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Hands-on with Sega and Marvel's Upcoming Captain America Video Games

When the world needs an all-American hero, where do we turn? Why, to none other than the red-blooded Marvel star Captain America. It’s been a good year for Cap. Not only is he headlining a summer blockbuster, but he’s also spent some time in Marvel vs Capcom 3. With the film releasing in July, it’s time for the licensed releases to make their debut. Last week Marvel announced that Sega (which previously published the Iron Man games), will take on publishing duties once more. With titles coming to every platform on the market, Sega and Marvel are aiming for a collective July 17 release date—just in time for the movie.

Captain America: Super Soldier (360/PS3): The development duties for the flagship version of Captain America: Super Soldier is in the hands of Next Level Games (you might know them for their work on Super Mario Strikers and Punch Out!! for the Wii). They're applying their combat experience to Cap’s journey into WWII-era Germany as he takes down familiar enemies such as Madam Hydra. The combo system should be easy for anyone to pick up. Under the guidance of Next Level’s developer, the counter system is pretty cool, with Captain America blocking and dodging projectiles with his shield. Even cooler, Cap can flip over enemy soldiers while he’s being shot at, and the enemies will accidentally shoot their comrade.

I don’t know if this “next-gen” version of Captain America will be anything more than a beat ‘em up licensed title, but with some mindless button mashing and 3D support for both 360 and PS3, Captain America: Super Soldier will please comic fans and those wowed by the flick.

Captain America: Super Soldier (Wii): High Voltage Software, known for their work on The Conduit and the upcoming Grinder, are the team behind Captain’s Wii adventure. Like the 360/PS3 version, the Wii game follows a different storyline than the movie, benefiting the experience. High Voltage went for a brighter, more stylized version of the good Captain, and it bodes well for players. I wouldn’t say it’s great-looking, but it gets the job done.

Controls are a concern. Throwing the shield is very important in this game, and it takes a little getting used to. Players point at the screen, and by shaking the nunchuk, Cap will throw his shield in that direction. By pressing C, everything slows down and Captain can highlight a bunch of points to hit. It’s a little finicky, and the cool down period when using the shield feels arbitrary and tacked on.

Oddly, the platforming is guided by the game. In sections where Cap jumps up platforms, the game places him on-rails, with the player either jumping forward or moving back. It’s obvious that the Wii version of the game is aimed toward kids, but the stronger comic book feel is fresh compared to the slightly darker movie feel of its 360/PS3 counterpart.

Captain America: Super Soldier (DS): The DS version of Captain America was actually my favorite. Fans of the Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions DS game will be happy to know that Griptonite Games is working on this new game. Griptonite Games does a fantastic job creating linear side-scrolling games, and while short, they play very well. Think a level-based Shadow Complex, and you’ve got a good idea how Captain America: Super Soldier plays.

As with the other Captain America titles, you’ll find a combo meter for dealing out punishment on evil soldiers. Captain America will also have to explore stages, find routes through the game, and solve the occasional puzzle. Sure, it’s only going to last four to five hours, but the gameplay is very polished and smooth.

Captain America: Super Soldier (3DS): Just announced, this is the version of Captain America coming to Nintendo’s new handheld. It will not be out in time for the cinematic release; however, we can expect it to appear in time for the DVD launch.

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Ben PerLee
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