Ben 10: Alien Force getting its game on

Ben 10: Alien Force is being made into a video game it was a no-brainer that nothing better could possibly come along between now and Christmas, right?

Ben 10: Alien Force The Game begins five years after Ben put away the DNA-scrambling Omnitrix. With Grandpa Max missing and a diabolical Highbreed alien plot threatening planet Earth, gamers must help Ben take the Omnitrix out of retirement and lead eight different playable characters—including cousin Gwen, enemy-turned-ally Kevin Levin and five of Ben’s brand new alien forms—in super-powered battle with the intergalactic invaders. New aliens Swampfire, Jet Ray, Humungousaur, Spidermonkey and Big Chill allow Ben to manipulate fire, swim underwater, grow more than 60 feet tall, stick to walls and fly at mach speed. Players will also be able to harness Gwen’s new talent to create an energy shield and use it to protect and attack, and Kevin Levin’s ability to absorb materials like concrete, wood and metal to create an impenetrable shell on his body.

The fast-paced, 3D, side-scrolling action-adventure offers an unlimited combo system, along with puzzles and challenges that will engage players of all skill levels. The Nintendo DS version will offer alternate playable alien forms including Goop and Echo Echo, giving players additional unique powers to command and explore.

The article reports that D3Publishing will be developing the game for all major platforms, and release is scheduled for this Fall. Just in time for holiday shopping, sounds like.

I suppose it’s too much to hope for a special wii controller that’s basically an Omnitrix, right? Hey, I can hope….

Murakami defends Ben 10: Alien Force

Ben 10: Alien Force with something akin to reverence. “What do you think it’ll be like?” my son asked me, several hundred times.

“I don’t know, honey,” I would respond with infinite patience (ha!), “Why don’t we wait and see?” And then—right before I was going to have to duct tape his mouth shut or start wearing earplugs—the show debuted.

The verdict in our house? Well, now instead of asking what I think it’ll be, my son trails me wanting to fill me in on every last new alien and asking me which one is my favorite. (I’m supposed to have a favorite alien? This was not in the manual.) In other words, this newest incarnation of Ben 10 is an unmitigated success, so far as we’re concerned. But just to make sure, I went so far as to ask my son if he liked this better than the original.

“Oh yes!” he assured me. So I asked him why that was, and he said, “Because now Ben’s got more betterer aliens!” So, you know, there you go.

Unfortunately, not all Ben 10 fans have been quite as enthusiastic as my son. Newsarama’s Steve Fritz did a great interview with Ben 10 creator Glen Murakami because, as he put it:

In less than a half hour the first internet troll came out from under his bridge to start screaming how he hated, hated, hated Ben 10: Alien Force. Within the hour said bottom feeder was joined by a horde of others. They felt it their right to vent and mewl pitifully about the changes to the show. They called it a grand conspiracy by Cartoon Network to sell new lines of action figures. They accused all of even more heinous crimes.

Murakami does an admirable job of defending the series… not that you’d expect any less from the man behind an alien hero named Brainstorm. Go read it; you won’t be sorry.

You could win the Ben 10 Ultimate Alien Hangout

Really, I think that’s something of an oxymoron; have you been inside the bedroom of a small boy, recently? Aren’t they, by definition, alien hangouts? Oh, maybe that’s just my small boy’s room, what with the socks of dubious origin (and fragrance) and clutter of Lego creations….

Regardless, I suppose the Ben 10 aliens would yield a different sort of alien hangout, and from now until April 10th, Ben 10 fans can enter Bandai’s new sweepstakes:

Boys across the nation are on the lookout for an alien invasion as Bandai America Inc. launches its “Ultimate Alien Hangout” sweepstakes. Inspired by Cartoon Network’s hit television series for boys 6-11, Ben 10™, boys will now have a chance to make anytime hero time by entering the Ultimate Alien Hangout sweepstakes. One lucky winner will score an awesome Ben 10 room transformation to live out alien adventures just like everyone’s favorite kid hero, Ben Tennyson, while additional prizes will be given to one hundred runners-up.

(What, no prize where the winner takes home one of everything in the Ben 10 Store? My son will be outraged!)

Your little Ben 10 fan can enter the sweepstakes on Bandai’s site, and according to the official rules, there’s no limit to the number of times you can enter.

And there’s more, too:

Ben 10 fans can get a glimpse of the Ultimate Alien Hangout room transformation by tuning into Designing Spaces. The home makeover show will broadcast a fan’s room transformation, while also offering viewers some easy do-it-yourself tips to create the ultimate alien hangout with their existing Ben 10 collection. Episodes will begin to air March 22 on TLC, with additional runs expected throughout the spring on Women’s Entertainment and local network affiliates across the country (check your local listings for days and times).

We’ll be setting the DVR for that one. Because who doesn’t want to some do-it-yourself tips on creating the ultimate alien hangout? No one who leaves their laundry on the floor ’round here, that’s for sure.

Teenaged Ben 10 coming soon

recently announced that Ben 10: Alien Force is coming this spring to Cartoon Network, and in addition to a sneak-peak at the artwork (the image above, included), they had this to say:

Ben 10: Alien Force begins the next chapter in the continuing Ben 10 saga five years later when 15-year-old Ben Tennyson chooses to once again put on the OMNITRIX and discovers that it has reconfigured his DNA and can now transform him into 10 brand new aliens. Joined by his super-powered cousin Gwen Tennyson and his equally powerful former enemy Kevin Levin, Ben is on a mission to find his missing Grandpa Max. In order to save his Grandpa, Ben must defeat the evil DNALIENS, a powerful alien race intent on destroying the galaxy, starting with planet Earth. Ben will join forces with other young heroes to save the galaxy and his Grandpa Max, while passing along his knowledge to a whole new generation. The animated series will premiere with a special one-hour episode on Cartoon Network in Spring 2008.

The description sounds good, of course, but it’s actually the artwork that has me intrigued. I keep looking at the pictures and thinking they seem… familiar… somehow. Oh, wait a minute:

[...] with supervising producer Glen Murakami (Teen Titans) and story editor Dwayne McDuffie (Justice League).

Is it just me, or does teenage Ben look a little bit like he’d be right at home eating pizza with Beast Boy and Robin? The stylization reminds me of some of my favorite cartoons, and brings me right back to a place where I’m happy to make any excuse to plunk myself down next to the kids for half an hour to “supervise” their TV time.

Okay, Man of Action (or should I call them Men of Action?)—you did it. You roped me back in. We’ll be watching!

Get ready for Black Friday at Ty’s Toy Box

Let me ask you a very simple question. I know—we all know—that you love your kids and want to get them the things they love. Of course. And naturally you’d like to save a little money in the process, too. But just let me ask you something:

Is there some reason you’d rather head out on the busiest shopping day of the year at o’dark thirty just so that you can fight the crowds and the traffic, vs. staying in and ordering cool stuff online from the comfort of your own home (and possibly while still in your jammies)?

That’s right.

For the first time, Ty’s Toy Box is making their Black Friday specials known a few days in advance so that you can plan your day accordingly. (I recommend a cup of coffee while you finish your shopping online, followed by something like a cinnamon roll as a reward for having gotten it all done early and under budget.) Read through; bookmark what you need; and then get ready to rock on Friday, November 23rd, 2007.

Read on for the full list of Ty’s Toy Box Black Friday specials: Continue reading