Captain America Wii - Video

Captain America: Super Soldier
Captain America: Super Soldier Cover
Platforms Wii
Genre Good Old American Brawler
MtAMinutes to Action 2
Keep Playing? I guess so
Buy from Amazon

Last week, I checked out Captain America: Super Soldier for the PS3, a decision based equally on hope and whatever horrible curiosity entices people to play movie-licensed games. It was like approaching a derailed train full of puppies: you can't look away from what's sure to be a disaster, but also there's a chance everything turned out okay, and wouldn't that just be wonderful?

Well, here we are again. Another game called Captain America: Super Soldier has been released for Wii. It has the same name and is capitalizing on the same blockbuster movie, but it's a very different game by a very different studio. The PS3 and 360 versions were handled by Next Level Games, a developer that quietly created some of my favorite gems of the generation (in addition to a few duds, apparently). In contrast, the Wii version was in the hands of High Voltage Software, a studio that hyped its first big project to high heaven before the final product would be condemned to gaming purgatory. Since then, the company has released an immediately forgotten sequel and made some noise about what will surely be vaporware in due time.

That said, I can't help but admire the ambition and genuine enthusiasm High Voltage Software brought to trade shows, even if it didn't translate into a worthwhile package in The Conduit. HVS also seems to be one of the few developers that actually took Wii development seriously at some point, so I suppose it's qualified to bring Captain America to Nintendo's neglected little box. My expectations are about as low as you can get, but I'm curious enough to give the game a try anyway.

And hey, video! Watch a superdeformed Captain America throw his mighty shield, solve some mighty puzzles, and even throw a mighty Shoryuken.

My thoughts

- Combat is...alright. Captain America Wii makes an admirable effort to capture the showy hand-to-hand of the PS3 and 360 versions, mimicking the one-button approaches to attacks and counters, but the janky animations and limp slow-mo stylings just can't match its HD cousins. It's not without its charms, though: those pro wrestling-style finishers are an amusing surprise.

- Wii pointer, yeah! I'm a sucker for using the Wii's IR pointer in action games, so I'm happy to see it directs Cap's shield throws and bullet deflections, two elements that play into combat and puzzles. The frequent and unpredictable camera movement keeps the pointer's combat utility lower than it could be, however.

- There are no attempts to mask linearity here. Rather than weaving through an open-world like the HD versions, Captain America is funneled stage by stage through Castle Zemo on Wii. The entire first level was a series of corridors in the form of trenches, and the second was hardly more spacious.

- I wasn't big on the automated quick time event platforming from the PS3 game, but at least it had some flair. Cap's awkward snap-to-target jumps in the Wii version are little more interactive and far uglier affairs.

- The presentation as a whole isn't bad...it's certainly above movieware standards, at least. There's a nice fit between the simple and colorful art style and the Saturday morning cartoon take on the Nazi-styled HYDRA enemies, not to mention the flamboyant patriotism of the title character.

- Oh, there's Steve Blum again. Apparently every POW has his voice, and recites one of a handful of gratitudes when rescued. He must charge quite a sum per line, since they only gave him three.

Minutes to Action: 2

Would I keep playing? I guess so. Captain America: Super Soldier certainly won't be in the running for any awards, even in this bone-dry year for Wii, but as far as afterthought standard definition versions of movie tie-in games go, it's well above the rest of the pitiful pack. There's potential here, but I doubt I'll stick around much longer to see if it comes around.

Captain America wii Title

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