Game Rant’s Riley Little reviews Captain America: Super Soldier on the Nintendo DS
The official portable video game tie-in for Captain America: The First Avenger has finally hit store shelves in in the form of Captain America: Super Soldier for the Nintendo DS. Griptonite Games was the studio tasked with creating the DS version of the game, and the result is less than an ideal title.
Captain America: Super Soldier does very few things right, and the few things that are even a little fun get pretty old rather quickly.
The game’s story differs from that of the actual film that the game is based off of, thus Captain America will encounter various villains from the comics that don’t appear in the actual flick. Captain America faithfuls will appreciate the appearance of known characters such as Baron Van Strucker and Baron Zemo, but their appearances will only please fans of the actual comic. The rest of the game’s story is pretty linear, and will likely induce a severe case boredom.
The Red Skull is cooking up a plan to take over the world, and Captain America must stop him and his HYDRA goons. During the course of Steve Roger’s grand adventure players will run around different levels that all look pretty much the same. Additionally, Captain America will continuously run into the exact same puzzles over and over again. I traversed through the majority of the game, and 90% of it all appeared exactly the same — with the exception of a small handful of areas where Captain America actually goes outside. They even reuse the same computer room at the end of every level!
The puzzles in each level of Captain America: Super Soldier can be pretty difficult at first, because there is little to no indication of what players should actually do. Details on how to perform a certain move that is required to complete a task will quickly flash on the bottom DS screen, and more often than not the tip will appear as the player is mid-battle on the top screen. This can cause some severe confusion but, after a lot of frustration, some players may realize that they can get another glimpse at the hint by hitting the start button. After getting past a few of the first puzzles the game will be a breeze.
However, there’s one puzzle in particular that just makes absolutely no sense when it appears later on in the game. The puzzle in question involves Captain America having to throw his shield at a switch to drop down an engine block, so that he can cross a gap or reach a higher platform. This puzzle made complete sense in the factory section of the game, but it also appeared later inside of a mansion. Who runs into a multi-million dollar mansion and says, “Let’s put a massive engine block right here.”? Nobody.
The platforming mechanics are also far from precise, and it’s very easy to over or under estimate a jump. There are a few points where precision movements are required, but the precision just isn’t there. Fortunately, the combat is half decent, and will keep many entertained for a short while. Though, the actual fighting will become redundant – as all players will do is smash ‘Y’ to punch, ‘X’ to throw, and ‘A’ to toss Cap’s shield. During combat Captain America will also build-up a bar that will unleash one of two attacks, depending on how full the meter is, and can be used to efficiently wipe out all foes that stand in your path.
The worst part about each level is that if Captain America misses a jump and falls into acid or is killed by enemies – then the player will have to restart from the beginning of the area. This makes the game much more drawn-out and tedious then it needs to be – as if the developers removed checkpoints to make the game feel longer.
Super Soldier does try to mix-up the standard platforming elements by adding a couple different modes. A stealth area in a level will pop up occasionally, and players are required to sneak around without being spotted by bad guys or cameras. In theory that sounds relatively easy, but the camera zooms in way too close to the player. This means players will be tiptoeing around when all of a sudden they’ll be spotted by an enemy off screen. The bottom screen does include a radar but the range isn’t large enough to prevent the superhero from being unfairly spotted.
There are also levels that force Cap to dash through – as fast as possible. These sequences play similarly to games like Bit.Trip Runner and Monster Dash, in the sense that players can’t stop running and must jump over obstacles and punch through enemies. There are medals floating around the course that will add to the overall score, but they don’t serve much of a purpose at all. The obstacles seem oddly familiar after running through the level for a while, though, and the intensity of these levels are less than thrilling.
Captain America: Super Soldier is the very definition of a movie tie-in cash grab. It’s rushed, the controls are far from accurate, and the voiceover work sounds like it was done on a Yak Bak. There are very few redeeming qualities to the game, and I can’t help but feel sorry for the kids who sucker their parents into purchasing this game for them. It’s best that consumers S.H.I.E.L.D. themselves from this one – because Captain America is nobody’s friend on the DS.
Captain America: Super Soldier is available July 19th for the Wii, Xbox 360 Ps3, and Nintendo DS.
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