E10+ (Cartoon Violence) Release Date:
October 5, 2010Screenshots: Link Amazon: Buy Now! Written By:
Matthew PruntyOctober 24, 2010
- While being a newcomer to the Ben 10 videogames; which are based off the popular Cartoon Network TV show, you could see signs of a solid title early on in the development of Ben 10: Ultimate Alien: Cosmic Destruction. From the action to the character animations, developer Papaya Studios was looking to ensure that the universe of Ben 10 was presented faithfully and packed the right mix of action and adventure that has made the TV show a hit. While many may look upon the videogame adaptations in a different light than the source material, it’s safe to say that Papaya Studios and D3Publisher have stepped up to the plate and created an experience that is truly worthy of the Ben 10 name. Now how well does the game play…
For those not familiar with the Ben 10 TV show or past videogames, it’s all about a boy named Ben Tennyson who finds an alien pod. Upon examining the pod, he discovers a mysterious, watch-like device called the Omnitrix. The device see’s Ben as “the one” and affixes itself to his wrist permanently, which gives him the ability to transform into a variety of alien life-forms, each possessing its own unique abilities. With these new abilities at his disposal, Ben partners with his cousin Gwen and Grandpa Max to embark on an epic journey to fight off evil, both extraterrestrial and earthly. Fast-forward a few years and Ben is now 16 years old and his trusty Omnitrix has been destroyed, which has forced him to master a new, more power device known as the Ultimatrix. This new gauntlet-like device allows Ben access to all his power and abilities from the Omnitrix, but also the ability to evolve his alien forms into stronger and more powerful versions (ultimate forms).
Now that you are caught up on the history of the Ben 10 TV show, the story within Ben 10: Ultimate Alien: Cosmic Destruction begins with Ben having trouble working his Ultimatrix at the same time his partners Gwen and Kevin are fighting the Forever Knights. Ben is soon contacted by Jimmy Jones who informs him that a massive cosmic storm is on the outskirts of the galaxy, which is making its way towards Earth. Ben and his friends soon stumble upon some information that may have the earth from total destruction. It seems that a hidden artifact, which was placed on earth by Azimuth and his Galvan people many centuries ago, is the key to stopping the oncoming cosmic storm that threatens the Earth. The artifact was broken into several pieces and was scatter across the globe, which forces Ben, Gwen and Kevin to start on an epic journey in order to piece the artifact back together and save Earth.
Ben Tennyson, the boy of action, has the ability to transform into 17 distinct alien forms taken directly from the Ben 10: Ultimate Alien TV show, five of which are “ultimate” versions of popular characters. Some of his transformations include Armodrillo, WaterHazard, AmpFibian, Teraspin and NRG. Depending on whether you have an Xbox 360, PS3 or both, Papaya Studios threw in some exclusive characters, which will definitely appeal to the hardcore Ben 10 fans. For those who pick up the Xbox 360 version of the game, you will gain access to Rath, while PS3 console owners will be able to access Four Arms.
Each mission you embark on will give you access to ten alien forms, of which you choose four to take into battle. Playing as Ben, you will have the option to choose whichever four alien forms you want, or simply go with the recommendations that the game gives you. For the most part, the team the game recommends will come through each and every time, however having the ability to build your own super team is a nice touch for players to create their own experience. Each and every alien form has its own appearance, voice and special attacks which keeps the action interesting. The reason behind the game recommending a team for you to take into each mission is because there are levels that will require certain alien forms. For example, Humungousaur is a strong character that’s able to move objects and turn massive mechanical cranks. If you are on a level where he’s needed and he’s not in your roster of transformations, certain areas won’t be accessible. A nice touch added to the game is being able to switch alien forms on the fly, which can and will keep the battle sequences interesting, while also saving your hide if you get stuck in a sticky situation. You are able to make the alien forms to a direction on the D-pad, allowing you to switch from NRG and Armodrillo on the fly.
Each and every alien form has four special moves as well as three attributes: Strength, Speed and Defense. The attribute determine their effectiveness in battle, however that’s to the upgrade system, a once thought of inferior alien form, can prove to be very valuable in the long run. You are able to able to upgrade your alien form’s abilities and attributes at any time during the game. There’s an added option to automatically upgrade your alien forms for those who don’t want to deal with that sort of thing. There are also key scripted points within the game where five of your alien forms will be able to transform into their “ultimate” form, allowing you to lay waste to hordes of enemies or one big bad boss. While the scripted points in the game are fun to experience, it would have been cool at any point within the game, to be able to make said transformation.
In order to purchase upgrades, you must collect the in-game current, which is DNA. Just like any game, the more upgrades your purchase the more experience things get. Thankfully, the long you play the game, the more currency you acquire. Papaya Studios wanted to make sure that the experience wouldn’t be hampered to the point where the game becomes more of a challenge to complete simply because you are not able to upgrade your characters as you would like. You acquire DNA from defeating enemies and from smashing open breakable objects. With the breakable objects, you don’t have to be in one of your four alien forms in order to collect health and DNA. However, there are exceptions to the rules like when you have to break through a wall, that you will definitely need some muscle behind your swing.
From a visual standpoint, Cosmic Destruction is a solid looking game. The environments and character models are nicely detailed, through they can be a tad rough around the edges. Seeing how Ben and his friends are traveling the world in order to gather the various fragments of the artifact, Papaya Studios made sure to make each and every location from France to China were created to look like their realistic counterparts. There were a few signs of an inconsistent framerate for the game; however it was nothing that would put a damper on the overall experience. In regards to the audio within Cosmic Destruction, Papaya Studios stuck to the source material which has made the TV show a hit. The voiceover work is on par with the TV show, including those cheesy one-liners you tend to hear a lot in these types of games. The musical score is also very solid, though the tracks seems rather short as you will hear the music loop several times if on the level long enough.
Beyond replaying the single-player campaign, there’s nothing to keep you hooked within this title. Depending on how you play the game, you can expect to finish this title in around 6-8 hours. Trophy/achievement enthusiast will play through the game twice to make sure to do everything possible to unlock all the awards for the game. However, once you playthrough the game once, there really isn’t no reason to go back for more… unless you are a diehard Ben 10 fan.
Ben 10: Ultimate Alien: Cosmic Destruction is a straight-forward, action adventure title that you can enjoy from beginning to end. The game does have a few hiccups which affect the overall experience; however none of them would keep you from actually finishing the game. The lack of some form of multiplayer does indeed hurt this game as we are in a generation where gamers are looking for that added something once they have finished the single-player campaign. While I wasn’t the target age for this title, I still found enjoyment in the experience and look forward to future Ben 10 titles. For those who haven’t picked up this game and are looking a solid action adventure title, look no further than Ben 10: Ultimate Alien: Cosmic Destruction.7.5/
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