Review: The Simpsons Game

For almost twenty years, we’ve seen The Simpsons grow from a family on The Tracey Ulman show to having a big series to finally having a movie. There have been countless games including the one where I spent what-must-be at least a hundred bucks at the arcades (you know the one… and if you don’t, this is it). And now, Electronic Arts are taking The Simpsons somewhere where they’ve never been before: a game that truly reflects what The Simpsons is all about.

For almost twenty years, we’ve seen The Simpsons grow from a family on The Tracey Ulman show to having a big series to finally having a movie. There have been countless games including the one where I spent what-must-be at least a hundred bucks at the arcades (you know the one… and if you don’t, this is it). And now, Electronic Arts are taking The Simpsons somewhere where they’ve never been before: a game that truly reflects what The Simpsons is all about.

The first level in The Simpsons sets you up with something you’ll know if you’re a fan of the show: Homer is inside his chocolatey dreamworld and you need to catch the white chocolate rabbit. This level acts as a tutorial to the game before you’re introduced to what’s really going on.

While walking home from the video game store one day, Bart finds a manual for something called The Simpsons Game. He quickly discovers that he and everyone else in his family has powers and you’ll go from mission to mission using those powers in unusual and insane ways.

For instance, one of Lisa’s powers is to meditate in front of a Buddha statue which gives her the power to reach her hand down and pick things up or flick enemies into oblivion. Bart turns into Bartman, Homer is blob like creature that rolls into everything and burps toxic gas, and Marge gets people to form mobs and angry protest groups. And yes, we’ve left out Maggie but have no fears because the spiky haired baby in the game too.

What Electronic Arts have done with The Simpsons is actually admirable. It’s a truly fun game with a story written by the Simpsons writers, voiced by the cast, that tried it’s best to keep the original look of The Simpsons as best it can.

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It’s as disjointed as a regular Simpsons episode but this isn’t a bad thing. Even if you’re not normally a Simpsons fan, you’ll feel immediately at ease with the pace at which The Simpsons tells its story, which is really made for gamers. You’ll make fun of games like Mario, Frogger, and many more and some of the time, you’ll really have to pay attention to see just how far the developers have gone to make The Simpsons that much more unique than anything else out there.

There is an unfortunate side of things, however. At its core, The Simpsons is little more than an easy 3D button masher and since you can’t actually die, it then becomes a really easy game. Adding to this, it’s also quite short. If you really get into it, you can finish the story in around six to seven hours. There’s still more to the game as you can replay missions, find hidden items, and explore Springfield, but the bulk of the game goes by quickly.

Strangely, none of this detracts from the game in any way. The Simpsons Game really is a really fun game. You can’t help but love the charm and the amount of time you’ll spend laughing really makes the game worth it.

From Sideshow Bob to Milhouse to Futurama’s Bender and Zoidberg, The Simpsons Game has it all and whether you’re a Simpsons addict or just someone who watches the occasional show, it’s well worth the time to check this title out.

Should you buy it?: If you’re a Simpsons fan, abso-diddly-lutely.

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Developer: Electronic Arts
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Classification: PG
Formats: Xbox 360, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Portable, Nintendo Wii and Nintendo DS
URL: The Simpsons Game

Reviewed by Leigh D. Stark

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