Monday, July 4, 2011

Captain America and the Avengers (NES Game)

As a recent convert to comic book nerddom, I find it more interesting than ever to play video games featuring my favorite superheroes. Captain America is a champ, pure and simple. The Avengers are a great superhero team equal or better than anything else you'll find in any uni or multiverse. That puts a hefty expectation on any game featuring these heroes.

How does Captain America and the Avengers stand up to the weight of expectation? It does mildly ok. In this game you travel from city to city thwarting evildoers along the way. You start out as Captain America, but you'll eventually meet up with Hawkeye, who you can switch places with. Unfortunately, these are the only characters you can play in the game. Wasp gives you advice along the way, but that's about it. You rescue Iron Man and Vision, but don't really see them much in the game. Basically this game is Captain America and Hawkeye, not Captain America and the Avengers.

This is a fairly standard platformer. Captain America can throw his shield like a boomerang and Hawkeye can shoot arrows. You'll learn a few special moves along the way with hints Wasp give you, but it's nothing spectacular. One feature I dislike intensely is the fact that you have to shoot every little pod you come across because on of them will open the exit. This means you'll be risking your life to hit a few pods that hold nothing, but you don't know that until you hit 'em.

Also, I don't like the way the boss fights go. They don't give very good indications that they are being hit or are having damage done to them. I almost gave up halfway through the first boss because I didn't know I was hurting him when in fact I was. This lack of standard boss animation (flashing when hit, turning red when weakened, and morphing into something else right before death) makes the boss battles boring when they should be the most exciting part of the game.

Captain America and the Avengers is just a little bland. I can see how the power of nostalgia could convince someone that this is a pretty good game, but it's really not. It's mediocre at best. If it featured more of The Avengers and had better boss battles, that would go a long way toward making this a good game, but sadly it is no such thing.

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