Alien Beat Down.
I know absolutely nothing about Ben10. I know it was a cartoon show on Cartoon Network for years and then they created a reboot of the franchise. That’s about it. All of a sudden, my Editor-In-Chief asks me to review a new Ben10 game. I figure “why not?” Now that I’ve played it, I really didn’t mind it at all.
Ben10 is a 2.5D side scrolling beat ‘em up where players control Ben as he traverses levels pretty much beating up anything that he comes upon. Ben wears an alien bracelet that allows him to transform into 10 different alien forms that gives him extraordinary power. As far as a gameplay standpoint goes, this is the main mechanic. Ben transforms to fight his enemies using different attacks. He will also have to change forms in order to reach different areas of a level.
Platforms: XB1, PS4, PC, Switch
Price I’d pay: $25
Each alien form has a special alien power that uses up a meter that is filled while attacking. These are usually crowd control abilities that can damage and knock enemies back when Ben is overwhelmed. Some are varied. XLR8’s ability slows down time in an area and he can just race by enemies beating the crap out of them. It was a move that I used that I actually said to myself “Ok, that’s actually really cool.” But his best move is the ultimate attack that screen clears all the enemies. This can only be used when his Omnitrix bracelet’s bar is filled, which can take some time.
Each of Ben’s alien forms can be upgraded up to three times using green orb currency that is dropped by enemies and from beating items in the environment. These upgrades usually come in the form of harder hitting attacks, but each alien form varies much like their attacks do. It adds a bit more to it than just button mashing. Along with that, many of the combat encounters offered up a challenge that could reward Ben with more green orbs. These usually revolved around beating all the enemies within a certain time limit or with a certain alien form.
Ben starts off with only three forms to play as. Throughout the game, he will acquire more. This was nice since it allowed me to get used to each form before trying out all the new ones. I eventually found a few favorite forms and decided to fully upgrade them to go throughout the entire game. Fourarms and XLR8 were my jams. In the earlier levels, I found places I couldn’t get to due to me not having the right alien form unlocked yet, so there is some replay value to the game. It was usually to gather a collectible card hidden away so it wasn’t that big of a deal, but for the completionists out there, it gives them a bit more to do.
The combat itself is a standard beat ‘em up. Mash attack on some enemies until they die. There is also a counter mechanic that actually worked decently well. Much like the Batman games, enemies will have a button appear above their heads when they’re about to attack; Ben can counter them and extend his combo if the player times it right (which is not that difficult at all.) Ben can also hit that button when an enemy is knocked down to do a finishing move that instantly kills them.
It’s actually a shorter game than I was expecting, but that actually worked in its favor. By the time I finished it, I was starting to feel fatigue from the combat. While I didn’t mind it at all, doing the same attacks with the same aliens was starting to wear me down a bit. Luckily, I was pretty much done with it by the time I was getting there.
There are some issues I had with it while playing. The jumping, while not that important, was way too floaty for my tastes, and while the game was simple looking in nature, the performance left something to be desired. The game would slow down in frame rate far more times than I liked, and while it never hindered me, it most certainly was noticeable. The final issue, this is a classic beat ‘em up – why not have a multiplayer mode? Maybe Ben is the only one with powers in the show, I really don’t know, but at least let me couch co-op with a friend. It’s a fun beat ‘em up and adding an extra player to the mix would have been even more fun.
Ben10 is a decent little game. It’s not going to blow anyone away, but it’s definitely not a horrible time either. In fact, I enjoyed some of the alien powers a lot and I think a fan of this franchise can have some fun here. Not to mention, it’s at a budget price that I think is just right for this game. Did this game make me a Ben10 fan? Not particularly, but when the next game comes out featuring Ben Tennyson, I might actually pay attention to it.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.