Ben 10
Protector of Earth

Format: PS2

Age Restrictions: 7+
16 November 2007

An inter-dimensional crisis threatens to swallow the Earth into limitless darkness and Ben Tennyson suddenly finds that his alien powers have been stolen. As Ben,
Gwen and Max set out to recapture the source of his amazing abilities, they encounter armies of otherworldly minions and uncover a plot to suck the Earth into the Null Void. Now you can join the Tennyson's on an adventure across the United States to recover the lost pieces of the Omnitrix while battling villains from the show, including Kevin 11, Dr. Animo and more. In this time of chaos, it's up to you to find some answers and save the Earth from ultimate destruction...

For those that are not familiar with the Cartoon Network animated series Ben 10, the show follows the adventures of Ben Tennyson, his cousin Gwen, and his grandfather Max. While on a camping trip an alien pod crashes to earth narrowly missing Ben. Examining the crash site, Ben discovers a strange alien device called the Omnitrix. This device attaches itself to Ben's wrist and gives him special abilities that allow him to transform into different alien creatures - each with different powers and abilities.

In Ben 10: Protector of Earth you take on the role of young Ben Tennyson, take control of the Omnitrix and play as five different alien heroes from the show, including Four Arms, Heatblast, XLR8, Cannonbolt and Wildvine. Join the Tennyson's on an adventure across the United States to recover the lost pieces of the Omnitrix while battling villains from the show. As you progress through the levels you collect experience points that allow you to upgrade your characters and unlock over 80 combo moves.

This game is obviously targeted at the younger gamer, and as such it's a pretty impressive offering. Adults might find it a little too childlike, but then it's not really designed for them. Although what the game's developers were thinking when they created the plant boss that seems to be guarding two pairs of testicles, is beyond me. On the whole I have to admit that I was quite taken by this game. Sure, some will argue that the choice of only five aliens is a little limiting, but they serve their purpose well. Although in truth I found that, once I'd unlocked all the characters, I mainly played as Four Arms and Wildvine as these two characters seemed to be the easiest to allow you to smash your way through each level. Heatblast is a little dull, XLR8 is too difficult to control and Cannonbolt is limited in his moves. In fact, the only time I used the other three characters is when I needed their special ability to get further through the level.

Once you know each character's special moves, it's simply a case of button mashing through each level. Even the end of level bosses provide very little in the way of a challenge. Most determined gamers will easily finish this on easy mode within a day. However, there's still plenty of replayability as you try and find all the hidden areas and objects that allow you to unlock more content.

While I'd probably moan if this game was marketed at £40, the fact that it only costs £20 should be all the reason any Ben 10 fan needs to pick up this game. It will certainly prove entertaining for quite some time. And once you get bored of the single player mode, you can challenge your friends in battle mode or play together in 2-player co-op mode.

Nick Smithson

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