Ben 10 Omniverse: Volume 2 – Heroes Rise (2-Disc DVD Collection)
Release Date: Available July 9 on DVD.
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Disc Rating: 8/10
The series follows a 16-year-old Ben Tennyson, bearer of the Omnitrix, a watch-like device that allows Ben to change into aliens, becomes ready to be a solo hero. Ben’s grandpa, Max, teams him up with an alien named Rook, a rookie and a by-the-book partner. On a mission to explore a secret alien city, Ben explores the quirkier side of things in the alien underground and discovers that enemies from his past are looking for a rematch. All the while, Ben becomes targeted by a mysterious hunter. Ben later travels back in time to assist his 11-year-old self. With 10 new aliens at his disposal, Ben is ready for anything.
‘Ben 10 Omniverse’ is the fourth series revolving around the character of young Ben Tennison who with the help of an alien artifact that allows him to transform into aliens, fights to keep our world safe, taking after his Grandpa Max who spent his life fighting the alien threats around the world as part of a secret group of warriors dubbed The Plumbers. Omniverse takes things in a slightly new direction from the previous shows. It focuses on Ben as he joins and fights with a group of new-age plumbers led by Rook ( a new character to my knowledge) and himself. The series revolves around the adventures that this new team gets into with Ben at the head of the team along with newcomer Rook and Grandpa Max tagging along for the most part to help out when he can even though he is technically retired.
While I have always enjoy the ‘Ben 10’ shows that I have seen (I have only made it so far as Alien Force previously) this time they make some serious changes in the formula, animation and with the characters which might take a little bit of getting used to. Ben is still around (of course) and so is Grandpa Max, though other prominent characters such as Gwen and Kevin are omitted from Omniverse (at least at the point in which this DVD covers, though I have heard they do come in at some point). It still has all of the fun action and adventure elements of the previous shows, but the animation has been altered a bit to the point of being mildly distracting, though it becomes quite easy to adapt to once you have watched a few episodes. The cheesy humor is a little more prominent in Omniverse as they have included some new extremely silly characters, and this element does not necessarily harm the show too much, yet it does have an effect on it to some degree.
Overall, while it may not be quite as entertaining and well done as the original ‘Ben 10’ or even Alien Force, it is certainly still a fun series that fans of the Ben 10 character are certain to enjoy.
The video is presented in a 16×9 friendly 1.78:1 aspect ratio representing the aspect ratio in which it was originally broadcast. As far as DVD releases for animated shows go, the video quality is pretty decent. The colors are smooth, balanced and sharp. Aside from some mild pixilation (which is to be expected when viewing a DVD on an HDTV) everything about the video is pretty well done.
The audio on this release is a Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo soundtrack. Without going with a 5.1 channel multichannel soundtrack, the 2.0 Dolby Digital on this release sounds is pretty nice as far as stereo soundtracks go. As per usual, I used the simulated 7.1 surround option on my receiver and the stereo soundtrack divides up pretty nicely to utilize the option which is always a sign of a quality stereo soundtrack.
The only special features included on the release are ‘Alien Reveal’ which is composed of short video promos providing a bit of insight into some of the different aliens Ben can transform into. The other special feature is an ‘Alien Database.’
Disc Rating: 8/10
‘Ben 10 Omniverse: Volume 2 – Heroes Rise’ will be available on DVD in a 2-Disc, 10 episode Collection this Tuesday, July 9 From Warner Bros Entertainment & Cartoon Network.