Throw your shield Captain, before you die!
Captain America: Super Soldier for the Nintendo DS is a side-scrolling action game with some light platforming and puzzle elements to help break up the action.
Firstly, the story centers around Captain America infiltrating the HYDRA force’s base. It is told through dialogue-driven scenes as well as collected dossiers found throughout the levels, which help to flesh out what has been happening even more. The game features quite a lot of voiced scenes throughout, and is of a reasonable quality, both in terms of acting and sound.
The gameplay relies heavily on the beat 'em up angle, with lots of enemies that you must defeat in order to move forward. The Captain has some basic combos that can be used; you can throw your shield, do various punches and kicks, etc. It feels good when you throw the shield then manage to do a backflip over an enemy behind you, which the shield also hits on its way back to you.
The combat is fairly simplistic, and you can usually overcome the room of enemies by throwing your shield then finishing them off with some well-placed punches and kicks. While the Captain does have a bunch of melee moves at his disposal, you won't find yourself needing them a lot of the time unless you want to spice things up for yourself. Some of the bosses are tougher though, sometimes requiring you to deflect missiles, or perform jumps to dodge or hit different objects.
Throughout the game there are also some stealth-based levels, in which you must creep around dodging and taking out various security cameras and soldiers when they aren't looking. However, when trying to traverse through the minefield of cameras, the game doesn't always show you when something is just out of your current view, so making that jump onto the next ledge can sometimes land you right in view, which can be annoying. The Captain must also save soldiers that are being held hostage in the base, who are generally pretty easy to find. Levels also feature some basic switch puzzles that you must complete to move forward, along with some cool moments where you must bounce your shield off different targets to either open a door or activate something.
The game doesn't have any level breaks; everything keeps going, with only fades to black and cutscenes to break things up between areas. At times throughout there are some auto-scrolling levels which make the Captain run continuously, with you having to jump over gaps and dash through enemies. These are usually placed when transitioning to a new part of the base, and are a welcome addition that can be fairly fun, although, again, there is not a whole lot to it.
The levels feature various collectables, such as vials to increase your health, story dossiers, and you can even unlock new costumes to use. Most of the vials and dossiers are easy to come across, although there are some that are hidden better.
Graphically and stylistically, the game looks very nice. The 3D models of the environments and characters generally look polished. Nothing is hard to distinguish and the way the camera moves in and out depending on certain circumstances is good. Sometimes elements such as bullet effects can clip through your shield, but overall things like that are passable.
Captain America: Super Solider for the Nintendo DS is a fast paced game that consistently pushes you forward into the action. The stealth and puzzle elements help to break up the sometimes monotonous action, and the game is visually impressive with some nice 3D graphics. If you like Captain America, and want a fairly good portable action game, you can't go too wrong here. While it doesn't do anything outside the box or spectacular, and the combat is pretty simple, it is at least an entertaining and reasonably polished experience.