Ben 10: Omniverse
3DS | D3Publisher / 1st Playable Productions | 1 Player | Out Now | StreetPass Support
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23rd January 2013; By KnucklesSonic8
Differing in form from its console counterpart, Ben 10: Omniverse caters more to the style of a 2D platformer with which values such as exploration are not associated. Differentiation also comes from the alien beings you can choose from -- some of which aren't present in the other version, while the ones that are shared across both have slightly different attacks. Creatures can be freely selected via the Omnitrix's character wheel on the Touch Screen, with one key detail of each having individualized health gauges so that when you switch back to Ben by force (i.e., by health depletion), you will no longer be permitted to use that form for the remainder of the level unless you find a regenerative pick-up. I'd like to think there's been an application of strategy as a result of this, but I also get the feeling I'm giving it too much credit when the character selection is a matter of picking favourites, with no elements or situations ever requiring a particular creature be chosen in order to overcome some test.
Being unswervingly linear by design, the only directions you have to worry about for movement are left and right. The Y and X Buttons offer different attack variations, counter attacks are assigned to L and R, and the A Button will execute a finisher when the Combo Meter is full. Platforming elements seen throughout are hardly imaginative, with there being very little need for worry about falling down pits. It's a highly simplified process -- perhaps overly so, if for the reason that the navigation is very minimalistic. This is reinforced with the only points of interest (if they can be cited as such) being temporary platforms that must be attacked to activate, which, as you can imagine in the case of an ascension, doesn't function too well. That, however, is but the beginning in a game damaged by greatly concerning failings.
One clear point that must be addressed first and foremost is the level of incoherence surrounding the technical construction. Now, I don't mind the environments themselves, nor do I think the character models are unattractive (though that is definitely a statement I could make about the lacklustre drawings seen when selecting stages and during story cutscenes). As a matter of fact, the visuals are decent, even if they are predominantly drab and rather gloomy for my liking. And while I'm at it, the music, while repetitive and even outright lazy in some cases, has an on-and-off energy to it. However, there are problems to be observed in so many other respects, from glitches that prevent you from advancing any further without quitting the game entirely; parts of levels loading abruptly as you get near; not-so-subtle impacts on lighting as you transition to and from areas; to jittery and sight-obscuring, mid-air camera movements. Additionally, one of the alien forms, Grasshopper, strangely moves a lot faster when jumping. I've heard of having a spring in your step, but it's such a drastic and rocketed push that it raises an eyebrow. It's weird and there's no logical reason for it given how other players control, much in the same way that the other assorted concerns cause vexation.
I wouldn't say at all that any of the problems just described are isolated or can be separated from the quality of the game's design, as there are valid reasons for contention even in this department. Ben 10: Omniverse is, if I had to use but two choice words, sloppy and careless in its design. The combat mechanics might appear fair upon first glance, but as you come face-to-face with groups of enemies that often can't be foreseen in advance, one must prepare to get pain handed to them through objectionable methods of inescapable punishment. It is regularly the case where enemies are lined up in a row, and as you try to take one out and it falls to the ground temporarily, you'll get hit by a projectile from another enemy behind the one you just knocked down, if not getting hit from up above in the case of annoying and evil batteries. If such is not an accurate description of the hurdles you're dealing with at a present time, then it'll be a case of getting cornered by powerful enemies that attack you multiple times without any immediate opening on your end to escape from the pummeling.
Interestingly enough, the situation can be completely flipped around where, by using Feedback's third melee combo, enemies can be kept suspended in the air as you continuously electrocute and drain their health. There are a couple other characters like this, and to be perfectly honest, the game's wishy-washy execution in this regard can be justifiably perceived as being broken while still manageable. Similar to that end, the bosses in this game employ similar tactics, and when this isn't the case, if you were to analyze the way these encounters have been designed, you'll likely see these as bad executions that have no redeeming features to them.
One thing I failed to mention earlier with respect to the level layouts is how short they are in comparison to the console version. You can speed through the game in such a short amount of time and be completely unaffected by what you just played -- problematic effects notwithstanding. Challenges exist to extend replay value a bit, but these are honestly just pointless battles that you won't be inclined to involving yourself in after witnessing the nature of the poorly-handled mechanics. There's also StreetPass functionality, but I wasn't able to figure out what the purpose of it was -- nor do I really care to know, honestly.
Ben 10: Omniverse is not shockingly horrible, but it's still very, very close to being completely intolerable. Fully acknowledging its inability to accomplish good, I furthermore see absolutely no reason or benefit in complying with a system that, truthfully, is increasingly empty and has been unwisely mishandled. With obvious mistakes that outcast the game from any tangible ends, Ben 10: Omniverse doesn't even meet to the standards of a vanilla licensed game and should not even be given the benefit of the doubt.
09/30 - Very Poor
Gameplay 2/10 - Sloppy and broken in places, linearity poses problems, problematic bosses, uninteresting process, pointless character differentiation
Presentation 4/10 - Numerous technical faults, visuals aren't bad but could've been better in areas, one or two good tunes while others are repetitive
Enjoyment 1/5 - Almost no fun to be had, very flawed to the point of being nearly unplayable, not even to the standard of an average licensed game
Extra Content 2/5 - Very short compared to the console version, pointless challenges, StreetPass functionality, no reason to play it to begin with
Equivalent to a score of 30% (percentage score is approximate and based solely on the previously stated rating) - Our Rating System