Captain America and the Avengers
Release year - USA:1992
Company: Data East
System: Genesis
Genre: Beat 'em up
Players: 1-2

Review by: PrimeOp

From the very late '80s until the dawn of the 21st century, Marvel was pretty much a Spider-Man and X-Men world and everyone else was just living in it. That's why it was a shock when Data East's Captain America and the Avengers arcade game arrived in arcades. The bigger shock was how fun it was and that most players were fine playing as obscure characters like Iron Man (remember, this is early '90s here!) and Hawkeye. It was even more surprising that beat 'em ups like Sega's Spider-Man and Konami's X-Men didn't get console ports in that era, but the Avengers managed to make it home.

The villainous Red Skull has gathered a large collection of villains in yet another quest for world domination. The only group in the Marvel Universe powerful enough to handle the threat: the Avengers! The available team members include Captain America, Iron Man, Hawkeye and the Vision. Those four heroes follow the trail of robot drones and super-villains to a final confrontation with the Red Skull. This game boasts one of the largest casts of villains to menace a brawler, from mainstays like Ultron and the Mandarin to the more obscure crooks like the Living Laser, Whirlwind and the Controller. Even the Juggernaut joins in, though he has a giant blinking red light for a face here (licensing issue?). Don't worry, fellow Avengers Quicksilver and Wonder Man appear to lend some aid, while the wonderous Wasp appears as a valuable, firepower boosting power-up in the auto-scrolling shooter sections. Even the Avengers' Quinjet and flying sleds appear here.
Avengers... Assemble!

Son of a Sub-Mariner! No, wait, it's the actual Sub-Mariner, Prince Namor of Atlantis. Never mind.
This is a side-scrolling beat-em-up that turns into a shooter in a few of the levels just to keep the fighting fresh. This game does a fine job at both genres in the same cart, and that's a rare feat! Except for some advanced effects, if it's in the arcade game, it's probably in this cart. Though they're a bit muffled (due to having to use lower sampling rates to fit it all into the cart), the voice samples from the arcade version are there for you to enjoy in all their corny glory. Lines like 'America still needs your help!' and 'You stupid men! Hahahahahaha!' still bring a smile to my face after all these years. The control in this cart is VERY solid, although it might take a bit of timing to get the hang of certain aerial attacks. The only sore spot of this game could be that the colors used aren't quite as vibrant as the arcade version, but that's a minor gripe. The SNES version may have prettier graphics, but can't compete in terms of gameplay, control and the fact that the SNES cart doesn't have the voice samples (especially when the Genesis version managed to squeeze them in there).

It's not the greatest beat 'em up for the system, but it's a very solid two-player superhero video game that doesn't suck, a rare feat of the time. While the SNES version (not ported by Data East) has better graphics, it doesn't have the fun voice samples or tight controls that make this game so enjoyable. Good for both beat 'em up and comic fans alike.

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