Captain America’s Got Me Missing Crappy Movie Tie-In Console Games

Captain America’s Got Me Missing Crappy Movie Tie-In Console Games

The official video game tie-in for Captain America: The Winter Soldier came out this week for iOS and Android and the $2.99 Gameloft joint has me waxing nostalgic for the days of paying $90 for licensed console games that were almost guaranteed crap.

Movie-based console games have been on the decline since 2011, when the first Captain America film was accompanied to market by Captain America: Super Soldier. It wasn’t a great game, but it wasn’t horrible, and it didn’t once ask me to pay a premium for additional items that would help me complete the game.

The Marvel movie universe is actually a good focal point from which to observe the decline of console movie tie-ins. Iron Man, Captain America and Thor all had console game tie-ins, as did Iron Man 2. Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World and now Captain America: The Winter Soldier all got the Gameloft mobile treatment. The Avengers movie had no real game tie-in (though several comic book-based games came out around it), and serves as the turning point.

Over the past three years the vast majority of movies that would have once been made into console games are instead going the mobile route — Man of Steel, After Earth, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, and the new Robocop, to name a few. We’ve still got our Amazing Spider-Man and The LEGO Movie Video Games, but it feels like it’s only a matter of time before we lose those too.

I guess it makes sense. Why bother employing a massive development team to crank out a passable console game that might sell a couple hundred thousand copies, when a cheap-as-free mobile game will sell ten times the number and continuously generate fresh revenue via micro-transactions?

Captain America: The Winter Soldier isn’t a bad game. Sure, it’s $2.99 with a heavy focus on microtransactions, but its got style and a unique Diablo-tactics vibe to it. I guess I’m just missing the days when publishers were confident enough to try and trick us out of $90 all at once, instead of a dollar or two at a time.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier [App Store]
Captain America: TWS [Google Play]


  • I know right! I mean, who doesn’t miss strolling into a store to check out the new releases and having to dig through 40 copies of the same crappy shovelware title for every 1 decent game. Kids these days don’t know what they’re missing out on.

    You know what else I miss? Polio. Man those were the days.

    • I know, right – how great was it to spend in the days of Megadrive and SNES upwards of $100 on a really terrible movie tie-in like True Lies, back when $100 was maybe two days wage, and to wallow in how terrible a game that was. Ah, nostalgia!

  • You know what I’m sick of?
    People complaining about micro-transactions when they proabsbly spent $50 on a single arcade game back in the day.

    • I spent $50 to happily shoot alongside or kick the crap out of my best buddy (or a random stranger. either/or) and had a blast every step of the way. My $10 in Clash of the Clans gives me a bit of epeen over someone who’s just a name in a leaderboard.

      Which is the more satisfying experience?

      • Except for those games where you are just versing AI, in some form of a 2D shooter. Or, for comaprison’s sake, Space Invaders.
        In Space Invaders, once you die, you must pay another $1 to keep playing. There are some microtransaction in games nowadays which offer something very similar – yet microtransactions are looked at as filth by the community.
        There are (well, were) great arcade games, and some not-so-good aracde games.
        There are some great games on Mobile as well, but some people view the platform as awful just because the majority of the games have micro-transactions, when some of these transactions are implemented wonderfully. The ones that don’t implement it well (I’m looking at you, energy bar) are the not-so-good games on the mobile platform.

          • Or if you where playing the faulty machine at the swimming pool and you knew how to do it just right you could play Double Dragon with a 5c coin!

          • Wait, it was common for municipal swimming pools to have arcade machines?

            I have really vague and foggy memories of my local swimming pool having Bionic Commando, but sadly that place was torn down to make way for a crappy indoor aquatic center.

          • Down at the chip shop at my local pool there was a street fighter 2 machine. It’s where I first learned how to do a sonic boom.

          • Common? No idea. But my local Pool had 2 or 3 Machines. Fish and Chip Shops had 2 Machines and a Pinball table usually, if they where big enough but they used to have at least something to keep the customers amused.

            Fish and Chip Shops generally had the hacked machines with the dial at the top and a collection of crap games and 1 or 2 awesome ones.

          • Yeah, I remember as a kid going down to the corner shop, I would be able to have 4 or 5 games of Double Dragon, buy a drink and a bag of mixed lollies, all for $2. Those were the days.

          • MIXED LOLLIES!!!!!! Shopkeepers hated me as a kid…

            “I’ll have 7 cents of chocolate buds….. 8 cents of vanilla buds…. 15 cents of bullets….. 10 cents of cherry ripe minis….”

            In retrospect Im SURE in the end they just grabbed random handfuls of shit lol.

          • I used to love racing car lollies, I used to get one of each colour and race them along the deadly terrain of my arm, many a car spun out and got eaten.

            I once complained to a shop keeper that I didn’t get any red ones last time. Fortunately I was young and super cute so I got away with it. I wasn’t rude about it (because my parents made sure I had manners) but I think I said something along the lines of ” Can you please make sure that I get cars of every colour because I didn’t get red ones last time and 3 car races aren’t as much fun.

            Back than 20c worth of lollies lasted a week, now you’d be lucky to get anything.

    • My problem with in game purchases is that there’s no option to just pay for the game once and be done with it. They are either free with microtransations (or ads), or they are paid and STILL have microtransations.

      Personally I only tend to buy the games that offer a “pay once, you get the full game” business model.

    • I don’t want to know how many dollars I piped into point blank machines over the years

      • I took advantage of working for a Playtime at the turn of the millennium to brush up on my Point Blank/PB2 and Time Crisis 2 skills at nights after my shift. I’ve dulled a bit in PB, but can still shoot my way through TC2 with the best of them!

        • I worked for Timezone (Leisure and Allied Industries) in 1997, I opened the Queen Street mall one in Brisbane when it was around. I used to play GLoc in the R360 (the one that spun all the way around) all the time lol. Also I mastered the living shit out of the original Time Crisis. I could get through it all by the end of my time there, without losing a single life.

          But the MOST fun? Gunblade NY, both machineguns, by myself 😀 THAT was a blast!!!!

          I ended up quitting because the assistant manager Craig was out the back getting a bj from the girl on shift with me, leaving me to do everything. I got massively pissed off. Went to the skill testers, tightened them so EVERYONE would win when they grasped something, these things ended up with the tension of DEATH on them lol.

          Then, I left my keys behind the counter, wrote ‘I quit.’ on a piece of paper, rang the manager Bernie, told him where the AM and the girl were and walked out before anyone could get there.

          Heard later Bernie walked in on them ‘finishing up’ and I wasn’t the only one who ended up out of a job that night… L&A was looking for 3 new employees soon after lol.

          Oh happy days…

          • I remember that TZ. The gloc cabinet was a thing of beauty! I worked out at the Strathpine playtime with a couple of guys who were lured out from the queen st mall one. Was a great job, especially getting to destroy customers on street fighter while on duty.

            Dual-wield Gunblade was amazing fun, something satisfying about the whole thing and you look badass blazing away with both cannons

          • QS Mall Timezone wasn’t a good place to work at all. It had a very negative atmosphere about it, they pushed you to work by yourself on friday nights in unsafe conditions (that mall, in 1997 was pretty goddamn unsafe) and just laughed when you told them about how someone threatened to punch you, or even pulled a stanley blade if you didn’t give them free credits. This was usually the AM or the Manager, granted the big head of L&A never likely heard about this stuff, from my short experience with him he was a really nice bloke, but it made my time there a living hell.

            Oh and the time some homeless guy came in and I kid you not, shat in every single Daytona machine we had set up. He shat. In every machine. All 8 of them along the wall. How I will never know. Kind of a champion effort really. lol. They made me clean it up. Most disgusting thing I’ve ever had to do.

    • One of the worst comparisons yet at the same time a fitting one.

      You can’t merely use skill to beat most mobile games, most of them sit behind a paywall where the ‘grind’ becomes the option to beat it to some degree, then the actual finish of the game is hidden behind the paywall. Pay 10 dollars minimum and we allow you to see the end of the game! Not ALL of them do this, but the bulk do. Surprisingly, Candy Crush doesn’t do this, two of my mates just got through the *whole* thing without bugging anyone, without spending a cent. Of course they set up a dozen facebook accounts each and sent requests back and forth to each others accounts to get stuff lol.

      But with arcade games, a single credit contained everything you needed to finish the game. Sure, in SOME arcade games you could buy extra lives, but there was still the opportunity to finish the game on one single life. I got to the point where I could, amazingly, finish Double Dragon, the original on one life. However I do take your point that to get to that point I DID spend an inordinate amount of money to get to that skill level. Let’s not get into how much I spent on Double Dragon 2 lol.

      But at the end of the day, I won’t waggle my finger at anyone who spends money on microtransactions (I sure as hell have) or on arcade games. If you’re happy doing it, go ahead! It’s your money and if you get joy out of it, that’s all that matters.

      Fuck everyone else.

  • The Amazing Spider-man game for the last movie was so freaking good, it really surprised me. I can honestly say that it is a must-play for anyone who wants to live out their dream of becoming spidey.

    On that merit alone, i’ll be picking up the 2nd.

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