Ben 10: Omniverse is the newest in the series of long-running Ben 10 animated shows on Cartoon Network. Ben is a boy who has a special wristwatch-like device that transforms him into all sorts of powerful aliens. He uses those powers to defend the Earth from intergalactic evil. In Ben 10: Omniverse, based on the new saga, Teen Ben and Young Ben team up with his new partner Rook to save the day once again in this new 3-D action platformer beat ‘em up available for all major current game consoles (Wii and DS versions reviewed here).
In the Wii game, player one is Ben 10. A second player can join in at any time as his partner Rook, otherwise the computer will control him. Ben can punch and kick, but his attacks aren’t very strong. But by pressing one of the directions on the D-pad, Ben can turn into one of several powerful aliens from the show. These include a four-armed brawler, a rolling armadillo thing, an electric Sasquatch, and more. Each alien has its own special moves and abilities, and some powers can even help you solve puzzles. Even though you can only switch to four forms at a time, there are other aliens that you can change to, just map them to one of the buttons on the pause screen. Collect items to fill the meter so Ben can stay in his alien forms. If it runs out, you’re back to being just Ben again. His sidekick Player Two Rook can’t morph into aliens, but he has a special weapon that can change to different fighting tools.
You’ll travel to all sorts of locations from the cartoon show, battling robots and aliens along the way. Unfortunately, there are a few things that keep this game from being very good. Sometimes goals are a little unclear and unless you know a lot about the aliens from the show, you may not know what to do at times. Mapping which aliens to switch to is also confusing at first, and play control is a bit sluggish as well. Only the most die-hard Ben 10 fans will enjoy this.
Despite being on the most underpowered game system, the DS version of Ben 10 is much better. The DS game is a 2-D single player platformer brawler. You’ll play as Ben and travel from left to right, jumping over obstacles and beating up bad aliens. Switching to different aliens forms is easier here because all you have to do is tap on the bottom screen on which one you want. The graphics are especially nice, with characters that look almost hand drawn and meticulously animated.
Ben 10: Omniiverse on Wii is rated E-10 with ESRB descriptors of Cartoon Violence and Animated Blood. The DS version is also rated E-10 with descriptors of Cartoon Violence and Comic Mischief. I didn’t see any red stuff, but I do know the ESRB counts green alien bug guts as blood. Ben and Rook beat up all manner of robots and aliens, but if you’re OK with your kids watching the cartoon show, they’ll be OK with the game, too. Reading skill is a must to play, and younger players and less experienced gamers may get frustrated at the difficulty, as the game can be pretty hard, even on the Wii’s Easy Mode. But big fans of the cartoon show may like the game anyway.