Captain America and the Avengers (キャプテンアメリカアンドジアベンジャーズ, Kyaputen Amerika ando ji Abenjāzu) is an arcade game developed and released by Data East in 1991. It features the Marvel Comics characters The Avengers in a side-scrolling brawling and shooting adventure to defeat the evil Red Skull. The game received ports for the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive, Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Game Boy and Game Gear. A different version was released for the Nintendo Entertainment System.
Players can choose to play as one of four members of the Avengers: Captain America, Iron Man, Hawkeye, and the Vision. Each character can fight hand-to-hand; throw select items when on the ground; and use a ranged special attack, either a projectile weapon (Captain America's shield and Hawkeye's arrows) or an energy beam (Iron Man and Vision), known as that character's "Avenger Attack." Other Avengers, including the Wasp, Quicksilver, Wonder Man, and Namor the Sub-Mariner, appear when special power-ups are collected, allowing those characters to temporarily assist the players' characters.
The Red Skull has assembled an army of supervillains and other henchmen in a plot to take over the world. Along with battling generic enemies, players also face Klaw, the Living Laser, Whirlwind, The Sentinels, Wizard, the Grim Reaper, the Mandarin, The Juggernaut, Ultron, the assassin Crossbones, and finally the Red Skull himself.
Most game levels feature side-scrolling fighting, with free movement as in traditional arcade brawlers. Occasionally, players take flight for side-scrolling flying & shooting sequences; Iron Man and Vision fly on their own, while Captain America and Hawkeye use flying machines.
The original arcade game was sold in two forms. One version allowed four players to play simultaneously, with each player position controlling a specific character. An alternate version featured two-player gameplay, with players able to select from any of the available four characters.
Ports and related releases
Data East originally released a home version of the game in North America for the Sega Genesis co-developed with ISCO/Opera House. This version was published in Europe by Sega for the Mega Drive. The game was later licensed to Mindscape, who released its own ports of the arcade game for the Super NES, Game Boy and Game Gear. The versions published by Mindscape were developed by Realtime Associates.
Data East also released an NES game with the same title. The NES version is a side-scrolling action platform game. The only playable characters in this version are Captain America and Hawkeye; their mission is to save the Vision and Iron Man from Mandarin, then defeat the Red Skull.
Data East's third and final entry in their Captain America and The Avengers licensed video games was the 1995 Avengers in Galactic Storm, which was an arcade exclusive fighting game that became the first to feature assist characters and duplex desperation moves.
An Arcade Cabinet of the game can be spotted in the 1994 Comedy Airheads.
One page of Matt Fraction's run of Hawkeye comics directly lifts from the arcade game's artwork.
The original Arcade game is considered one of the best classic beat'em ups, it ranked 5th in WatchMojo.com's Top 10 Marvel Video Games.
Sega Nerds give the Genesis/Mega Drive version a 4/5 stars mentioning that " While not nearly as polished as other Genesis brawlers, Captain America and The Avengers does a respectable job recreating the arcade game and carves a unique niche for itself in what was a crowded genre at the time."
However at reviewing the Game Gear version, GamePro dismissed the game as "a forgettable scroller" with mediocre animation and sound. Electronic Gaming Monthly gave it a 6.4 out of 10, saying it "fares well on this Game Gear version, even without the Two-player Simultaneous Play Option. [sic]"