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God of War for Kids
on September 7, 2011
Captain America is a perfectly enjoyable game that will get plenty of play in your household. Obviously you control the title character in his quest to beat the tar out of NAZIs and work his way through a castle filled with tons of enemies.
I mention God of War because it is the same melee style, combo based action you find in that series. Enemies surround you and your overpowered hero quickly beats them up like an old Jackie Chan movie. Cap continues to extend his combo ability as he powers up, earning new abilities every so often from experience enemies drop. The combos are generally started by pulling the B button repeatedly as Cap plows his way through the toadies. When surrounded, you will occasionally see "Z" pop above your head. At those times, tapping the button will send Cap into a counter attack, smacking around an enemy that is getting ready to strike from behind.
Not as frequently used however is Cap's shield. In combat, it essentially serves to stun enemies, deflect their bullets or ignite the clichéd big red barrels (side note, when will bad guys finally learn it is always a bad idea to stand next to big red barrels?) Using the shield during combat is clunky, requiring IR aiming which generally takes too long and is imprecise. The shield winds up being used mostly for puzzles.
The puzzles in the game are simple and repetitive like the combat. Unlike the combat though, the puzzles aren't much fun. Most involve stepping on a switch and then using the shield to blow something up, either by throwing it or deflecting bullets. Usually some sort of power switch. Yawn.
Platforming is equally sad with win button platforming. For those of you unfamiliar with win buttons, the platform sections basically are set up so that you push the A button and Cap makes the proper jump--perfectly every time. There is no skill involved and it has about as much interaction as a cut scene. It looks nice but it is disappointing.
There are plenty of extras for perfectionists. Red Skull bombs to destroy, artifacts to collect, soldiers to save and challenges to complete. I've never been a fan of this type of stuff in games, but others love it. It is all there and it is all optional.
In short, the combat of Captain America is very entertaining if derivative. The other parts of the game? Not as much. That being said, it is a surprisingly good effort for both the movie tie in and superhero genres, which have seen their fair share of complete clunkers. It's not the greatest game in the world, but it will provide a few hours of fun.