Captain America: The First Avenger hit theaters last year, garnering very positive reviews. To help build hype for the movie, Marvel released a Web-based flash game, Captain America: Shield of Justice, which adopts many of the cutesy, 16-bit stylistic elements found in Thor: Bring the Thunder. The game, however, feels very much like a Mega Man rehash that subs the Blue Bomber with a poorly animated Captain America sprite.
Captain America: Shield of Justice features a simple, but effective, control scheme. There are two attack buttons (melee attack and shield throw), and a block button (but the game doesn’t tell you how to do so). This was a subtlety I didn’t understand until the second level — and there are only three levels. Despite this, I managed to navigate platforms and eliminate enemies with ease. At one point, I grew tired of the very basic fighting and simply ran past the hapless HYDRA henchmen to the checkpoint.
You can pick up stars for extra points (there’s a leaderboard), and shield icons to use Captain America’s “Ultimate Attack” which kills all enemies on-screen and damages boss characters. Health packs are also abundant, so dying should be very, very rare.
The boss fights are surprisingly simple: You block their attacks, retaliate with a few choice attacks, and then watch them die. There are three boss battle encounters, which culminates in a fight with the Red Skull, who is also the primary villain in Captain America: The First Avenger.
Graphically, Captain America: Shield of Justice looks very much like Mega Man: it’s a 2D game with cutesy-techy sprites. This is best seen on the opening screen which depicts Steve Rogers looking not unlike the Blue Bomber wearing a Captain America costume. He even has Mega Man’s ears! Or whatever it is you call them. The death animations are similar, too, featuring a faster, less complicated Mega Man death sequence.
All in all, Captain America: Shield of Justice is a simple fun enough game, on a par with something you would find at Newgrounds. It’s not an overly difficult game, nor one with complicated design. If you’re looking for a 15 minute distraction from the world, this game will serve, albeit mostly to bring back nostalgic memories of Mega Man games since long gone.