Ben 10 Alien Force: Vilgax Attacks Review

For anyone who is familiar with the Ben 10 television series on Cartoon Network, its seems an obvious choice that this show should be translated into a videogame.  A boy inherits a powerful watch-like device, the Omnitrix, which grants him the ability to change into ten different kinds of aliens, each with their own unique powers, enabling the boy to fight off intergalactic hordes of evil aliens. The kind of customization and variance of play that this idea offers practically begs to be imported to a gaming console, and so it was with Ben 10 Alien Force: Vilgax Attacks.

Now your first question may be, like mine was, “Who is Vilgax, and why is he attacking?”  As it turns out, this brings up a pretty important point about the storyline of the game.  From the very first cut scene, anyone not familiar with the Ben 10 TV series is left out of the loop, because the game starts in the middle of the action, giving little to no background on any and all characters, including Vilgax, and ignoring the need for an explanation of these characters’ motivations, including Vilgax.  So, to make a long story short, fans of the TV series (i.e. the same, younger crowd that watches the show) will enjoy the plot of the game, as it really is just a fluid continuation, and everything seems to fall into place without any reiterating.

Ben 10

But storyline aside, there is a lot to like about this game.  The graphics are crisp and the colors are bold, almost as if the 2D cartoon has just been turned slightly to make the whole thing 3D.  The soundtrack is also a pretty close match to the show, which isn’t to say all that much, but it fits with the genre and creates the feel that developer Papaya Studio was definitely going for, an interactive installment in the Cartoon Network series.  The voice acting is also, you guessed it, about on par with the show.

But the gameplay is probably this game’s biggest asset, although it probably won’t appeal to the more mature gamer.  Through the magic of science developed by Professor Paradox, Ben and his comrades Kevin and Gwen are transported back in time before Vilgax does indeed attack earth, allowing them the opportunity to travel to the home worlds of many of Ben’s Omnitrix forms and battle it out with the various aliens.  As Ben, you can change between any of the ten Omnitrix aliens to begin with (later in the game you have to continue playing to unlock some that become “unusable” for a time). Each form offers its own unique moves, generally activated by the right trigger, and weak and strong attacks performed by the X and Y buttons, respectively.

Of the aliens, there’s Humongousaur, my personal favorite, who is exactly what he sounds like: a big dinosaur creature who just smashes and runs through things and generally just hulks his way through obstacles and levels.  Some other fun and useful forms are Spidermonkey, who has a pretty simplistic, Spiderman-esque way of web slinging around obstacles, and Big Chill, who is kind of like a giant ice moth who glides and shoots shards of ice at his enemies.  These are only a few, but each alien offers a different way to progress through levels, like Brainstorm’s ability to hack into computer systems which launches a number of consecutive timed mini-games that provide a nice break from the action.  There are also some hidden power-ups to find around the levels to get you to explore a little bit, which can either add to your health or your power meter.  On top of that, enemies you kill drop orbs that function as experience, and when enough experience is gained, you can unlock new moves for each alien form.  While this is another nice addition, I kind of felt gypped by the end of the game, because there are a lot of different moves and forms to unlock, and the amount of experience you get simply isn’t enough to explore all of them.  Does this give the game any more replay value then?  Not really, but it adds a level of depth to the game that feels appropriate to the story and the show.

So what is there to know about this game?  It’s a fun jaunt through intergalactic cartoon battles that, although fairly simplistic, do offer some cool variety with the use of the ten alien forms.  The gameplay is generally pretty linear and straightforward, but a few platformer, puzzle, and level-up elements do break it up nicely, and give the player a more complete feeling about an otherwise direct import from the TV series.  Again, this game is definitely geared towards a younger crowd and to fans of the series, but if you are neither, you will find a number of redeeming moments in this fairly short saga that ultimately leads Ben face to face with the evil Vilgax.


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Author: Dan Crabtree View all posts by
Dan is Managing Editor for GamerNode and a freelance gaming writer. His dog is pretty great. Check him out on Twitter @DanRCrabtree.

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