Sunday, August 3, 2014

Iron Man and Captain America: Heroes United (2014)

                                           Iron Man and Captain America: Heroes United (2014):

Captain America: “That’s your problem, Stark. You never strategize.” 

Iron Man: “It’s called thinking on your feet. Or in my case…boot jets!”

You were expecting Guardians of the Galaxy? No, not so soon. This is another CGI adventure in the vein of last year’s Iron Man and Hulk: Heroes United. I have two major problems with this movie. 1. There’s some slight mind control, and 2. The “Waking Life” -like CGI makes the characters’ mouths move funny. That said, it’s at least a good intro for Taskmaster. But, I still feel a little deceived by the title. A little.

You see, the movie sort of tricked me into thinking it would be mostly Cap and Iron Man. But, Taskmaster and Red Skull also feature in it. And that’s fine. Dr. Kruler was also in last year’s Iron Man & Hulk: Heroes United. As was Abomination. But, then, even in this movie…I mean, not to ruin it, but you’ve got some Hulk in here, too. There’s just way too 1-on-1 action for job that could’ve been handled easily by the two heroes. Taskmaster is there to fight Cap and Iron Man…while Hulk has an army to take care of!

There is some brief fighting between Cap and Iron Man, but it’s a spar. Plus, the capture and Hawkeying of Cap seems a little too familiar at this point. Give me something other than brainwashing. Although they pull it off nicely. The lesson lays itself on a little thick. Throwing in Hulk doesn’t exactly help the balance of the lesson either. If each hero is to learn something from another…then brainwashing one hero and completely throwing in another seems to defeat that purpose.

I know there’s a twist, but it didn’t need to be made. Iron Man still rubs off a little bit on Cap and vice versa. But, essentially this is no different from  Iron Man & Hulk: Heroes United, maybe even with worse CGI. And it’s all kind of wrapped safely within the plot devices of 2012’s The Avengers. Still, it was an ambitious-looking movie, introducing Taskmaster and showing off Cap’s combat skills. But, if you want that, watch The Winter Soldier.

In my opinion, the more I think about this movie, the more I don’t like it. But, at least it’s only 70 minutes. Maybe it’s just a little too ambitious. I liked the voice acting, but most of the movie is just a retread, with stiff mouth movements and unnecessary Hulking out. If they’re going to call it anything, it should be called Iron Man, Hulk, & Captain America: Heroes United. I want to say it could’ve been good…but it’s too much and too sloppy for a 70-minute 3D feature. I’d give it 2/5 stars. And one Hulk for some reason.  

Saturday, August 2, 2014





- Stage 1 Boss “Vice T.” Dialogue 

    Today, I played the most 90s thing I have ever seen. Why haven’t I ever seen this before!? Listen to this:  It’s a Final Fight ripoff based on a comic that became a Saturday morning cartoon. That is gnarly, dude! It’s about guys from an apocalyptic 2153 fighting dinosaur hunters the best way possible. By beating them up! And sometimes even their dinosaurs, because those are obviously bad dinos. The ones you are saving are good. Since 90s nostalgia is cool, and it’s the most recent thing I’ve played, I thought I’d share some of my experiences with this radical game.

Apparently, the game supports up to four players: Jack, (Your Cody Clone!) Hannah, (Obligatory female in orange suit.) Mustapha,( Tough Black Guy!) and Mess O., (Your Haggar Clone!) Now, it’s pretty much your standard beat-‘em-up sidescroller with scifi tough guys, fat guys, and people with whips (And dinos, of course!) to beat up as you find food and power-ups in conveniently-placed oil drums and containers. But, it’s main gimmick seems to be that this game has more guns than The Punisher arcade game. There are a lot. All over the place.

Unlike most beat-em-ups, you see, it uses an ammo system. Most beat-em-ups have you throw away your gun after a few uses, like a ranged weapon with 3 uses. (The Punisher, Final Fight, Streets of Rage, etc.) Not in this game! You can pick up ammo, and blast punks with your shotguns, or triceratopses with your uzis, ‘til you can’t reload. This is the first beat-em-up I’ve seen with such a reload system, and it is awesome.

By the way, on the flipside of awesome cheese, all 90s arcade beat-em-ups had frighteningly cheesy and potentially traumatic game over screens to get you to fork over another quarter. In this one, Vice T. shoots you in the face when the counter reaches 0, and says “ EAT LEAD -- BABY!” Terrifying cheesiness. But, in this emulation, simply pressing a button inserts a coin, thank goodness. So we can be spared the potential trauma of hearing: “EAT LEAD -- BABY!” in our nightmares!

I love the cheesiness. I love that the mission doesn’t make sense. Save good dinos, kill bad ones. Sure! And I love that everything is solved with a one-liner and a punch. I even love the bad dialogue. (Jack’s victory phrase is “You can’t touch this!”) Anyway, I did have a couple accessibility issues. Since this was an emulation, I couldn’t figure out how to do special attacks. I pressed all the buttons. But, since there was no instructions on how the emulation translates arcade buttons, I still haven’t figured it all out, but have done most the guesswork myself. Thankfully, beat-em-ups  are pretty straightforward and accessible. Just punch and move forward.

Before anyone asks…I haven’t read the comics, or seen the cartoon (Yet!) But, I thought the game was mind-blowingly RADICAL. If you want to revisit the 90s, or just have fun beating up bad guys with the power of one-liners and 90s catchphrases, this game is for you. Guns and dinosaurs! What more do you want? Check it out!


ACCESSIBILITY GRADE: A-  (Straight-forward beat-em-up with minimal tricky controls. Punch and move forward if all else fails.)

FORGIVENESS FACTOR: A+ (Unlimited continues if you‘re playing an emulation!)

CONTROLS: A (Pretty straightforward for a beat-em-up. But, some guesswork. Figure out how to punch, and you‘re good to beat up punks and evil dinos! Rock on!)