Being a Treasure-developed game, the level of on-screen chaos rarely lets up, but Parents can be assured that any violent content never extends beyond the garish flashes and splashes of colour that accompany each successful attack. With a more-than-generous 'Easy' mode available to soften the game's considerable challenge, the only parental concern ought to be whether younger children will understand the convoluted, repeating narrative.

Fans of the series, however, will doubtless recognise and remember character roles and motives better than a newcomer like myself.

The game's unlockable sound test reveals an extensive variety of 367 sound effects and background tunes, but thankfully none of them are crucial to the gameplay itself. So Deaf and Hard of Hearing Gamers will be pleased to know that Astro Boy is a purely visual, and visceral, slice of old-school greatness.

Andrew Fletcher
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