Review by xenodolf
"Another super-hero beat 'em up that never rises above averageness."
I'm not a big comic book fan, and I don't see the majority of movies based on super heroes. Nonetheless - when I found out that Captain America and the Avengers was a side-scrolling brawler, I purchased it without hesitation. There are different versions of this game, both in the arcade and on the Sega Genesis/Megadrive. They're supposedly better than what I'm reviewing here, but that's a judgement I'll make another day. Onto the review..
The visuals weren't exactly mind-blowing by late-1993 standards. The sprites were small, somewhat muddy in coloration, and not sporting anything above average detail. I didn't find anything striking about the background environments, either. The level of animation was ok, and I didn't notice any graphical flickering while playing. There were some decent comic-book style panels between the stages that didn't look too bad, though.
The majority of the music in this game didn't even register in my mind. There were a few decent tracks though, like the song that plays in the aerial shooting stage right before you battle the Sentinel. There are a bunch of digitized vocals in this game, which on paper sounds like a good idea. Unfortunately, you'll be taking hits so often in this game that your character's cries and whatnot will resemble a broken record.
There wasn't any real response lag, and the button layout scheme was decent enough. The collision detection was iffy at times, and more often that not the enemy projectile attacks could hit strike you on several movement planes while you have to shoot your own while positioned on a certain one.
There are four selectable heroes, all of which are somewhat diverse, and up to two players can fight together at once. The majority of the combat was less emphasized on typical pummeling and more on throwing the common foes across the screen fodder while blasting them at a distance with projectile attacks. The basic enemies are pretty aggressive, but what got on my nerves which the over-use of long-range weapons by the cannon fodder. Normally in beat 'em ups - when an enemy has a gun or something - they'll fire it once or twice, move around, and give you a chance to attack them before they resume shooting. Not here - where you'll have to avoid a steady stream of projectiles and somewhat manage to kill the shooter while dealing with the other, melee-prone grunts. The regular Joe enemy also had brief periods of invincibility after being attacked - meaning you'll have to annoyingly avoid them for a second before resuming the beat-down. Alongside the traditional brawling action were a few aerial shooting stages. These weren't very varied, and you were basically limited to shooting lasers/arrows/etc. and moving around the screen. Overall, the action and enjoyment levels centered around the core game-play mechanics never rose above average expectations.
Replay value 3/10
With four playable characters and a co-op mode, there are some alterations to be expected with different play-throughs. The game is rather generic, though, so it won't be roping many people in based on charm alone.
Licensed super-hero games are usually the weakest point of the beat 'em up genre, and Captain America and the Avengers doesn't do much to work against stereotypes. This game might hold your interest for 20 minutes or so, but it isn't worth paying more than $4 for the whole experience. Since the arcade and Genesis/Megadrive versions are allegedly better, I'll try to muster up the enthusiasm to review them soon enough.
Reviewer's Rating: 3.0 - Fair
Originally Posted: 08/06/07
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