BEN 10: OM­NI­VERSE ★★

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - FUN & GAMES - JOE GRIF­FIN

12 cert, Namco Bandai, PS3 (also Xbox 360, Nin­tendo Wii, Wii U, Nin­tendo DS, Nin­tendo 3DS) Ben 10: Omini­verse is an ini­tially fun and feisty chil­dren’s game that soon be­comes a pun­ish­ing or­deal, thanks to some cu­ri­ous de­sign de­ci­sions. Let’s start with the good news: it’s a third-per­son ac­tion/plat­form game. It plays smoothly and has a nice gim­mick, as the young Ben trans­forms into dif­fer­ent aliens, each with unique skills. The prob­lems arise when you want to save your progress more fre­quently than ev­ery 20 min­utes and want to re­visit any on­screen in­struc­tions be­fore you progress. Pre­pare to rip your hair from its roots as you try to re­mem­ber which se­quence of but­tons will solve this puz­zle or open that door. Learn to med­i­tate, as the game mer­ci­lessly re­turns you to the be­gin­ning of a long level next time you log in. The big­gest shame is that deep within this un­for­giv­ing, Kafkaesque or­deal is a fun game wait­ing to break out.

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