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Captain America: Super Soldier (Wii) Review

Captain America: Super Soldier
(Wii)

Publisher: Sega

Developer: High Voltage
Software

Captain America: The First
Avenger
was a tale of triumph against adversity and how one must never lose
their character in the face of chaos. However such flowery language is not really fit to describe the game
based on the movie: Captain America: Super Soldier. Despite being another cash-in game released
to take advantage of the movie buzz, this game is surprisingly not too bad.  However it clearly lacks ambition, delivering
an experience that is mundane, simplistic, and leaves you nonplussed and kind
of offended because this game clearly could have been much better.

Features:

·        1 player.

·        Around 8 levels of Super Soldier action.

·        Unlockable Picture Gallery

·        Fight enemies to gain experience and level up.

·        Featuring the voice of Chris Evans as Captain
America.

Story: Captain America is
sent on a mission to infiltrate a mysterious castle in the Balkans and foil
whatever HYDRA is planning in it.  Along
the way he will find himself facing the likes of many of his old enemies like
Madame Hydra, Iron Cross, Arnim Zola, and of course the Red Skull.

Gameplay: Unlike the Xbox
360 and Playstation 3 versions, which owe their gameplay styling to Batman:
Arkham Asylum
by way of its open world and meticulous combat system, the
Wii version plays like a basic linear brawler. You guide Captain America through labyrinthine levels of the castle
fortress while beating up HYDRA soldiers and solving room puzzles.  It provides a very straightforward,
functional, experience but it is bogged down by its own simplicity and a very
broken engine.

Combat is a very rudimentary
exercise that does not require any real finesse.  Cap is able to unleash a multitude of
elaborate combos on a single enemy, counter attacks, and toss his shield all
with a push of a button.  This is the
best part of the game since the engine is fairly well-tuned to allow Cap an
edge against his opponents, despite it making fights a total, unfulfilling,
breeze.  As the game goes on however it
becomes less exciting and more tiresome since, apart from the occasional boss
battles, there is no avenue for variety. If you combo enough, you will gain experience to build up Cap’s
abilities, which consist of adding more moves to attack combos and health
upgrades.  It is not much but it is
there, and helps make the already easy puzzles, most of which involve just
hitting switches and jumping platforms, a bit easier.

It does not help the game’s case
however when the platforming segment is heavily broken.  Like combat, jumping consists of only one
button that, when pushed while Cap stands next to a platform with an arrow
icon, causes him to jump onto it.  Even
if you are careful the “one push, one jump” mechanic is incredibly wonky and
one misstep can cause you to fall down to the bottom and start all over
again.  It gets even worse when the game
appears to be so unfinished that in one instance when you jump onto a guard
rail so you can walk across it, you will not land on the guardrail but will
fall THROUGH it.  It is profoundly
unsettling to see such a haphazard flaw in the game.

Other than that there is not much
else to the game.  The campaign is a
brisk six to eight hours, with a few bonus objectives in each level.  These usually involve destroying hidden
bombs, freeing Allied Soldiers, finding plans and gems, and defeating timed
challenges.  The rewards are not much:
more experience and the unlocking of more profiles and pictures in the extras
gallery.  They do not contribute much and
thus are easily avoidable.  Truly the
game does enough to provide a playable experience, but it only settles for
being mostly functional and nothing more.

Graphics: Captain
America: Super Soldier
is not much of a looker aesthetic wise.  While somewhat imaginative in concept the castle levels are murky and remarkably claustrophobic.  Even in the largest areas of the game you
cannot help but feel rather restrained by the game when it comes to going
anywhere and doing anything Cap would do. This blandness is exacerbated by the numerous amounts of corridors that
connect those areas with one another, rendering the march of progress to a
repetitious chore.  Camera angles are
also quite hazardous, as it seems to lose its way in a number of spots and is a
burden during the platform sequences.

Given the Wii’s graphical
capabilities it is unsurprising the game opts for a more cartoon-style approach
than the somewhat realistic models in the 360 and PS3 versions.  Like the environments the character models
are nothing to write home about, with their designs ranging from fairly decent
like Captain America to remarkably mundane and procedural like the copious
amounts of HYDRA troops.  Cap’s movement
and animation however is quite well-done, and all the moves in his repertoire
are given the right amount of oomph to make what he’s dealing to HYDRA look
rather painful.  Unfortunately it is the
only highlight to a rather uninspired visual design.

Sound: Music mostly is of
a rather non-descript orchestral bravado. It severely lacks the bombastic oomph of the Alan Silvestri movie score,
and instead opts for very standard pieces of ominous to action-packed thematic
tracks.  It is the kind of stock music
you would find in a rather stock World War II story.  As such nothing here stands out other than
the fact that it is there and is playing. Sound effects are standard but effective, with the right amount of
shield clanks, soldier grunts, and explosions, to do the job.

Voice wise there is a bit more to
write about.  The game not only managed
to secure Chris Evans to reprise his role as the Star-Spangled Man with a Plan,
but Hayley Atwell (Peggy Carter), Neal McDonough (Dum Dum Dugan), Sebastian
Stan (Bucky), and J.J. Field (Falsworth) to reprise their film roles as
well.  The end result is a relatively
authentic if a bit stilted affair.  While
it is wonderful to hear all of them (especially Evans) once again play their
unique roles, their performances at times comes off as wooden and without
feeling.  Dialogue tends to be rather
procedural in its scope, so there is really no room for any dramatic
flourish.  The voice actors just do the
best they can with the rather mundane script and call it good.  The other voices are effective if a bit
cartoony, although you will possibly get sick of soldiers asking whether Cap is
THE Captain America or Arnim Zola’s motions that if you pass his challenges he
will give you a cookie.

Play Control: Utilizing
the Wii-mote and the Nunchuk, Cap handles quite well.  Control is for the majority part
responsive.  Given the rather simplistic
combat system mapped to just one button, the control works well enough to acknowledge
the heavy button mashing which will take place. 

Disappointingly, the game does not feature any dynamic use of the Wii
remote for the shield throwing.  Instead
of flicking your wrist as if you were throwing Cap’s shield, it is instead
relegated to the C button.  You can tap
once to quickly toss the shield in a general fashion, hitting any and all
enemies in the room, or you can hold it down for an awkward target lock mode
where you tag enemies with a reticule (a feat unto itself due to a picky
targeting system) and the shield homes in to strike the marked targets.  Like everything else in this game, the play
control does its job, but nothing more.

Overall: By now you have
noticed that most of the game’s facets are being described as doing its job and
nothing more.  Well, that is Captain
America: Super Soldier
in a nutshell. It is not a horrible game, and there was room for a more engaging
affair, but it just does not do enough. Combat is insultingly simple, the graphics are stylized but
underdeveloped, the sounds are procedural and unexceptional, and overall the
lack of scope and cracks in the design hamper what could have been a rather
cathartic romp with the First Avenger as he wails upon the horde of not quite
Nazis that is HYDRA.

A rental at best, for I doubt you
will find the unlockable picture gallery to be much of an incentive to come
back and play some more.  When this
Captain America throws his mighty shield, feel free if you choose to oppose
this shield to not yield.


 Graphics: 5.0

Play Control: 5.5

Gameplay: 5.0

Satisfaction: 4.0

Sound: 6.0

Overall: 5.1

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