Laughs and Flaws Abound in "Simpsons Game"
I love The Simpsons. I've seen every episode of it. I also enjoyed their video games, from Virtual Bart to Road Rage. The recent Simpsons game (dubbed The Simpsons Game) has probably the biggest laughs out of all of them. The only problem is you'll have to play the game to find the funny.
The game follows the Simpson family as they take on somewhat superpowers to overcome levels and obstacles. Homer can become a giant ball to knock down walls or transform into Gummy Homer to shoot gummy bullets at opponents; Bart transforms into Bartman, and can fly or use a grappling hook; Lisa uses her saxophone to hypnotize villains to fight each other instead of you; and Marge uses the power of her megaphone to make those around her do her deeds. Throughout the game the Simpsons battle fellow Springfielders, aliens and even Matt Groening, as well as discover that their beloved town is nothing more than a giant video game. Backing the game is a smart script that basically ribs at every video game ever made in the last twenty-five years, as well as the entire Simpsons cast and crew at the helm of it all. It is, indeed, one of the funniest games ever made thanks to them.
The Simpsons Game pokes fun of everything from Mario to Katamari Damacy, and it brings with them the spirit of each game they taunt. Medal of Homer has you beat up Mr. Burns's own army, as well as French people. NeverQuest cleverly laughs at those Warcraft-type games, while at the same time throws in a Hobbit and Narnia reference for good measure. Big Super Happy Fun Fun Game not only pokes fun at Final Fantasy, but also references Miyazaki films and classic Japanese mythology. The last level even has you take on God in a Dance Dance Revolution parody to the Scorpions' "Rock You Like a Hurricane." Plus when you battle Matt Groening, there are Bender and Dr. Zoidberg from Futurama helping the creator try to defeat the Simpsons. Everything about these jokes work, and if you don't get them you probably have never played a single video game in your entire life.
The graphics on the Wii version are very good considering. Granted there's a bit of a blur here and there, but for the most part it looks like a fine-tuned 3D version of the TV show. The characters look stunning, and the worlds as real as a cartoon world could be. On top of that players will be able to watch exclusive animated clips made specifically for the show, so you can bet you'll be in for a hilarious treat when you see these great cartoon mini-gems.
Unfortunately playing the game itself isn't as fun as the humor is. Playing with the Wiimote and Nunchuk are okay, but at times trying to use the powers of each Simpson family member was very difficult. In fact I don't even recall using any of their Special Attacks once in this game. On top of that aiming at villains and trying to grapple onto things are also a pain in the ass. However if you can get through these controls you'll be able to beat this game.
The Simpsons Game has also been (dis)honored with the WORST CAMERA SYSTEM IMAGINABLE!!!! You will die numerous times because of the angles in this game. You will also be stuck trying to figure out what to do next because you won't be able to see what's over the horizon. On top of that, because of the camera system, players will have issues trying defeat each and every one of the baddies who are trying to kill you; and when you have issue trying to defeat even the littlest of villains you can bet that you'll have issue with trying to play the rest of the game.
Not only is the game hard to figure out, but once you finally get a hang of it it's all over. I was able to beat this game in three days, with very little help from online guides and Blueonic (who lent me the game to try). So not only is it hard to control and hard to see, but it's also too quick to play. However with all the flaws that are contained in The Simpsons Game that quickness can be seen as a bit of a blessing. Still, I was hoping for more of a game based on a 20 year-old TV classic.
- It's funny as hell!
- Good graphics and excellent in-game animation
- You get to beat up the French!
- Shittiest camera ever!
- Controlling the game is a hassle in itself
- Too short
I love the Simpson family and all, and while the in-game humor and animation is Grade-A material, The Simpsons Game is a motherfucker to play! Poor controls and a bad camera system don't make this game anywhere near as classic as The Simpsons: Hit & Run. If you can find it in a bargain bin for less than $20 I say pick it up just to check out the comedy in the game. If not, just walk away from it.
FINAL GRADE: 4.6 (out of 10)