Ben 10 (Nintendo Switch) Review

By André Eriksson 03.12.2017

Review for Ben 10 on Nintendo Switch

Just in time for the holiday season, Ben 10 hits the Nintendo Switch. For a videogame based on a popular-with-the-kids culture IP, this is quite an important time to hit for parents to get it under the Christmas tree. Is Ben 10 the perfect gaming gift of 2017, though? Cubed3 takes a thorough look to answer that very question…

There are two things that are almost certain to arrive with the holiday season: snow and licenced games based on popular franchises for children. The quality of these titles varies heavily, though, with some being spot on with what they do, while others feel rushed to hit the gold-lined Christmas rush no matter how it impacts the final product as the name itself will manage to sell. Sadly, Ben 10 falls into the latter category.

This is filled with the typical signs of being rushed to arrive just in time for the season - low-quality background, glitches, and being extremely short are some of the biggest offenders of the experience, with the shortness maybe being the one that stands out the most. This contains a whopping amount of six levels set up into three "episodes" of two levels each, in which Ben tackles adversaries from the show.

Screenshot for Ben 10 on Nintendo Switch

The setup of making every two levels into an episode in both feel and pacing is a clever move that the developer should have some praise for, as it helps focusing on what is well-liked about the show in a natural way, namely the action between the ten-faced protagonist and the interesting villains of the show, but, sadly, the fact that each of the six stages only lasts under 20 minutes, making the game a two-hour experience from start to finish, means it is too short for such a high-priced product, and never really gives it the time to show itself off.

The latter is maybe for the better, though, as the gameplay is very flawed with combat being easy and simplified to the point of it being a snorefest. It's problematic when most of the enemies are barely able to fight back as long as the player keeps pressing the attack button, and most attacks being easily countered. While it is understood that something mainly designed for children has to be relatively easy to not cause too much frustration, a difficulty setting would have been much better, as the challenge bar set for this title is below what most games put out as easy, offering almost no substance at all for those who are used to gaming, which is not unusual for the demographic of Ben 10, a show aimed at children interested in aliens and technology.

Screenshot for Ben 10 on Nintendo Switch

Another huge problem with the gameplay is the speed of it all. Ben 10 is a 3D beat 'em up side-scroller, however, thanks to the low speed it does not feel action-filled at all. Ben moves like he is stuck in syrup (even in his faster forms), which makes too much of the game just walking forward, and there are way too many sections littered around where he has to change to a specific alien form to pass. Changing the alien form does not take a long time, thankfully, but it is going to take an average player about 10 sec to change from one alien form to the other and back to their favourite again, which further adds to the unnecessarily slow gameplay.

If all of this wasn't enough, this is also filled with weird glitches that vary from relatively harmless, such as enemies teleporting across the screen and (if lucky) getting defencelessly stuck in walls for Ben to strike down, to disruptive ones such as Ben randomly sinking through the floor like if he was standing in quicksand, forcing either a reset, or some cleverly organised wiggling to get out of bounds, and therefore forcibly be teleported back onto the stage - and then there are the straight out crashes.

Screenshot for Ben 10 on Nintendo Switch

Even though Ben 10 is very flawed, it has some redeeming qualities to it. The developer really cared about the source material and it shows throughout the experience. As earlier mentioned, each couple of stages is meant to represent an episode from the show, and they do a decent job at doing this with Ben and Gwen exchanging "pleasantries" throughout, and their grandfather trying to calm them down keeping the lighthearted mood from the show, which will be enough to sell the game to the intended audience, as it will feel like playing through three episodes of the original cartoon.

This is, however, not enough to make it a recommended gift for under the Christmas tree this year. The many flaws of the game outweigh the charming way in which the spirit of the show was captured. Ben 10 isn't just rushed, it even feels rushed. Between everything from being very short, glitchy, and with the unpolished gameplay, it certainly isn't worth the asking price relying entirely on the IP to sell the game, which it, sadly, likely will.

Screenshot for Ben 10 on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

3/10
Rated 3 out of 10

Bad

Unpolished, glitchy, and short, are some of the adjectives that describe Ben 10. It is an obvious and transparent, holiday season cash-grab, that just wants to make a quick penny out of a popular IP. Sure, there are good licence games out there, but this isn't one of them. It is recommended to find something else to put under the Christmas tree, unless the receiver really is into the licence, and happens to own a Nintendo Switch without anything else to play on it…

Developer

Outright Games

Publisher

Outright Games

Genre

Brawler

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  3/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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