PSP Review – Ben 10 Ultimate Alien: Cosmic Destruction
Cartoon Network’s Ben 10, the animated series about a boy who gets an alien device attached to his arm that allows him to turn into alien creatures, is getting the videogame treatment. But does the game follow in the footsteps of the myriads of poor TV based games, or can it break the mould and provide a thrilling gameplay experience?
Without giving away too many story elements (which honestly there isn’t that much) Ben 10 centers around Ben Tennyson, Gwen Tennyson and Kevin Levin as they embark on a quest to save earth from destruction. At the root of the game is Ben’s ability to use his Ultimatrix which allows him to fuse his DNA with the alien DNA and become one of ten different aliens. The major difference between this, and previous titles is that Ben has more power this time around. He can change into various aliens as before, but now at certain points in the game, turn them into their ultimate forms to give him more power to carry out his missions. To use those abilities, the game has a very nice feature: alien quick switch. The quick switch is an excellent idea because, just as happens with the show, you can move back and forth between aliens at will during battle. That becomes extremely important as you progress and need the nullifying ability of one alien and the power of another. Additionally, before the start of a mission you’re given a recommendation of what aliens to select which helps if you’re not familiar with the Ben 10 universe.
One area where the game shines is the use of different aliens. In some areas, the right combination of aliens is needed for combat, to solve puzzles and to progress to different areas. The character models were true to the cartoon, and the alien’s size in reference to their environments was spot on. The game did an excellent job at faithfully recreating the aliens from not only the current season but earlier ones as well.
Graphically, the game is just average. Frame rate issues, screen break up, clipping problems really detract from the game experience. Combine this with a camera system that doesn’t help and finds you often lost behind items and you have multiple problems while you traverse the different landscapes.
Sound-wise, Ben 10 does a very good job at recreating the Cartoon Network show. The sound effects and particularly the voice actor’s from the series being a part of the game really legitimizes the title. When the graphics and gameplay make you feel as though you’re playing an average game, the voices pull you back in to the world of Ben 10. The music, while not outstanding, “fits” what you would expect from watching an episode – which isn’t much to write home about.
With no multiplayer, no replay value, and an overall average experience make this one tough to recommend even to fans of the series. It’s true as an adult, that I might not be the target audience for this game… fair enough. But with so many more challenging experiences on the PSP, it’s hard to suggest this game to parents buying for their children…let alone for themselves. This one is definitely a bargain bin title, or a rental. If this were a movie review, I would tell you to catch Ben 10 Ultimate Alien Cosmic Destruction at a matinee… or wait till it hits the dollar theaters.
PlayStation LifeStyle’s Final Score
– Average graphics.
– Poor gameplay mechanics.