I’ve never enjoyed motion controls. They always felt like a gimmick that game companies desperately wanted us to enjoy, but for whatever reason, I could just never warm up to them. This is why I never really gravitated towards the Wii, and why I never played a Kinect game that I liked. Well, I am happy to say that Ben 10 Omniverse 2 for the Nintendo Wii includes absolutely NONE of the motion controls that have become synonymous with the system. Unfortunately, that is just about all the praise that I can muster for this particular title.
I don’t know a lot about the Ben 10 lore, but as I played through the game my two sons kept me abreast as best they could, even though they themselves know only a little about it. Most of the time when I play a game based on a series that I am unfamiliar with I try to take my limited knowledge into account as I critique the title, but Ben 10 Omniverse 2 is one of those games of which I am convinced that I would have garnered absolutely no more enjoyment out of had I been familiar with the Ben 10 world. The story is absolutely throw away. I started out with my character on an enemy spaceship and I am never really told why. I am also informed that everyone on earth thinks I’m dead, but I’m also never told why. The story, such as it is, is told completely through short and neutered cut scenes that serve no real purpose other than to get you back to the gameplay. There’s no structure built to make you feel as if you’re doing anything of worth at any point in the game and after playing through the entire game, I am still clueless as to what I was doing or why I was doing it. I think I might have ended up saving the world by the end, but as far as I know I may have simply stopped some bad guys from taking over a pawn shop. That is how confused I was, and again, it had little to do with my unfamiliarity with the source material and everything to do with completely subpar storytelling. All that being said, I understand that story isn’t everything. A game that’s fun to play doesn’t always necessitate a compelling narrative. This is not such a game, however.
The entirety of Ben 10 2 Omniverse is split into two separate kinds of gameplay and neither are very fun. The bulk of your time will be spent running through seemingly never ending hallways in a Temple Run style of gameplay. These portions can be incredibly frustrating as you are required to quickly switch between different character classes to traverse the various obstacles that come your way. Light class can jump over things, medium class can throw projectiles, and heavy class can smash through certain obstacles. It sounds simple, but switching between characters gets confusing as different obstacles have a tendency to fly up to you without affording you much time to swap. Even if you do manage to swap without error, these sections drag on for too long occasionally and one misstep can send you all the way back to the beginning which incited some gamer rage in me that I haven’t experienced since my NES days.
Combat is really no better. You are still tasked with switching between different character classes to deal with certain enemies. Combat sections show up in various spots during the game, normally breaking up the longer running sections and consist of basic beat-em-up style gameplay. Again, the simplicity of the gameplay should at least be a bit of mindless fun, but it is just completely boring. You consistently unlock new characters to morph into, but even when I had ten different creatures unlocked, I could still only pick between three at a time. It’s a strange design choice for a game that is in desperate need of a little variety. When you ask the player to do the same thing over and over again from the beginning of the game until the end, the gamer should at least have the option of switching between all of the characters he’s unlocked. Unfortunately though, no. You only get to use three at a time but even if you could pick between fifty of them, the endless running and repetitious combat would still be boring.
There’s really not much more to be said about the game. I try to always find something good to say about a game, but as much as I wanted to, I just couldn’t find anything to enjoy about any of my time with it. After I fought the final boss battle against some mechanical dragon that literally came out of nowhere with absolutely NO build up whatsoever, I went to the stats menu and saw that my entire play time was less than an hour and a half. This is a full retail release and I beat the entire thing in less than ninety minutes. I guess that could be my one good thing to say about the game: the pain doesn’t last long.
Have you played Ben 10 Omniverse 2? Let us know your horror stories in the comment section below and be sure to add your own user rating at the top!
Review copy provided by the good people at D3 Publisher
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