Just a brief introduction for those not familiar with this game: Ben 10 has been a long-running cartoon on the Cartoon Network for quite some time.
Ben 10: The Rise of Hex starts off with your friend Kevin who comes up missing. You are informed by your other friend, Gwen, about the situation. You and Gwen set out to rescue your lost friend who was last seen on the other end of town. What Ben doesn’t know is that the evil Hex has a plan to find all fifteen ancient mystical talismans and combine them all. His goal is to have enough power to turn the Age of Technology on Earth to the Age of Magic so he can control/rule the entire world.
I’ll say this now. Ben 10 is a breath of fresh air. Yes, it’s another arcade side-scroller with beat ‘em up elements, but it requires you to use your brain more than your fists and feet.
Don’t get me wrong; there will be plenty of stuff blocking Ben’s path, but that’s only half of his problem. You will also have to complete a slew of puzzles before you can leave an area. There is no skipping the puzzles (sorry action freaks), this is something that must be done.
When it’s Hero Time (one of Ben10’s favorite catch phases) you will have access to ten aliens to transform form into. You can easily choose your alien form by easily pressing the right-trigger button to active your Omnitrix to bring up the selection menu. Each alien form will unlock with time as you progress through the fifteen stages with three boss encounters.
Each form has its own unique skills and abilities. You will find yourself using multiple forms throughout some stages to complete the multiple puzzles you are confronted with. The puzzles are a refreshing change of pace from the all-out action found in some action titles today. Since each alien form has its own purpose and is needed for certain areas, you will need to master the controls for each one if you plan on surviving each level.
Ben 10’s graphics look smooth and keep true to the look of the cartoon. By doing this, Ben10 makes a smooth transition from cartoon to video game. The graphics give you the impression that you are playing one of Ben 10’s cartoon episodes right on your console. If you are a fan of Ben 10 then you will be pleased with how Konami styled the game after the cartoon.
The music is done very well and sets the mood for each level. What I find really exciting is how they used the same voice actors from the cartoon. Even your alien forms have their trademark voices, setting them apart from each other. This to me proves that extra time was spent making Ben 10 as close to the cartoon series as possible. It’s the little things that count and Ben 10 pulls you right in.
I was pleased with Ben 10. I really liked the puzzles and small brain teasers you had to complete to make it through each level. Not every level relies heavily on puzzles, but some chapters have more than others. I feel they did a great job here and would like to see a few more releases in the series. Ben 10 is a great escape from the norm. Heck, where else will you have the ability to transform into all these alien forms with the flick of your Omnitrix? You guessed it. Buckle up buckaroo and dive into Ben 10’s adventure with both hands planted on your controller… and don’t look back.
Ben 10: The Rise of Hex can be yours for just 800 Microsoft points on Xbox Live.
Jim ‘Daripp3r’ Pittaro
Platform: Xbox 360