The popular Cartoon Network TV series Ben 10 first made the transformation to video games in 2007 with Ben 10: Protector of Earth on Wii.
Three more titles and millions of unit sales later, and Namco Bandai is delivering the latest game on multiple formats to mark the cartoon’s return.
“The Ben 10 Ultimate Alien game is launching in conjunction with the brand new Cartoon Network Ultimate Alien series,” says Namco Bandai product manager Kate White. “It has the same characters, voiceover and storyline, which sees Ben travel to real world locations such as Rome and Tokyo.
“It is also the first time that Ben 10 has come to PS3 and we’re really excited about bringing it out on this format.”
Ben 10 Ultimate Alien: Cosmic Destruction again puts players in the shoes of 16-year-old hero Ben Tennyson and his 16 powerful alien forms. Together they embark on a worldwide adventure in order to save humanity from a giant cosmic storm.
Players have access to the all-new Ultimatrix – Ben’s strongest Omnimatrix yet – that can transform him into more powerful aliens than ever before.
Among the new creatures are Armodrillo, WaterHazard, Terraspin, AmpFigian and NRG. These give gamers the abilities to tunnel through enemies, fire blasts of water, emit radiation beams and more.
Other gameplay enhancements include an experience system that upgrades each alien’s strength, speed, defence and special attacks, while Quick Switch is another new addition that allows players to switch alien forms faster than ever.
Xbox 360 and PS3 owners have the bonus of receiving exclusive Ben 10 aliens, with the quick and fiery Rath for Xbox 360 and the immensely strong Fourarms on PS3.
In the new quick time events, gamers can press any of three buttons to turn into a different alien and overcome each obstacle differently.
For example, transforming into an agile alien might swerve over a falling billboard while a powerful beast will smash right through it. At the end of each QTE section players can become an ultimate alien and use a barrage of incredible moves to defeat their foes.
The adventure takes place across the globe, from Paris to Tokyo and China to Rome. Each city boasts its own unique areas which play host to epic battles.
The widespread focus on locations also echoes the reach of Cartoon Network, where the series made its name.
The TV channel is currently seen in more than 166 countries worldwide and in 97m homes in the US alone – a massive established fanbase for the game.
FEELING THE FORCE
Ultimate Alien’s forebearers Ben 10: Protector of Earth and Alien Force boast total sales of over 4.5 million worldwide.
Other games available include Ben 10 Omniverse, a free web browser MMO released late last year, and Ben 10 Alien Force: Vilgax Attacks which arrived on multiple formats in March. All titles carry the winning formula where the player takes control of Ben and his aliens across a range of 3D worlds.
Namco Bandai has also reaped similar success in the children’s gaming market with its Naruto manga titles.
With these accomplishments, consistently high Ben 10 sales figures and an established worldwide following, the latest game is set to further the series’ success. The release is also perfect timing ahead of the Christmas sales rush.
“Ben 10 is a key evergreen title for us,” says White. “The brand is the No.1 boys’ brand in the UK for the second year in a row.
“The games are hugely popular all year round and prove to be bigger and bigger than ever.”
Ben 10 Ultimate Alien: Cosmic Destruction will be on shelves two days prior to the start of the new cartoon series and Namco Bandai will be promoting the game around the first two episodes on Cartoon Network.
This will coincide with the channel’s own promotions for Ben 10 through retail, offering fans the chance to win a range of goodies including exclusive screenings in Leicester Square, costume character appearances and thousands of Ben 10 goodie bags.
NBP product manager Kate White adds: “We will be driving an extensive TV campaign for the game across kids’ TV channels over launch and in the run up to Christmas, along with creative radio and print ads, heavy PR support and online sponsorship with Cartoon Network.”
Ben 10 Ultimate Alien: Cosmic Destruction hits stores in October for Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, DS, PSP and PS2.