Before consoles took over the video game market many people would go to an arcade to do some gaming with friends. If you havent heard of an arcade basically it is a place that has dozens of machines that accept quarters as payment to play a game, these machines were also common in Bowling Alleys or other similar places.
With all sarcasm aside roughly 20 years ago The Simpsons Arcade was one of the better side scroller beat-em ups available in the market. After all of these years t has finally been available for consoles. Some ports have been successful like Golden Ax and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 1989 (NES and XBOX 360) and on the other hand there have been some terrible ports such as Pac-Man on the Atari 2600 (cartridges supposedly barried with ET in New Mexico). The question is what side of the spectrum does The Simpsons fall under.
The graphics hold up well but do show some signs of being dated. One nice thing I never noticed when I use to play it 20 years ago is the cameos. Almost every major person is shown either by giving you power ups or in the background.
There are 8 levels, each of which have a different theme. The enemies also have a large variety but there are also some that you will fight in practically every level. The power ups available are plentiful, you can get anything from a sling shot to a boulder. The japan ROM also gives you explosives to play with
Naturally you get to play as Homer, Marge, Bart or Lisa. The Simpsons arcade supports up to four players online, one nice benefit is if the host leave you will still be able to play. When starting a game there are four difficulties and modes to choose from. The modes are survival (one life), team quarters (40 continues), individual quarters (If you run out your done) and free mode (unlimited).
There is a little story to the game, which is supported by cut scenes between levels. Thinking about the era I do not recall to many games with cut scenes, Im thinking about games such as Streets of rage or Golden Ax.
As I said before there is a Japanise ROM included in the game. It is basically the same as the American version except the enemies take less damage, there are more health pickups and more weapons available.
The achievement list encourages you to try different difficulties and modes. Most of the achievements are easy and could be done in about two hours but there are two that will take some skill to complete. For an arcade beat em up this is one of the best lists Ive seen.
At the end of the day the Simpsons Arcade is a fun trip down memory lane but there is almost no replay value once you spend a couple hours on it. The variety of levels is what sets it apart from other ports from the era and I like the achievement list but I feel the $10 is more than the game is worth. Due to the lack of replay value I would recommend waiting for it to go on sale.