Author Topic: Ben 10: Alien Force  (Read 22876 times)

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Offline Neoskel

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Ben 10: Alien Force
« on: April 18, 2008, 11:00:16 pm »
I'm going to assume no one is really a Ben 10 fan on these forums since there isn't already an Alien Force topic based around pre-show hype. So i guess no one will really care, but i'd like to get this off my chest.

Well i just saw it on tv and i must say, i'm disappointed. I know its a first episode and all, but this goes beyond first episode blues.

My first issue is with the new aliens. This goes for all of them from the hype itself. They're suffering from 'too many powers' syndrome. Well, most of them anyways. I have no issues with Humongosaur, Goop and Brainstorm (at least not yet). The only 3 aliens shown so far are Swampfire, Echo Echo and Humongosaur, but the other 6 (one's 'secret') are in the hype and stuff.

For example, Swampfire has the following abilities: superstrength, regeneration, form shifting and fire projection. His bio says he has plant control too, but he didn't use it in the first episode, previews for the next episode also seem to indicate that he has gas projection too. He is strong enough to rip a steel girder off of a building (or was it a train car?) and swing it around, and showing no effort in doing so. They had one of his arms shot off and a vine came out and put it back. By 'form shifting' i mean he can 'unform' and reform his body like Upgrade but more like Benmummy.  He used it to squeeze out from under a slab of concrete he got crushed under. Laser fire powerful enough to blow up a traincar passes right through him with no apparent damage (he said 'that tickles' so i guess he can feel it). He can project a stream of fire as opposed to quick blasts of fireballs (though to be fair it lasted for 3-5 seconds). Pretty much just one, or even two, of those powers would be reasonable and still cool. I mean all Heatblast had was fire, and look how popular he is. The old aliens were limited but flexible as opposed to Mr. Jack-of-all-trades. Oh yeah, he also stinks like Stinkfly.

Echo Echo also had too many powers compared to the aliens form Ben 10. He could split himself like Ditto (he made 6 or 7 of himself) and he emits powerful sound waves. Poor Ditto could only split himself, he wasn't even particularly strong or fast or anything: he outsmarted his opponents.

Humongosaur was ok and i have no issues with him. He's big and can make himself bigger and has proportional strength. It seems like theres a limit to the size he can reach because he stopped at a certain size and his appearance changed slightly. Normally hes about double his human height (he looked bigger than Fourarms) and he got to about twice or thrice that size again in the episode. I don't think he can reach Way Big size.

Another issue i have with the new aliens is that they don't really match the aliens showed in Ben 10 and the future (Ben 10,000's time). None of the 19 aliens from when he was 10 and none of the 3 new ones we see in the Ben 10,000/Ken 10 episodes. In Ken 10 several other aliens are named but not seen including one named Atomix who is apparently pretty powerful. None of the new Omnitrix aliens even match non-Omnitrix aliens that we've seen in the show. Now the secret 'Alien X' that hasn't been revealed yet could be one of those named aliens. I'm betting it's Atomix. I would also love it if Atomix is a Specimen Prime like Ultimos from the Galactic Enforcers. A problem with the new aliens being as powerful as they are is: Why wouldn't Ken 10 in the future ask for them on his Omnitrix and Ben never use them? If they were just different and not more powerful than the old aliens why wouldn't Ben use them in the future?

Now those above issues would be somewhat moot if they don't represent actual aliens but amalgams of aliens. They certainly seem to have powers/attributes mixed in from the old aliens. For example: Jetray is aquatic like Ripjaws, can fly (it seems more propulsion than wings so not really like Stinkfly), can fly at super speed (his profile say 'at several times the speed of sound') like XLR8 (but not nearly as fast i guess) and shoot energy blasts like Upgrade or Eye Guy. I seriously doubt that it is the case that they're amalgams though.

Another issue i have with the aliens is that Ben seems to instinctively 'know' what they can do. There is no indication that the Omnitrix tells their information while he cycles through them to explain this either though the writing kinda make it seem so without saying it (which indicates that it is not the case, they explicitly reminded us of about every concept from the original series). Theres a little bit of the 'learning about the powers' from the original show, but they only did it with Swampfire's strength and regeneration. The rest came up and were used with absolutely no comment (i know i would be surprised if i was a plant and i shot fire from my hands) and the abilities were used specifically instead of 'by accident'. He waits until partway through his fights to use the abilities though.

My final big issue with the aliens is that they shout their names out after the transformation sequence. Sheesh. For one thing, they're not Pokemon. For another, the aliens don't come with their names Ben names them. Quote from Ben 10,000: 'I don't name them anymore, they're not pets.' which pretty much shows that they don't come with names attached. There is no indication then Ben names them from the holographic image display or based on profiles from the Omnitrix (which don't exist as far as the show indicates) either.

My next issue is with the Omnitrix itself. It 'resets' itself to look like and actual wris****ch. Presumably this is for stealth, but the original Omnitrix covered about half of 10-year-old Ben's forearm and few people actually noticed, those that did just said 'nice watch' and left it at that. The new, smaller look doesn't match the future Omnitrix either so its not just a stage in the watch's 'evolution' either. It looks like the only reason is that they wanted a new look and they didn't care enough to make up a good reason why.

Another big gripe: The characters.  15-year-old Ben is fine, he's more mature (actually alot more mature) than 10-year-old Ben but thats to be expected. Gwen is well, not Gwen. I think she got abducted and replaced by alie uh, doppelgangers or something. Her personality is really different. She still has the same interests and all but its like she isn't close to Grandpa Max anymore, her dialog even makes it seem like she never was. She still does magic too, but it's mostly purple energy manipulation instead of telekiniesis now, which is fine since she still does other things. Shes also strangely close to Kevin even though they hadn't seen him for 5 years and they never were any sort of close (eg. crying on his shoulder). They were hardly ever in the same place at the same time either.

Which leads me to the worst of them: Kevin. Apparently they wanted to retcon his calling himself 'Kevin 11' by making his last name Levin since no one ever calls Ben 'Ben 10' in the episode. This is lame. Levin isn't even a surname. If it is, please let me know if you know anyone with the name. His power has changed and he can now 'absorb the qualities of any substance' especially stone and steel. They never address why he is in human form or why he seems to have lost his 'mixed alien' form. Nobody is even really surprised that hes human now, but there is some surprise in his new (application of?) power. And they pretty much instantly trust him, even despite their history and the fact that he starts off as an adversary in the episode. Ben even tries to get him to shake hands, with the hand the Omnitrix is on. Did he forget what happened last time? Seriously, did someone hit Ben with a stupid ray? And he doesn't even seem to have any sort of grudge against Ben or Gwen either, he even seems to have a crush on Gwen. What the heck happened to him in the Null Void? And how did he get out?

On to the bad guys. The Forever Knights seem to share half of the main baddie status this time. Their look has changed quite a bit, they all wear medieval helmets now instead of the creepy-and-thus-cool masks they had before. They also had a robo-dragon which has no precedent in the Ben 10 series. They're under new management so the change isn't completely off, but they did change from 'underground secret society  with slight medieval knight flavor' to 'underground medieval knights with slight secret society flavor'. Blegh.
They've also taken to wearing the infinity symbol from out of the blue.

No particularly big issues with the new alien baddies except that they seem like they should have been notorious enough for a mention before, though i don't really think thats a real problem. Though their goal of exterminated all other races seems a bit odd considering the state of the galaxy according to the original series. Another slight issue is that their footsoldiers/minions are of only one type and are 'half-human hybrids' according to their profile.

Lastly is a thematic change: People can explicitly die now. A Forever Knight gets blown up by his damaged 'energy lance' and all thats left is a smoking helmet. An alien ally pulls a 'die in the hero's arms' from a rather minor looking injury. He shrivels right up. I just think the fact that people can randomly die now and their doing so doesn't elicit any particular response (they did shed a tear for the ally, but then they snapped back into cheerful mode) is in poor taste.

Whew. Glad thats off my chest.

Have you seen the new show? What are you're thoughts? Theres an encore at 10 am on Saturday in the states.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2008, 11:02:11 pm by Neoskel »



Offline Kcronos

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Re: Ben 10: Alien Force
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2008, 11:16:09 pm »
I have not seen the show.  If my predictions are correct, practically all the aliens are bad, they are humanoid, and Ben destroys them with brute force, no questions asked.  Am I right?
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Offline Ultramarine

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Re: Ben 10: Alien Force
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2008, 11:17:25 pm »
Well I was a fan from the start of the original series so I also liked the newer adaption as well.
The more adult themes make it more appealing to teens but doesn't take it too far as well so it can also appeal to children as well.

The darker theme is good as the show needed to get more mature to begin with. Speaking of maturity the new voice actors like Yuri Lowenthal as an older Ben and Greg Cipes doing Kevin bumps up the passage of time including their new attitudes. Ben isn't as confident without the omnitrix and doesn't have the feeling of self worth; but is more mature and analyzes situations before jumping in unlike his younger counter part.
Gwen has even taken a step up with her magic abilities. They range differently than they used to and most basic attacks and levitation techniques don't even need incantation, which is expected but also surprising how she can pull them off with such ease.

It looks like the new alien forms balance out as well with new ones to boot. Some seem illogical like swampfires flame ability combined with plant life manipulation and regeneration :-\?! But hey it's a cartoon, not a lot of it has to make total sense. The alien forms seem more powerful compared to past forms and they look more unique unlike the original ben 10. What I mean is that the new alien forms look all there own instead of looking similar such as the green tinges and the t-shirt mo tiff attached to his alien forms.

Hope to see more of this show soon, looks like it could turn out to be pretty good and hopefully it will run for seasons to come :).
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Offline Neoskel

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Re: Ben 10: Alien Force
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2008, 11:30:14 pm »
I have not seen the show.  If my predictions are correct, practically all the aliens are bad, they are humanoid, and Ben destroys them with brute force, no questions asked.  Am I right?

Well they didn't do that in the original show but the new 'other' aliens have all been pretty humanoid with only one as an ally. Theres no case of 'no questions asked', they've always initiated combat and theres still the 'they're just knocked out' excuse to fall back on. But yeah, the body count is rather high and they're not robots like in the original series.

@Sporelover66 I don't think the themes are all that much darker, they just devalue life more now, and i dig that Ben himself is more mature now. We know that he does grow up into a stiff before he loosens up after meeting his 10-year-old self, so it fits just fine.

It looks like the new alien forms balance out as well with new ones to boot. Some seem illogical like swampfires flame ability combined with plant life manipulation and regeneration :-\?! But hey it's a cartoon, not a lot of it has to make total sense. The alien forms seem more powerful compared to past forms and they look more unique unlike the original ben 10. What I mean is that the new alien forms look all there own instead of looking similar such as the green tinges and the t-shirt mo tiff attached to his alien forms.

The new aliens don't fit well with the timeline though, and 'its just a cartoon so it doesn't have to make sense' is just plain lazy. One of the things i loved about the original series is that it tried its best not to do that, many things had explanations which would have just passed unnoticed in lower quality shows.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2008, 12:03:11 am by Neoskel »

Offline Kcronos

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Re: Ben 10: Alien Force
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2008, 11:49:05 pm »
Does Ben use intelligence or diplomacy in any way?
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Offline Neoskel

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Re: Ben 10: Alien Force
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2008, 12:00:56 am »
Does Ben use intelligence or diplomacy in any way?

I'm not clear on this, did you watch the original series? Just wondering, no  insults or anything intended.

No, not that i noticed. But i guess the situations didn't really call for it. He did in the original show though. Oh, and he did in human form before he got the Omnitrix back. But another continuity error there, he sprays an alien with a fire extinguisher and it crashes through a window in the rusbucket. And he just assumes it is vanquished. I mean a friggin human would come back and show him what for.

I forgot to gripe about something else. There is only one transformation sequence now. No more unique transformation sequences for each alien. This is lame. I really liked the unique transformations, and wished they had more for the ones that don't have one (yet? please?  :'().

And then more griping: The alien ally has a 'Plumber symbol' (which they take after he dies and is going to be an important object in the series) but it is an Omnitrix symbol, which is definitely has nothing to do with the Plumbers or any symbol they might use. It is a symbol from Azmuth, the creator of the Omnitrix. The 'enhanced' version of The Secret of the Omnitrix says that his robotic disguise is based on gods from ancient Galvan mythology and it shows the symbol quite prominently, so the symbol probably was also from Galvan mythology. It has never been used anywhere else in the show.

And i forgot to say that i like the theme music.  :D

But overall i must say, it looks like Alien Force was made by people who never saw the original show and just had it explained loosely to them over coffee. (Yes, i blame coffee. I don't touch the stuff cuz it's evil. ;))
« Last Edit: April 19, 2008, 02:15:48 am by Neoskel »

Offline Yuu

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Re: Ben 10: Alien Force
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2008, 02:09:32 am »
Is it just me, or does Echo Echo look like a ViS?

Offline Neoskel

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Re: Ben 10: Alien Force
« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2008, 02:16:02 am »
Is it just me, or does Echo Echo look like a ViS?

It's just his color scheme. I think hes supposed to look like an iPod.

Offline /lurk

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Re: Ben 10: Alien Force
« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2008, 05:56:07 am »
Coffee is awesome and win. It is not responsible for any evil in the world.


As for Ben 10, I saw that cartoon a few times. It was quite fun, but I didn't know they made spin off series. Aren't they making a film, too?
Not a winner anymore.

Offline emmet

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Re: Ben 10: Alien Force
« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2008, 11:45:54 am »
I need to find somewhere to watch this online!

ARGH!
No way dude, you're trolling me.

Offline blitzonator

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Re: Ben 10: Alien Force
« Reply #10 on: April 19, 2008, 12:06:30 pm »
I thought it was treated like AMV's....

I like it.

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Re: Ben 10: Alien Force
« Reply #11 on: April 19, 2008, 01:17:10 pm »
Aren't they making a film, too?

Already did last year.

As far as how much I like Ben 10 to begin with... Meh!

Offline Neoskel

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Re: Ben 10: Alien Force
« Reply #12 on: April 19, 2008, 01:43:44 pm »
Coffee is awesome and win. It is not responsible for any evil in the world.


As for Ben 10, I saw that cartoon a few times. It was quite fun, but I didn't know they made spin off series. Aren't they making a film, too?

It's not a spin off, its a sequel. At least thats what they're calling it.

They made two movies: one animated (The Secret of the Omnitrix), which was win, and one live action (Race Against Time), which was suck.

(And my personal stand against coffee is that i don't need stimulants, thank you very much.  :P)

I need to find somewhere to watch this online!

ARGH!

Don't worry, it should pop up on youtube eventually, and ben-10.net will definitely have it some time in the future.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2008, 01:58:38 pm by Neoskel »

Offline emmet

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Re: Ben 10: Alien Force
« Reply #13 on: April 19, 2008, 02:14:08 pm »
It was on YouTube, every part. However, part 2 ONLY was taken down by the user. So I stopped watching.

I found a torrent.

It looks great so far! It's evolved into a full scale superhero cartoon!
No way dude, you're trolling me.

Offline Hydromancerx

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Re: Ben 10: Alien Force
« Reply #14 on: April 30, 2008, 06:02:29 am »
Of all the aliens when he was younger and now the new ones how come they all are more or less humanoid or form into humanoid shapes? I was very disappointed they did not make an Spore like aliens with unconventional body shapes.