|System: PS3, X360, Wii, PS2, DS, PSP||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Papaya Studio||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: D3Publisher||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Oct. 19, 2010||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by James Trujillo
The world needs saving once again, and who better to do it than a sixteen-year old boy named Ben Tennyson? He began his galaxy-saving career at the young age of ten in his first original animated television series, Ben 10. It all started on a summer camping trip with his cousin and grandfather, when Ben discovered an alien artifact called the Omnitrix. This mysterious device bound itself to Ben, granting him the ability to transform into other alien life forms with incredible powers. Knowing that he had just inherited a great responsibility, he decided it was best to use his powers for good (and the occasional silly antic) to help rid the universe of evil.
The Ben 10 franchise became successful after their start in 2005, and later expanded to tell the stories of his older-age escapades. The original series was followed by Ben 10: Alien Force, which took place five years later in the storys canon. The creators of the series decided to take a more mature approach in telling Bens story, and dealt with the more common aspects of teenage life, even including character death for the first time in the franchise. This series was later followed by the third and most current installment, Ben 10: Ultimate Alien, which brought the story forward one year to Bens current age of sixteen. At the beginning of the new series, Ben was granted a new version of the Omnitrix, called the Ultimatrix, after the original was destroyed. This updated artifact gave Ben all of his previous abilities, but with the new capability to transform into more powerful Ultimate versions of his alien forms.
Ben 10 Ultimate Alien: Cosmic Destruction is currently the fifth video game in the Ben 10 franchise, an all-new adventure separate from the television series canon. This iteration of the story has Ben spanning the globe through several real-world locations in search of ancient Galvan artifacts to save the world from an impending doom. Unless youre already a fan of the franchise, then youd probably have no idea what is going on when it comes to the plot. The story is presented in a manner that doesnt bode well for newcomers, and is obviously only targeted for their already established demographic. However, story isnt always everything, and as long as the gameplay can hold up you can still have a decent experience.
Problem solving is a key element of the gameplay in Cosmic Destruction, and it coincides with the many alien transformations at your disposal. Each form has different abilities that are needed in order to progress through each stage. Although you can only select four at a time, you can pick any combination of aliens you wish before each mission. Unfortunately, this feature isnt well-done. If you stray from any of the three recommended forms they give you, then youll likely get stuck at some point during a level. The only form you can change without any real consequence is the optional suggestion. Its strange the developers decided to give such freedom in character selection, considering that you cant complete levels without using the recommended forms.
The puzzles in the game can range anywhere from laughably easy to downright frustrating. The same also goes for some of its platforming moments. There are sections in which you need to have spot-on timing to dodge or jump through an obstacle, or instances when a puzzle is only solved through random experiments. These occasions werent frequent, but it was enough to make the experience a little less enjoyable. However, if you have enough patience and persistence to stick through these junctures, then most of these scenarios can actually be quite fun.
Early on in the game, the combat feels weak, but as you progress and reach more difficult enemies it can be somewhat rewarding, while still very simple. Its a button-masher at heart, and small combos can be strung together by pressing the same button multiple times. However, a few tougher enemies can only be beaten with well-timed counter-moves, and a large group of baddies can swarm you to make matters worse. This is where your aliens unique abilities can come in handy. Each form has four different special attacks from which to choose. Two are varying melee assaults, which can unleash multiple combos, another is an area attack for when youre surrounded by enemies, and the last is a ranged attack. Every forms ability starts off small but can be upgraded during the game by collecting DNA.