Ben 10: Omniverse - Wii U User Review
Super Gamer Dude
Ben 10 Omniverse is a new Wii-U game based on the Ben 10 television franchise. While the game is sure to satisfy die-hard fans of the tv series, newcomers may find the game content enjoyable but a bit lacking. One of the upsides of the game is the sheer amount of characters to play, and while that adds a lot of seeming diversity, the characters themselves lack a commensurate diversity of functions and abilities. The general premise of the game (and franchise as a whole) is that the main character, Ben Tennyson, has in his possession a tool which allows him to mutate into a variety of alien forms.
The aliens are all very interesting and distinct looking and the game allows you to shift into these different entities at any point during the game as they become unlocked. Even the storyline within the game radically shifts between past and future points, there isn't a lot that changes between each time shift, therefore the game comes off as that much more creatively shallow as a consequence. If the developers had added more diversity and richness to the settings contained within different time frames, it would have added a much needed sense of immersion.
There is a certain degree of creative problem solving within the game that can be quite compelling, however. When different environmental challenges present themselves, Ben must inhabit the different alien forms he has it his disposal in order to use their specific abilities to overcome an obstacle. These physics-based situational puzzles are relatively entertaining and fairly engaging, yet the simplistic difficulty seems to skew to a younger audience.
Besides the numerous environmental puzzles, combat tends to make up the meat of the game-play. As you travel from one obstacle to the next, you're bound to run into a variety of enemies that need to be dealt with. By far, the most rewarding element of the combat-based game play involves the initial experimentation you find yourself immersed within when trying to find the optimal strategy for dealing with the opposition.
After you get the hang of how to properly take down the enemies, however, the challenge begins to wane, as does the fun and engagement. An interesting quirk contained within the battles, however, involves an energy meter which you have to keep an eye on while inhabiting an alien form as Ben; if the energy meter depletes, Ben's bulky alien incarnation disappears and he is left relatively defenseless until the meter charges up again. This game mechanic makes the combat a bit more involving and requires some planning.
While the Wii-U is capable of fairly impressive graphics, Ben 10 Omniverse is somewhat lackluster. The graphics are not terrible, but they are somewhat sub-par. Additionally, the game is very linear and feels somewhat formulaic after a while. There aren't many surprises to behold. An annoying restriction of the game involves needing to have access to a television in order to activate non-TV play with the console, which is somewhat inconvenient.
Ben 10 Omniverse looks like it had a lot of potential while in development, unfortunately, the overall gameplay is somewhat hampered by a lack of depth and an abundance of repetition. While the puzzles are the main strength of the game, these elements are unfortunately the least prevalent. All in all, a fun game for lovers of the Ben 10 franchise, and a so-so diversion for others.
A mediocre title.
Super Gamer Dude
Ben 10 Omniverse is a classic example of a game that relies on a TV fan-base to be successful. Keeping in mind that the game is obviously targeted at boys aged six to ten, it succeeds on a few levels and fails at others.
The game does a good job at remaking the story elements and characters from the show. Players will play as young boy hero Ben, who has the power to temporarily transform himself into various alien creatures using a device called the Omnitrix. The game successfully uses this mechanic to add a layer of strategic depth to the game. Players will need to consistently use the Omnitrix power to win, and they will need to choose the correct alien form for any given scenario. There are multiple simple puzzles that will require the use of specific forms to overcome. There's nothing overly challenging, but considering the target demographic, simple is probably best.
The combat itself has very little depth. With some exception, combat revolves around mashing the attack button in order to stack as many attacks together as possible for maximum damage. There are some combos, and different alien forms have different attacks, but the basics are always the same. One serious lacking, considering the game's platform, is that it makes very little use of the Wii's motion functionality. All of the game's controls could easily be rolled into a standard Xbox or PS3 controller. While the game is available across consoles, its target demographic is most likely to have a Wii, and thus it would be nice to see more Wii-specific functionality. The control format, however, is easy to use and readily accessible, even to less-experienced players. The Omnitrix tool is a bit clunky at first, but not overly difficult to master.
Where the game really shines is in dialogue and characterization, which is taken right out of the cartoon. Many of the lines are actually quite humorous and would be downright hilarious to the target audience. Players will immediately recognize the voice and personality of their favorite characters from the show. The dialogue is also delivered in a classic text and voice-over format, so young gamers can read along as they play. This inclusion of text is a major plus for any children's game.
Graphics quality for the game is understandably cartoon-looking, but this is acceptable because it fits the cartoon quality of the original show. Level design and appearance is nothing spectacular, but it isn't something that hurts the game overall.
Repetition is what kills Ben 10 Omniverse. Targeting a young player demographic should be no excuse for simplified gameplay. The entire game consists of basically traveling to various locations and beating up on various alien or robotic enemies over and over again. There is low replay value and the multiplayer options are limited.
All in all, Ben 10 Omniverse is an okay game that will appeal to fans of the series and probably no one else. The dialogue is fitting, humorous and memorable, but intensely repetitive gameplay and lack of strategic depth will limit the game's overarching popularity.