Despite being published by Data East, this version of Captain America and the Avengers is not a port of the popular arcade game. Instead we get a 2D side-scrolling action game in which Cap and Hawkeye travel the country fighting familiar bad guys and sending friends back home postcards of the trip.
There isn't much of a story here, just enough to get Steve Rodgers into action. Apparently there's an evil force that is trying to take over the world, so our heroes swing (or, more accurately, walk) from one coast to the other. You start out in Miami, Florida. Before long you'll party it up in New Orleans, head north to Philadelphia, tackle the Big Apple, head out west to Phoenix, make your way west to Phoenix, gamble in Vegas and eventually make your way to Portland. This would be a fun jaunt around these United States if it wasn't for a few major setbacks.
The gameplay is a mixed bag. As both Captain America and Hawkeye, you slowly walk around knocking out bad guys and looking for the exit. But before you can get out of Salt Lake City you'll need to locate the key. This is usually found in one of the many item boxes located around the wide-open stage. Usually they are easy to find, while some stages seem to purposely hide them in hard to reach locations. Once you've collected your pass, it's off to do the exact same thing in the next stage.
The two characters don't start out in the same location, giving players a chance to see a large chunk of the country with minimal work. On the other hand, some of the stages look almost identical. It's more than just looks; there are a few stages that seem to have the same layout, down to the annoying placement of floating platforms. Still, these levels are large and full of cool visual effects. Players will be wowed by the waterfalls and trees of southern Florida, even if it looks nothing like Miami.
The gameplay in Captain America and the Avengers is stiff. Both characters have a limited arsenal, especially disappointing for a superhero action game. I did run into a few good ideas, such as Cappy using his shield to float on water. Beyond that, there isn't much to see here. Sadly, the same goes for the visuals. The two leads look good, but you'll quickly tire of beating up the same bad guy from one level to the next. And to make matters worse, you'll have to play through some stages multiple times before stopping the tyrannical menace.
The idea of traveling around the country is great, but it would have been even better if these stages resembled there namesakes. Much of the game feels like they made random stages and slapped city names on them after the fact. A few more well-known landmarks would have really sold the experience and made Captain America and the Avengers a more interesting game. As it is, this Data East dud is about as much fun as a two person party.