I’m not feeling my best today so it’s just a quick post about one of my favorite arcade games, Captain America and the Avengers by Data East. I was reminded of the game by a Facebook post from Zack Smith last week and have been holding this post for ‘Avengers week.’
In many ways, this game was the predecessor of the popular Marvel Ultimate Alliance released on the home consoles in 2006 that allowed gamers access to an uncanny assemblage of heroes.
The Captain America and the Avengers arcade game was closely based on the comic book published at the time (witness the Iron Man armor design and the pale white/yellow version of the Vision) and even featured a business suit-clad Red Skull looking like he came right out of the Acts of Vengeance crossover (in fact the game itself is similar in some ways to that story). As a comic book fan, all of the references to current comic book lore in this arcade game made me think I’d died and gone to heaven.
A first for super hero video games, Captain America and the Avengers allowed you to play through as one of four members of the classic team along with three other friends. Think Gauntlet for comic book fans. Captain America and Iron Man were obvious choices but I have to give the folks at Data East some credit for originality for including the Vision and Hawkeye! Each character has a standard set of fighting moves in addition to signature moves such as Hawkeye’s arrow shot, Iron Man’s repulsor blast, the Vision’s laser beam and of course Captain America’s shield toss.
Captain America and his team of Avengers are united against the forces of the Red Skull who has apparently called in every favor he ever had coming in the super villain world. That means players have to face off against a series of goons followed by boss battles against Whirlwind, the Mandarin, the Living Laser and many others. Again… comic book heaven.
As players progress through the game, they are even aided by other members such as the Wasp and Wonder Man. Captain America and the Avengers was such a great game that I’m curious as to why there were so few games of its kind. There was a similar multi-player Spider-Man game released a few years previous that featured the web slinger teaming up with Hawkeye, Sub Mariner and the Black Cat which I played to death at the time, but the Avengers arcade game is far superior.
The Captain America and the Avengers game was ported over to the home console but it’s a second rate version that is so difficult as to be nearly unplayable. Yes, I have a copy.