Captain America and the Avengers (1992) by Data East
Game Type: Beat-em-up
Players: 1-2

Review by PrimeOp

As a long time time comic book fan, one of my favorite comics has always been the Avengers. For those who are stuck on only reading X-Men and Spider Man (even during times that they sucked), the Avengers are the heavy hitters of Marvel. It was a shock to most when Data East decided to make an arcade game based on them (since they didn't have a cartoon out at the time). The bigger shock was how good it turned out.

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 (and not crippled with angst) to handle the threat: the Avengers. The available team members include Captain America, Iron Man, Hawkeye and the Vision. The four heroes follow the trail of robot drones and super-villains to a final confrontation with the Red Skull. Many classic villains appear as bosses throughout the game. Casual comic fans may recognize the Mandarin and Ultron, but old-school Avengers geeks (like myself) will mark-out at the sight of more obscure crooks like the Living Laser, Whirlwind and the Controller. I doubt that there's been a larger collection of non-drone supervillains in one game before. The only odd appearance is Juggernaut who, for reasons that escape me, has a giant blinking red light for a face. My only guess is that they had to change him due to his appearance in Konami's X-Men arcade game. Besides the villains, fellow Avengers Quicksilver and Wonder Man appear to lend some aid while the wonderous Wasp appears as a power-up in the shooter levels who boosts your firepower. Even the Avengers' Quinjet and flying sleds appear here.
Avengers... Assemble!
This is a very accurate arcade-to-home conversion of the game. For the most part: if it's in the arcade game, it's in this cart. This is a side-scrolling beat-em-up that turns into a shooter in a few of the levels just to keep things from getting monotonous. This game actually does a decent job at both genres in the same cart, and that's not something that many multi-style games can claim! 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. That's partly due to the Genesis palette of colors. A minor gripe, though. 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 (which I consider to be a horrible sin, especially if the Genesis version can squeeze them in there).
Son of a Sub-Mariner! No, wait, that is the Sub-Mariner. Never mind.

While this may not be a devestating masterpiece of a video game, it's a two player comic-book-based video game that doesn't suck. While the SNES version (programmed by Mindscape, not Data East) has better graphics, it doesn't have the fun voice samples or the great gameplay. This is also one of those games that you can find for a few bucks used and it's really worth it. If you're a real comic book fan, you'll appreciate it even more. Gameplay 7
Graphics 6
Sound 6
Control 7
Overall 7

Captain America, Iron-Man, the Vision, Hawkeye, the Wasp, Wonder Man, Quicksilver, the Red Skull, Ultron, Crossbones, the Mandarin, the Wizard, the Juggernaut, the Controller, Klaw, the Living Laser, Whirlwind, the Grim Reaper and all other related characters © Marvel comics

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