I know it's been a long time guys. In fact, it's been 5 months since I last talked about a comic book related video game. Anyways, after doing a few comic book games for the Nintendo Entertainment System, I got tired of the same old thing and upgraded. Prepare for Comic Book Arcade v2.0: The Sega chronicles! This next round starts with the most requested game... Well, the ONLY requested game: Captain America and the Avengers.
Side-scrolling beat-em ups were the hottest thing in arcades during the 90s, many of which were awesome. A few of these arcade games actually made their way to consoles as well. Back in 1991, a little game called Captain America and the Avengers hit the arcades, and kids everywhere (me) spent their weekly allowances trying to beat it. In 1993, this game came to the Sega Genesis. Twenty years after its original release, I finally got my hands on a copy, but it's the Sega Genesis version.
Because I care about your eyesight, I'm giving you screen-shots from the arcade. As you can see above, not only is it hard to take pictures of my hand-held Sega, it's not as pretty as the arcade version. To the best of my, and the internet's, knowledge, the only real changes in the game are graphics and sound, but if you know me and this article, I'm only going to talk about them if they annoy me to death. However, my biggest concern was will this game stand up after 20 years?== TEASER ==
What's the plot to the game? Simple: Red Skull is a Nazi and he needs a good whooping, and he has a moon base, which no Nazi should have. Red Skull has teamed up with a whole bunch of baddies in order to kick your butt: Whirlwind, Living Laser, Juggernaut, and Crossbones just to name a few.
It's up to Captain America, Iron Man, Vision, and Hawkeye to stop the Red Skull. Those are your choices... Choose wisely. One thing that really bugged me is that Wonder Man is in this game hanging out and driving a space ship around. Why can't he help? He's super powerful, and to be honest, he would a lot more useful than Captain America or Hawkeye in this game. Anyway you walk around beating up minions and then take on a boss in each level. It's pretty traditional beat-em-up attire. What separates this game from others in its genre is that there are two different styles of game-play.
To the left we have the traditional style of game-play: side-scrolling, punching goodness. Did Iron Man just knock out Hawkeye? Anyway, to the right, we have a side-scrolling shooter type game-play. You get to do this 3 or 4 times within the game, and it's a really nice break from the tedium of punching people in the face. Anyone else think "Giant Robot" looks exactly like a Sentinel?
The Sega version of this game has three glorious button choices: A=Jump, B=Punch, C=Punch. So nice, they did it twice. You can mash down A+B or A+C to shoot a projectile, or jump in the air and shoot projectiles. If you're close enough to an enemy, like most games, you can throw them. The game-play is insanely basic, but still moderately fun. It does become tedious after about 5 minutes of game time, but by that point, it becomes a side-scrolling shooter.
While it's fun and brings back a lot of nostalgia, there's a few horribly annoying aspects to the game. First thing's first, every character plays relatively the same, and by relatively, I mean exactly. Sure, the sprites are different, but each character punches, throws, and fires. There's nothing separating these characters. You may as well just have Jack of Hearts, Ant-Man, Beast, and Moon Knight in this game. It doesn't make a difference... Jack of Hearts and the Avengers? That sounds pretty awesome actually.
The dialogue this game throws at you is pretty awful from "You cannot beat me!" to "You stupid men!" You'd figure a man who can put together a grand scheme could at least put together a decent sentence.
The game follows every single beat em' up rule in the book. You have to beat the end boss twice, and the second time he's super-powered? CHECK. First level is a decimated city? CHECK. Cameos from characters you'd much rather play as? CHECK! ( Namor and Wonder Man are prime examples)
Most Unintentionally Hilarious Moment
There are lots of cool villains you get to fight in this game, but one of them really stood out to me. In fact, I had to pause the game because I was laughing so hard. Ladies and gentleman of the vine, I present to you, the most dastardly villain in Captain America and the Avengers... Mech Taco!
Yes, this is real. Even Captain America lowers his head in shame as he is forced to fight, quite possibly, the lamest villain he's ever faced... And remember, he fights Batroc: The Leaper on a regular basis. What is this thing? I beat the game, and I paid attention to the story, and I'm still confused. It's obviously supposed to be a mechanical octopus, even though it old has five tentacles, so I understand the "Mech." part, but why "taco?" Was this a failed marketing tie-in with Taco Bell? The Mech. Taco Taco?
Well, it's been 20 years, and while this game was a ton of fun back in the final days of the arcade, it doesn't hold up as well now. Sure, it's fun for about 20 minutes, but after that, you really don't want to pick it back up again. It doesn't really stand-out and the characters are way too similar. The entire time I played this, I wished it was a game about Wonder Man's talk show.
Plus, look at that ending. That's what you get for beating the game... a bunch of words thanking you for dumping $15 into a game. It's worth a couple bucks if you find it used online, but nothing more than that. Sadly, to this date, this is the only good Captain America or Avengers video game (Marvel Alliance doesn't count). Hopefully, with the Avengers film coming out next year, Marvel will put a new Avengers game out... Let's just hope it doesn't stink. Do you guys remember this game? Did you love it? Hate it? What's a Mech Taco?