The Simpsons Game Reviews

AuthorReview
Runch Optimus
224,947 (150,615)
Runch Optimus
TA Score for this game: 1,933
Posted on 05 June 09 at 19:29
This review has 33 positive votes and 1 negative vote. Please log in to vote.
The Simpsons Game is an action platformer that features a humorous tongue-in-cheek story that can be appreciated by both Simpsons fans and gamers alike.

Story:
In the Simpsons Game, Bart starts out by finding a manual for the aptly titled Simpsons Game. He realizes that the game gives him and his family superpowers, so of course, the various Simpsons characters each use their powers for their own personal agendas. For example, Marge battles the release of the ultra-violent Grand Theft Scratchy, Lisa destroys an earth-hating logging corporation, and Homer uses his powers to eat as much as humanly possible.

As the story goes on, it incorporates more and more references to Simpsons TV episodes, as well as lots of references to computer and video games of every genre. Kodos and Kang show up and begin laying waste to Springfield, at which point the game starts to get very amusingly self-aware, as the Simpsons move beyond Springfield into the game engine itself. At this point, they have to work their way through several levels directly inspired by other games and genres, ultimately culminating in a meeting with series creator Matt Groening and God himself.

As you might have guessed, the story in the Simpsons game is a lot like what you would expect out of the show, in that it is witty, satirical, and never takes itself seriously. That being said, it’s also supremely funny at times, with fantastic looking cut scenes and all the irreverent humor you would expect from the show. As odd as the story sounds, it totally works, and it almost feels like a Simpsons movie, not something written explicitly for a game.

Gameplay:
The gameplay in the Simpsons Game is surprisingly (or unsurprisingly) bland. As an action platformer, you get to do all the things you would expect out of a game of this genre: you run around jumping on platforms, pulling switches, pressing buttons, and solving puzzles, all the while beating up bad guys with regular melee attacks as well as character specific super powers.

The gameplay in the Simpsons Game actually features some of the worst aspects of the game, namely a fairly poor camera and some harder than necessary platforming sections. The camera in particular can get annoying. For example, while exploring Springfield with Bart, you might try complete some wall jumping sections while looking for collectibles, but due to the poor camera, such a simple task becomes virtually impossible. Thankfully, instances like this are few and far between, and they don’t noticeably detract from the game. After all, this is a game that feasts on its story and humor, not so much on the actual gameplay.

Graphics/Sound/Music:
The graphics in this game are, in my opinion, excellent - by far the best graphics of any Simpsons game to date. I’m a long time fan of the show, and this game does it justice. The 3D animations look great but are appropriately cartoony - I think the game is cell-shaded, but honestly I can’t tell. The environments are crafted with careful attention to how things are portrayed in the show; Springfield in particular looks just how you would want it to look in a game.

Sound and music are two other bright spots. The game features fantastic voice acting from all the actors from the show, and the music for each level or scenario is well suited to the game or genre that is actively being spoofed.

Value:
Overall, the Simpsons game is probably beatable in about 8 hours or so, but if you’re a completionist and plan on beating the episode target times, playing the mini games, grabbing all the collectibles, and raking in all the achievements, then the Simpsons Game will probably keep you captivated for 15-20 hours. Currently on clearance in many stores and online for $10 or less, the Simpsons game certainly qualifies as a good value, even though it doesn’t have a ton of replay value.

Achievements:
The majority of the achievements here are awarded for beating the various episodes, beating the individual episode time challenges (which are essentially mini-games for each episode), and collecting items for each character. Additionally, there are a few random achievements for things like finding game clichés and performing well in the final boss battle. All in all, the achievements are fairly entertaining and well balanced, although some of the episode time challenges will sorely test your patience.

Final Thoughts:
The Simpsons Game is loads of fun that will have you chuckling often and laughing out loud at times. So what if the gameplay itself is nothing special - the humor and bizarrely entertaining story more than make up for the generic action. For Simpsons lovers, this game is a must play (4/5 stars). For people who are not fans of the series, the game loses much of its charm, but it’s still a humorous, worthy adventure (3/5 stars).
Given 4 stars by Runch Optimus
There are 5 comments relating to this Review | Please log in to comment on this solution.
DaLani
100,562 (68,325)
DaLani
TA Score for this game: 1,785
Posted on 01 May 09 at 14:49
This review has 24 positive votes and 4 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
Like many people walking on this planet, I love the Simpsons with their unique characters, the jokes and the side blows on almost everything. Be it the Simpsons family life, current social and societal issues or US and world politics.
Great premisses for a nice and fun video game, you might think. Well, it is - at least most of the time. Here's why: Although the game is full of great jokes, clichés, side blows, sarcasm, irony, great levels, a marvellous story, unfortunately the game lacks of gameplay. Especially when collecting achievements, you are sometimes forced to do certain parts over and over again to beat a time challange, reach a certain plattform or find a certain item. Ok, some people might say: "This is what a jump'n'run game is all about", I'd agree, but due to the sometimes really bad camera movement and the bad interaction between controller and avatar, the game get's really frustrating once in a while.

Nevertheless the game has a great atmosphere and is great fun to play. The feeling of just playing an episode of the series compensates most of the frustrating moments. And the big final is just a blast!!!!

Guest appearances:
- Matt Groening himself
- God
- Shakespeare
- Jefferson
- all of Springfield's VIPs
- Hillary Clinton
- and many many more


Pros:
- great jokes and side blows just like in the series
- nice graphics
- great references to gaming and movie history
- playable in 2-player mode


Cons:
- bad camera
- bad controll
- annoying item collecting and time challanges throughout the game, although it's all doable (needed for the achievements)
- in large levels, the auto save points could be better placed sometimes
Given 4 stars by DaLani
There are 5 comments relating to this Review | Please log in to comment on this solution.