Week in Arcade: Doom II, Ben 10, Voodoo Dice

A triple decker of $10 titles this week, including a classic FPS that has been a long time coming.

Ben 10: The Rise of Hex

This is the type of licensed game we used to get back in the 16-bit days, for better or worse. A sloppy, loose, unresponsive platform beat-em-up with minimal puzzle elements, Ben 10 is rather dull. The fighting mechanics are far too floaty to be accurate, enemies skating around after being hit and that second combo punch rarely registering on the controller. Basic platforming is merely adequate, and the puzzles easy for the kids this is aimed at. It looks fine, and is undoubtedly faithful to the source material, but for $10, there are far better platformers out there.

Voodoo Dice

A fun little concept, Voodoo Dice has the player moving on a grid with a dice. The idea is to reach the end of the level to advance (duh?), but clearing the way or flipping switches make that harder than it sounds. You need to match the number on your dice with the number on the dice blocking your own path, or pushing objects to keep switches held. Pleasing visuals and quirky music are nice set pieces for the simple, slightly addictive gameplay.

Doom II

It is impressive how Doom’s simple point and shoot mechanics still hold up considering where the genre has progressed to. Doom II really varied the challenges, adding holes in the wall, lots of surprise switches, and spectacular music to give the game its own style. Two chapters are included, which means plenty of shotgun demon blasting to take part in. Multiplayer is in again as well, not a bad deal for only $10.