?) is a beat 'em up video game developed by Treasure and Hitmaker, and published by Sega. 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.
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.
Astro attacks enemies using high-powered punches and kicks, which can also knock enemies into other ones and destroy them as well. Using attack moves slowly fills a gauge at the top of the screen. Once the gauge is filled, Astro is able to perform a special attack; 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.
Astro's physical performance improves throughout the game. 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. 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. The game features two difficulty levels in the Japanese version, and three in the North American and European versions. Critics have remarked that the Japanese version is comparatively easier.
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