Hands on D3′s Cartoon Network games
D3 Publisher is continuing to work with Cartoon Network and they have two games in the pipeline. In Ben 10: Protector of the Universe you play as Ben Tennyson (love those puns!) who wears the Omnitrix on his wrist which lets him transform into aliens. On the Wii version you hold the remote in your right hand and slap your left wrist with it as if you were touching the Omnitrix. Do this and Ben transform into Fourarms, a mammoth alien with four arms or Heatblast who attacks with heat rays he’s ready to fight by wiggling the remote. You shake the remote horizontally to do a light attack and vertically for a heavy strike. In theory you’re supposed to be able to do combos like horizontal shake, horizontal shake, vertical shake for one series of attacks. But when I was playing Ben 10 it didn’t feel accurate enough to do specific combos. Once the remote is in your hand you’re tempted to shake the remote rapidly, which means you will end up doing the same combos over and over. D3 Publisher did think about this and they included traditional button controls where you press A for a light attack, B for a heavy attack and down on the remote for a special attack. After a few minutes shaking the remote and nunchuck to do special attacks, I was glad I could go back to more accurate, old-school controls.
Ben 10: Protector of the Universe is a tad on the simplistic side. The puzzles mostly consist of picking the right alien at the right time. If you see fire you want to use Heatblast and if you need to pick up a large rock the Hulk-like Fourarms is your best bet. There is not a whole lot of thought here, but then again Ben 10 is designed for a younger audience who will probably enjoy the title because of the familiar characters. Something odd about Ben 10: Protector of the Universe is it has two player co-op play, but both players are Ben… at the same time. The only thing that differentiates Ben from bizzaro two player Ben is the color of their outfits. Besides the Wii version Ben 10: Protector of the Universe is coming out for the Playstation 2 and PSP too. There is also a DS Ben 10 game in development, but it wasn’t around to check out.
Also on display, but not for play was Ed, Edd n Eddy: Scam of the Century for the Nintendo DS. The game is designed as a platformer and you get a chance to play as all three of the Eds spanning 13 levels. In one level you’re Eddy in a stealth level where you have to flick off light switches to avoid the Kanker sisters. In Ed’s levels he can hit objects with his head and Edd throws dictionaries. All of the action takes place on the top screen. The bottom screen is used to express the characters thoughts, similar to Touch Detective, and as a makeshift item menu. You can also do special attacks by messing with the Ed on the bottom screen. If you try to take off Edd’s beanie he does the Hair Scare attack and scratching Eddy’s stomach makes him belch.
There are also a few mini games packed in the cartridge. One has players poke zits on Ed’s back with the stylus and another is a puzzle game where you help Rolf line up pieces of meat. I’m not into the Ed, Edd n Eddy series enough to judge if D3's game sticks to the series, but fans should be happy to know it has an all new story written with help from the original team.
The series of Ben 10 games is due to come out in the fall and Ed, Edd, n Eddy: Scam of the Century is scheduled to be in stores this October. Both come out at the right time for kids to nag their parents about what they want on their holiday gift list.