The Digest: If you’re a fan of the hit Cartoon Network show, then this game is for you. With 10 different forms to use, it will certainly keep you entertained. Don’t expect anything innovative, this is a fairly straight forward beat ‘em up game with some light puzzle elements mixed in.
THE FACT SHEET
RELEASE DATE: October 27th, 2009
PUBLISHER: D3 Publisher
DEVELOPER: Papaya Studio
ESRB RATING: “E 10+” for Everyone 10+
Players will experience an action packed adventure in the vast ALIEN FORCE universe, as they take Ben and the Omnitrix into outer space and alien home planets for the first time ever in the series. In an original storyline developed exclusively for the game, Ben will use ten of his alien forms and their special powers to battle his greatest enemy, Vilgax and an extreme team of fearsome foes in an effort to thwart a grand scheme to conquer the universe one planet at a time.
- Experience the most advanced Ben 10 game ever
- Play as 10 Alien Heroes
- Battle Fearsome Foes – Battle against a roster of Ben’s most infamous villains and foes, including his ultimate nemesis, Vilgax
- Exceptional Level of Authenticity – The game’s art style and sound effects authentically represent the television series, with all voice acting provided by the original television cast
I’m going to have to assume that if you have an interest in this title, it means you are a fan of the show. It certainly caters to that audience and is fairly obvious as you are thrown directly into the game under the assumption that you know most of the backstory. While this is the case, you don’t necessarily need to know it to play through it. If you’re unfamiliar with Ben 10 (as I was), here’s the outlining plot:
Ben 10 (Taken from Wikipedia)
Ben Tennyson, his cousin Gwen, and their grandfather Maxwell start their summer camping trip. Ben goes stomping off into the woods after another fight with Gwen, whom he is not happy to have along on the trip, and finds an alien pod on the ground. When he examines it, he finds a mysterious, watch-like device, called the Omnitrix, stored inside. The device attaches permanently to his wrist and gives him the ability to transform into a variety of alien life-forms, each with their own unique powers, quite similar to DC Comics‘ Dial H for Hero comic. Although Ben realizes that he has a responsibility to help others with these new abilities at his disposal, he is not above a little super-powered mischief now and then. Along with Gwen and Max, Ben embarks on an adventure to fight evil, both extraterrestrial and earthly.
Each alien (Echo Echo, Goop, Brainstorm, Chromastone, Big Chill, Humungousaur, Spidermonkey, Swampfire, Jet Ray, and Cannonbolt) has a unique set of abilities that are required for different situations. For instance, Spidermonkey can be used to climb up poles and shimmy across ledges to reach areas not accessible under different forms. Brainstorm is used to hack consoles. The big bruiser, who happens to lamely be named Humungousaur, can destroy obstacles and move objects. While he is at least 5 times the size of the other forms and supposedly stronger, when you fight with him, his attacks don’t seem to convey a greater force than the other characters. Like all the other characters, each have a combo and a special move. The green gauge is used as an indicator for using your special attacks. It recharges, fairly quickly I might add, so you don’t really need to ever worry about running out. That also applies to your health. All destructible objects found scattered throughout the stage contain life, so it’s easy to heal yourself to max level. You also never run out of lives, so have no fear of dying.
Fighting is a big part of the game, but it is limited mainly to just basic attacks and combos. There are no lengthy or complicated combinations, but you can use them in conjunction with your special abilities. The boss fights require you to figure out each of their weaknesses and then for you take advantage of them.
While the fighting wasn’t particularly challenging, I would say if there was any part that required your attention, it would be pulling off your strategies throughout the game. The user will be presented with plenty of obstacles for you to figure out ways to navigate around. These situations will require the use of the abilities of the various forms in order to successfully navigate through them. There are also very light puzzle elements. Basically just following patterns, flipping switches, moving objects, and timing presses when you’re hacking consoles.
So while the graphics look clean, they are pretty poor by Xbox 360 standards. I would probably put them on par with a highly polished original Xbox title. All the main characters are probably the most polished with the environments coming in at a close second. The effects, on the other hand, are pretty weak. They rarely look like what they’re supposed to be.
Bringing in the voice talent from the TV Series helps to raise the authenticity of this title. Albeit one voice in particular becomes extremely annoying to hear, especially since you use the character, Spidermonkey, quite frequently. Granted the different alien characters only say their name. The in-game music is fairly bland, nothing you would really pay much attention too.
The controls are very simple. Strong, weak and special attacks are all mapped to single buttons along with jump and block. The only annoying thing was cycling through all the different forms. You use the shoulder buttons to do that, and then another button to activate that particular form. It would’ve been far easier if they went with a wheel selector. Pulling the LT is used to focus you in the direction of a point of interest. While not broken, it didn’t always work. This leaves the player to rely on their own intuition to figure things out.
Another element in the gameplay takes place on your interstellar trips. You take command of Ship, Ben’s girlfriend’s pet, to travel to different planets. On these trips, the game changes to a shooter mini-game, where you destroy incoming objects on the verge of colliding with you. If you aren’t a fan of playing through these, you are given the option of skipping them.
Conclusion: Those who are fans of the show will really enjoy this game. Bringing in writers from the television series, fans are treated to an original story. Having the option to choose between 10 different forms will certainly please them too. For those of you in the dark about the source material (that would be me), or for those that just don’t care too much for it, then you’re better off renting the game.
|- Faithful to cartoon fan base
- Series writers have created an original story
- 10 Alien Forms to use
- Changing the difficulty to something more challenging
- Simple fighting system
Single Player: 6/10 | Multi-Player: N/A
Special thanks to D3Publisher of America for providing us with a copy of the game for review.