I admit, I wasn’t familiar with the world of Ben 10 at all before playing this game – in fact, I had to consult with my 8-year old son, as he seems to know everything about it. Will a game like that be able to hold my interest then? It appealed to him yes, but he’s only 8 – what does it do for a “hardcore” gamer?
Story: Ben Tennyson is not your average 16-year old boy. Rather than chasing tail, and worrying about kid things, he gets to go about saving the world from various alien menaces. From what I understand, Ben started his world-saving adventures when he was ten (get it? Ben 10 – he was 10, and his name has Ten in it…clever?). While on a camping trip with his cousin and grandfather he found an alien watch-looking artifact called the Omnitrix that fused with him, imbuing him with the ability to shape-change into other alien species – all with tremendous and different powers.
Apparently in this “later” version of the original universe, Den has an upgraded Omnitrix, called the Ultimatrix, which enables super-powered versions of his other forms called “Ultimates”. From what I can gather from my research, this game has nothing to do with the story already present in the animated series, and is fairly stand alone; however if you’re not already vested in the series and canon, you’ll probably be completely lost as to the plot.
Ben is searching the globe for various Galvan artifacts to save the world again from certain doom. The certain doom mentioned is a cosmic storm that has the potential to wipe Earth out of existence. You meet and fight various bad guys along the way who want to stop you, but I’m not well versed enough to remember their names – sorry about that.
Gameplay: There is quite a bit of problem solving in this Ben 10 game. Each requires you to think of which alien form to change into, and which of their powers to use to overcome the issue. Granted, it may not sound like the most complex concept, but this game was made for kids. It has just the right level of difficulty in it, that my son was truly excited when he was able to pass sections without help, and that is something that always makes me happy.
The rest of the game features some standard platforming sections where you have to have decent timing to get through them, and an interesting combat mechanic. While in the early game the combat feels extremely simplistic, it quickly gets more difficult with harder enemies. The game is a button-masher at it’s core though, with combos being able to be strung together pretty effortlessly.
Graphics: The graphics are really “meh, but I attribute that to the fact that they’ve ported this game across SIX platforms. When you’re putting a game on basically EVERY platform out there (minus PC and PS1), there’s bound to be some sacrifices made. I noticed some framerate hiccups while playing through, and even a few times that my PS3 locked up on me to the point I had to restart. On the DS, it really looks like any other average DS game, with nothing standing out.
Sound: The sound, like the graphics, are also pretty low-quality. Again I attribute this to the whole 6 platform thing. I will say though that the voice acting does sound pretty spot-on, if only the volume levels were more equalized and there was a bit less distortion. I believe they used the same voice actors that do the cartoon (90% sure from the two cartoon episodes I watched)
Wishes: I wish they would have focused on fewer platforms, and not done the whole “money grab” thing. I understand though that they wanted to try and get this to a larger audience, but there’s only so much you can port something before it looks (and sounds) like garbage.
Final Thoughts: If you have a child, or someone who really enjoys the cartoon series, I think this would be a great game for them. Coming into the market at a lower price-point than most games is a serious bonus to them as well. The game might not be super long, but it does provide enough amusement for the younger crowd – although most hardcore gamers won’t like it much at all.
Overall, I give Ben 10 Ultimate Alien Cosmic Destruction 3 out of 5 Michelas.
(3 Michelas? What does this mean?) 3 Michelas is like drinking 3 of your favorite drinks, you feel relaxed, happy and ready to socialize. Not quite at the peak of your buzz, but definitely feeling good.