bartholomew999's Ben 10: Protector of the Earth (Wii) review

Beat'em'up 10 Shines...Well Dimly Anyway

So, as the parent of a 6 year old I get to play a fair number of licensed and Lego games, and thus I drink...heavily.  Occasionally though, there is a bright spot in the cursed depths of licensed bullshit that enables me to feel less hopeless about the Wii, and licensing in general.

Developed by D3PUBLISHER in conjunction with The Cartoon Network, and licensed by Nintendo, this 3rd person action game based on the animated series which appears on the Cartoon Network (duh), is clearly the product of a medium level of effort.  The art style is consistent with the animated series and incorporates cell-shading efficiently, but not particularly creatively.

Essentially this is a beat'em'up with co-op and a story, while not enlightened, fits in well with the canon of the animated series.  While there is a live action series that was launched last fall (2008) there is no connection to this 2006 title.  Now, I think that the devs have played a fair amount of Lego games and God of War because they clearly decided to create a game is actually fairly decent and uses similar meechanics in both of those other franchises. 

Though quite repeptitive; attacks are essentially 2 button-mashers with combos that can be unlocked as you go through the story.  After you beat a boss you unlock Omnitirx crystals which add to the characters Ben can become and each have their own attributes and abilities.  The game is best played co-operatively, especially if you are playing with a child that is 8 or under.  While younger players will be able to manage the 2 button attacks easily, the boss battles may become frustrating without a little assistance from Mom, Dad, or an older sibling.

There are also elements of platforming in this game which are simply filler to add length to basically a four hour game.  After you unlock new characters, you can return to previous levels to explore areas that were not accessible during the first playthrough.  Once you achieve an "A" on a level you unlock, moves, story points, your basic fan service.

So, if you do have a young child who is a fan of the series then you could do a lot worse than Ben 10 :Protector of Earth.  and if you have a Wii, you likely already have.

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