Ben 10 Ultimate Alien: Cosmic Destruction
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Ben 10 Ultimate Alien: Cosmic Destruction is jam-packed with cartoony, sci-fi combat (most of it hand-to-hand), but that it also contains a heavy puzzle/strategy aspect. Kids who are already fans of the TV show will not see anything here that is more intense or graphic than what they've seen on the often dark and violent cartoon.
What's it about?
In BEN 10: ULTIMATE ALIEN: COSMIC DESTRUCTION, shape-shifting teen hero Ben Tennyson must once again save the universe from total annihilation. This time the danger is in a mega-powerful cosmic storm that is heading toward Earth. Morphing into his many different alien forms (this time you get far more than the usual ten), Ben must trek around the world to recover an alien artifact that can stop the storm and save countless lives. Of course, there are armies of villains, eager to see the world end, who try to stop him along the way.
Is it any good?
The very well-made series of Ben 10 video games have all followed the same general formula, and Ben 10: Ultimate Alien: Cosmic Destruction keeps it going -- with a few welcome new features added in. As in all the previous games, you start off with a few alien forms, and earn access to more as you work your way through a series of hectic melees, puzzle challenges, and boss battles. It's the same tried-and-true formula, but still nicely executed. And the new features that have been added are definitely big pluses.
The controls allow for much quicker transformations between alien forms, and there are more alien forms to choose from than ever before. The aliens' ability to further transform into their "ultimate" forms (which usually involve armor and a major increase in size) adds an element of excitement. And several "quick time events" -- cinematic scenes which unfold as you speedily press the button sequences that appear onscreen -- keep the action flowing. Overall, this is another nice addition to the Ben 10 series, but we'd like to see the developers play it less safe and mix it up more for the next installment.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the mix of fighting and strategy in the game. Which parts do you have more fun playing: The battle sections or the puzzle-like parts? Why? Do you think the game could have done without either?
If kids are Ben 10 fans, they can talk about the way in which the character has evolved over the years. As Ben has aged, his adventures have become a bit darker and more violent. Has this changed your opinion of the character or the show? What about the games?
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