When it came to bringing Captain America: Super Soldier to the Wii, and eventually the 3DS, Sega looked to High Voltage Software, who also brought Iron Man 2 to the Wii and PSP handheld. The results are something far better than those mediocre games even managing to have some better qualities to the superior game on the PS3/Xbox 360, but still ends up being something pretty forgettable in the end.
Super Soldier on the Wii follows the same plot line as the game on the Xbox 360: Captain America and the Invaders must infiltrate the castle of Baron Zemo to stop the Red Skull and his HYDRA agents from resurrecting an ancient weapon that will spread doom throughout the world. It does have a few wrinkles in the plot, even one that foreshadows this year’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier, where Captain America has to get to Bucky before Arnim Zola experiments on him to turn him into his own person Super Soldier (in the 360 game, Bucky was replaced with Falsworth, another Easter egg as he would become Union Jack.) Baron Zemo also has a role in the story, though only over the radio (voiced by the legendary Steve Blum,) where he commands Captain America do complete tasks for him in exchange for assistance. As was the case with the other game, Chris Evans and those who provided their voice in the 360 game return to lend their talents.
Whereas Super Soldier elsewhere was set in an environment that was semi-open, Super Soldier on the Wii is a strict mission to mission affair despite being set in a giant castle. The environment and structure aren’t the only things to get a down grade, as the combat takes a hit as well. The Wii version tries to emulate the “Arkham” attack and counter combat system, yet it seems so much slower to the point where you accidentally rank up combos up to fifty hits without realizing it. Punches and attacks tend to feel soft and lack and degree of sense of impact or power.
Getting around the castle involves the acrobatic skills of the Captain granted to him by the Super Solder serum, but they’re still delegated to simple presses of the “A” button when prompted, whether you’re jumping to a platform, grabbing on a ledge with your shield, or swinging from pole to pole. In this case, neither game really stands above the other as they feel to automatic with not enough player input or skill required.
One area where the Wii game stands above all other Captain America games is how the titular characters mighty shield is wielded. By pointing the remote at the screen, an icon shows up and where the shield will go and it will automatically travel in that direction when you press the release button. Holding down a button also puts you in an aiming mode where you can target a large group of enemies or objects and then let your shield fly. By leveling up this attribute, you can even target anywhere up to eight objects at once.
Another neat function of the shield is its use in deflecting enemy projectiles. Similar to how you can throw your shield at any location you point your cursor, when you’re in a defensive position your cursor indicates which direction a projectile or laser blast flies. This is put into great use in some of the games puzzles, as well as the boss fight with Madame Hydra where you have to reflect her shots to harm her.
Something that we all understand about the Wii console is that it was considerably less powerful than anything else on the market, so there was no way it could match the high-definition visuals of a game on the PS3 or Xbox 360. This forced developers to adopt a more stylized approach to the art and graphical directions. So now that that’s out of the way, Super Soldier on the Wii has some of the worst character designs I’ve seen in any game. Captain America looks like a goofy top heavy claymation character that looks even more awkward in motion than in still images, and the rest of the cast fairs no better. Compared to the designs from Thor: God of Thunder from Red Fly Studios on the system, which came out two months prior, the character design looks absolutely amateur.
This version, along with the PS3, Xbox 360 and DS version all made it out in time for the theatrical release of Captain America: The First Avenger. The 3DS version was held off as a timed release with the film on the home video market, and is the exact same game that loses the only thing that made the Wii game fun. Without the Wii-Remote pointer interface, the shield throwing/reflecting is on the bottom touch screen where you have to move a shield button on the screen that corresponds to a cursor location on the top screen. This forces you to take your hands away from all other functions on the face buttons, leaving you open to attack and making some boss encounters unnessarily hard. Making matters worse is that the d-pad is the only way to manipulate the camera, so you not only have to deal with one, but two functions that move your thumbs away from movement and action.
There’s nothing wrong with Captain America: Super Soldier on the Wii, in fact using the character’s shield here is probably the most fun it’s ever been. Everything else however: the structure, the combat and the horrendous art direction are either middle of the road or flat out road kill. If you can score this game on the cheap (which I’m sure you can) and love Captain America, you’ll have some fun throwing your shield around, everyone else need not apply. Finally if you have both a 3DS and Wii, even if you want a Captain America game on the go, please go with the Wii SKU.