Ben 10 Ultimate Alien: Cosmic Destruction Review

Kids games are a tricky breed when it comes to reviews, as it is often hard to objectively review a game that is meant for little ones without your hardcore gaming spirit spilling all over the place. Still, it’s easy to say that a good game is a good game no matter what, and that truly entertaining titles will be good enough to keep adults and kids alike entranced. Here then is Ben 10: The Revenge (well that would have been my choice for the name, not Ben 10 Ultimate Alien: Cosmic Destruction which is ridiculously long!); the second appearance of our multifaceted hero on the 360. Last time around we were treated to a fairly straightforward platforming beat ‘em up, which is probably enough to keep the kids amused for a few hours, but can they stretch the formula to encompass the rest of us? You know, the rest of the family.

"Well, Ben, you're obviously not trying hard enough!"

The short answer is pretty much “no,” as the game serves up more of the same in pretty much every department. Ben 10 and his horde of sidekicks are made aware of an approaching cosmic colossus, hell bent on taking over the planet. Luckily, as otherwise this would have been a very short game, there are pieces of an ancient artefact scattered all over Earth that, when combined, would allow Ben to fight off this incoming nemesis. However, wouldn’t you just know it, the pieces have all ended up in the hands of various villains and Ben has to pummel them into submission in order to set things right. My, doesn’t this sound familiar?

As far as kids games go though, Cosmic Destruction is rather innocuous, as you basically use the various forms in the Omnitrix in order to pummel the various enemies that cross your path. Each form has its own strengths and weaknesses, but you’ll pretty much end up using whichever one is chosen for you on a specific level. Combat is pretty much button mashing fun, although you can also use a variety of special moves to dispatch your foes and speed things along. While the enemies do vary from level to level, they are still amazingly familiar in terms of fighting style – some are melee attackers, others ranged and others require a perfect counter attack to remove their defensive abilities. Even bosses don’t put up much of a fight, with most of them following a very simple pattern that can be easily overcome in a couple of minutes. So far, so generic.

"Stomp, stomp, stomp, stomp. Me. Can. Stomp."

The platforming aspect of the game is a little more fun though, as you can use the various abilities to solve simple puzzles and negotiate tricky areas. However, everything is very obviously signposted and the game holds your hand even in the latter stages. Even kids can remember that green smoke needs setting on fire surely? Apparently not, and the fact you are prompted every time something crops up kind of takes away any modicum of challenge or intrigue.

On the plus side, the game does stay fairly true to the series and plenty of familiar faces pop up along the way to help or hinder your progress. Being able to turn into the ultimate form of some of the Omnitrix creatures is also a blast, although it just devolves into mindlessly beating up wave after wave of enemies. That being said, the levels are nice and varied, though the fact that you have to repeat one of them is a total drag to be honest, while most of the boss fights are also fun to do, even if they are far too easy for the most part. Incidentally, the final Godzilla style punch-up was a good chuckle as well.

"What the hell kind of name is Ben for a pint sized super hero?"

Quite whether or not you can tolerate the game for the six or so hours you’ll need to put into it to finish it, will depend on how much you enjoy Ben 10 as a franchise; as fans of the show will probably get more mileage out of the paper thin plot and repetitive action. The graphics are decent, but only serve to do a job rather than cause your jaw to drop and the voice-work, while commendable, just makes me think that the characters are a bunch of whiny kids. For everyone else this is a strictly by the numbers action game, and one that might entertain children for a few hours, but never threatens to stray into family friendly territory like the LEGO games do.

For anyone interested in a fairly easy selection of achievements, then the latest Ben 10 is for you, as you can easily snag all of the points in under ten hours. The horror of collectables does rear its ugly head though, and you also have to pull off a ridiculously high combo in order to get all of the points too. Those minor quibbles aside, this game is a smooth ride in terms of beating bosses, minions and using all of the Ultimate forms. Even casual players will rack up a quick 800 points with minimal effort as the game practically gives them away.

Ben 10 Ultimate Alien: Cosmic Destruction is pretty much the definition of ‘middle of the road’ for kids games as it doesn’t do too much wrong, but also fails to provide any standout moments or flashes of true innovation along the way. Ben 10 fans will get a kick out of it and it’s worth remembering that this game is mainly for kids, however, that phrase has run its course by now and surely it’s time for developers to start creating family games of a higher standard that can appeal to everyone.

Decent voice-work and at least some semblance of a story, if only it was not so terribly clichéd.

Not terrible, but the backdrops are bland and most of the enemies very dull in comparison to the hero and his posse.

Run around, beat up enemies, then jump up some platforms and repeat. Not inspired stuff, but you can have fun for a while.

A fun Ben 10 game but one that is pretty much identical to the last one, with no added thrills or risks taken.

A bog standard list and one that will only require most players to do the most basic of actions without much in the way of thought.

Ben 10 Ultimate Alien: Cosmic Destruction is a fun kids game, but one that wears out its welcome rather quickly and doesn’t offer anything in the way of long term entertainment or innovation. Rent it for your kids, but don’t expect too much from it.

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