Thursday, 4 February 2016

Captain America and the Avengers (Arcade)


Who and who?


As far as the realisation of comic books into video games goes, there's far worse ones than this. Captain American and the Avengers is a healthy mix of the more colourful ear of comic books before they become darker and more gritty and suffered a series of ongoing reboots. So expect the bright colourful spandex, the ink-draining colour schemes as if bubblejet printers had carte blanche to print EVERYTHING possible and some of the fruitiest plots and excuses one could imagine.

With enough credits, yes I can.

In this particular game, Red Skull, the nemesis of Captain America, is going to put a laser on the moon so he can blast the Earth for what can only be for "Shits and giggles" as it's established in the intro that he has PILES of gold (no, seriously, he's shown standing next to more gold than one could carry and it's as tall as he is) and offering it to various villains on condition they become brain washed to fight the Avengers, so he can build this laser.

Where's the fairy come from? What do you mean 'which one?'?

I don't think I'm supposed to bash apart the plot holes in this plan, or maybe in the 80's and early 90's this was considered to be award winning comic book villain plan material... But this is what captain American and the Avengers have gone for. I also just realised this is one LONG title and won't really fit into the website but oh well.

...Translatorman was fired after this incident

So cue our four intrepid heroes, Captain America being one, Android (Who? Enlighten me please), Iron Man (pre Robert Downey Jr) and Hawkeye before he traded spandex for black leather and an attitude problem. All of which will run the gauntlet of levels offered by the game and punch out anything dressed worse than they are. But this isn't a fashion critique (I do that on weekends) but a game assessment and as such, it seems to fit in rather well with the Saturday Morning Cartoon Club approach to comics and video games. Bad guy does bad stuff, go kick arse off.

Starting to lose track of what's going on here

Each character in Captain America and the Avengers has a reasonable arsenal of attacks, ranging from standard melee, long range beams and shield throws, jumping attacks, a shield/barrier if one holds the attack down to reduce damage and can also pick up and hurl cola cans, spanners and enemies before hurling them into the stratosphere, or another enemy. Using your jump button and attack button, you can quickly exhaust all the moves within the first few seconds of the game and learn most of the more effective attacks. Each character utilising their trademarks within their moves, so Hawkeye shoots arrows, Iron Man has his repulsor beams, Captain America has his shield and Android pulls out a mobile phone... Or shoots lasers or something.

Ah the old "WABOOM" a perfect reason not to use good sound sampling

The levels within Captain America and the Avengers run from being the usual walking, scrolling brawling variety to the flying and shooting variance every few levels or so. Allow for an air battle, undersea battle and space battle and for a welcome change in gameplay every so often to keep things interesting, while running battles tend to be the type that is, 'walk forwards, fight some dudes, walk forwards, fight more dudes, fight mid-boss, walk forwards, scene change, fight more dudes, fight boss' and while it's fairly formulaic there's something about the delivery here that makes the game somewhat of a chore to play through.

Yes, where inded IS Sting these days?

Combos against enemies within Captain American and the Avengers, are difficult at best. The standard enemies tend to be able to interrupt your moves with their and your health will steadily dwindle down from your starting 100 points to zero very quickly unless you slap in a few credits or you play keep-away by jumping and hitting from a distance (avoid being Hawkeye and Captain America for this...) though this doesn't really lend into the idea of being gung-ho heroes and the best cure for villainy is a punch to the face.

Please let it be over soon...

All things said, the gameplay is quite fluid, the graphics a little on the simple and small side for what other games are offering but this gives the wonderful trade-off of allowing more on screen to happen at once and with that, feels like a lot of action is happening, which also leads to some fights being nothing short of overwhelming and the arcade becoming nothing more than a pocket vacuum sucking up your credits. It's ok, but there's a lot better out there doing a lot greater things.