Review: Ben 10

What it is:

A side-scrolling action beat’em up modeled after the new take on the Cartoon Network series, from Outright Games.

The game is out November 14 on Switch, PS4, and Xbox One for $29.99.

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If you’re a fan the cartoon series by the same name, then this title is inevitably already on your Christmas list.  And it should be.  The game is a faithful adaptation of the series, both in visuals and voice acting.

If you aren’t a fan of the show, then there’s still plenty here to love, as the acting is top-notch, the animation is stellar, and the game play is fun, albeit a bit repetitive.

The game play formula is tried and tested, in the style of Double Dragon and so many others in that vein.  Side-scrolling movement, bad-guy punching action, with a few added elements, like counter attacks and specials thrown in for good measure.  Plus, you can change characters (aliens) at any point during the game, and each adds something different to the game, and you’ll quickly figure out your favorite.

The name Ben 10 comes from a kid named Ben and the ten aliens that he can turn into.  When the game begins, you have access to three aliens, and as you play through the game, the additional aliens are unlocked automatically.  My first complaint is that this feels like a missed opportunity.  The game makes it no secret that you can revisit levels that you’ve already beaten and access areas you couldn’t previously get to, but there’s little payoff for that.  This feature should have been used to unlock at least one alien…and perhaps even a secret character that might occupy the center of the character wheel (the Omnitrix).  But then again, this game is marketed for kids.

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To be honest, I had a feeling of what this game would be going into it, and in that regard, it didn’t disappoint.  It’s fun.  It’s a lot of fun.  And whether or not you’re playing because of children, you’re sure to waste a few hours.  But that’s about it.

This game is short, which is my second (and biggest) complaint.  Like a bright star, it burns hot and fast, and then it’s gone.  My son beat the game in two sittings.  There aren’t many levels and only three bosses, and he made sure to tell me that it was way too short, and to put that into the review.  Granted, the game is cheaper than most at only $30, and for that, it’s certainly worth the price, but it does leave you wanting more.

Especially given that Ben 10 has a rich history of vibrant and colorful villains, and to only use three of them seems like another missed opportunity.

My third complaint is that this style of game really lends itself to a 2-player coop mode, and while 2 player doesn’t make sense with the story and characters, maybe the next game they do can be some kind of reality-altering team-up that puts new Ben in contact with a previous version of Ben, with different voices and looks for each alien.

Just a thought.

Story: 

The game begins with the clown villain Zombozo, moves to the Bee Queen, and ends by pitting you against a robot that controls the weather.  The game flows well.

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Controls:

Controls are well utilized, with the trigger buttons switching characters and activating your special, while face buttons do what you expect them to: jump, attack, and special attack.

Art/Animation:

The art and sound are both ripped straight out of the series, so fans of that will feel right at home.

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Why you should play it:

There’s one solid reason you’re going to play this game: you like the show.  The target demographic is boys between 8-12, and those kids are gonna tear the game apart and have a blast.

 

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Let us know what you think of Ben 10 in the comments section below!

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