Ben 10: Omniverse 2 (360, PS3, Wii U, 3DS, Wii)

BEN_BOXIn the popular long-running Ben 10 animated series on Cartoon Network, boy Ben saves the universe by changing into powerful alien beings with a special wristwatch-like device. In the newest video game based on the franchise: Ben 10 Omniverse 2, there are two different types of gameplay: continuously running platformer and arena style beat ‘em up (360 version reviewed here).

In the single player Story Mode, Ben runs through spaceship corridors, streets of Earth, and more. In these sections, gameplay is similar to a 3-D continuously running platformer, like what you might see on tablet devices. Ben can switch to the left and right lanes to avoid obstacles, but sometimes you can’t get around them. This is where Ben needs to switch to one of his alien forms. Before you start a mission you can choose to take three of Ben’s alien personas. You can take one light class alien, one mid class, and one heavy class. You can switch to them by pressing up, left, or right on the D-pad. Although it isn’t very clear in the game how to choose your aliens and switch to them during gameplay.

So as you run down these corridors, switching to the right alien is key. Light class aliens can jump over large pits and small walls. Mid class aliens can fire projectiles, and Heavy class can break through some barriers. Sometimes the game doesn’t give you time to react to these obstacles, though. At the end of each section, keep an eye on the hologram markers to tell you which lane to be in. Sometimes you can go off the beaten path to find secrets and upgrades, though.

Every so often you’ll enter a room where the game changes to be an arena style single room beat ‘em up. Each of the aliens you change into has different attacks and speed, but you can only be those aliens when your meter is full. It’ll go down over time and when you get it, so keep it full by collecting green spheres that appear when you defeat foes and smash objects. If your meter is empty, you’ll change back into Ben and must wait for it to charge. Ben can still attack, but if he gets hit once, you’ll have to start the mission over again! Aside from the main game, you and a friend can challenge the Arena Mode and try to defeat waves of enemies, similar to the single room sections of the main game. Ben10: Omniverse 2 is an OK game, but I think it’ll only really please die-hard fans of the cartoon.


Kid Factor:

Ben 10: Omniverse 2 is rated E-10 with an ESRB descriptor of Cartoon Violence. You can punch, zap, and generally clobber aliens, but defeated characters just fall over and disappear when defeated. If you’re OK with your kids watching the cartoon, they’ll be OK with the game, too. Reading skill is helpful for some of the text. And even though there are three difficulty settings, it can get pretty tough for young players later on, even on Easy.

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