I love the Simpsons, mostly. Who doesn’t? Some of the funniest moments in television history belong to them, but when it comes to video-games, they’re not exactly on top form. There’s been countless titles with the yellow people the previous ‘stellar’ Simpsons title was Hit and Run back in 2003. It was a big, free-roam title thing which was labeled as ‘Grand Theft Simpson’s., GTNPA may take that apart some day but for now lets jump back to 2007 with the launch of the most recent Simpsons game. Well.. The Simpsons Game.
The plot is so gosh darn ‘Simpsons-like’, you might as well be playing Seasons 1-10 with a joystick. The characters, I’m not going to mention their names because everyone knows who they are, learn that they are part of a video-game and gain special powers. From the game manual of course. They go throughout adventures through video-game cliches, take on gaming franchises and generally mock the hell out of pop culture. Which is what they should be doing. There’s so much variety and good charm to the plot and I think it’s a must for any Simpsons fan to at least read upon it.
It’s a surprise to laugh at video-games, but it’s more of a surprise to find a game like this funny. Generally, most games with a license are either terrible or mediocre, and have no qualities of the licensed thing they try to represent. It’s nice to see the Simpsons represented with the same wit and charm of the television show. Come to think of it, the writing and premise is probably even better than most newer episodes. The whole cast is present with many guest appearances, namely Matt Groening as the last boss and Will Wright as a main villain.
It’s your standard third-person platformer affair, with your jumps, kicks and special abilities for each family member. Bart can become Bartman and glide and stuff. Lisa can be a Buddhist and do all kinds of godly things, Marge can be an annoying civil servant and yell out of a microphone and Homer can be fat. It’s all balanced and fairly square that it leaves something to fill the void, and that comes in the form of hilarious mock-ups of established video-game franchises. You can go through the world of Katamari Damacy, the land of Zelda and even into the ‘Medal of Homer’ level.
It comes as a surprise then a fair time through the game, it starts to lose its charm. Repetition with character abilities tries to be covered up with different environments and costume changes, but it just becomes the same thing over and over. Not to say this isn’t a bad game to play, it’s just that its meant to be respected as a tribute to the Simpsons franchise. I’ve never seen ‘Best Simpsons Game Ever’ in the advertising for this game and I can pretty much say it actually lives up to that title. It misses something though that I just can’t put my finger on.
The Simpsons Game is a worthy title for any die-hard Simpsons fan or anyone who wants a laugh. While we’re on the subject of the Simpsons, in my opinion, The Simpsons Movie is one of the most hilarious things ever made. It took it back to the roots of Groening and company. I could not stop laughing and then when DVD release day came, The Simpsons Game popped up and I was already laughing at an even larger Simpsonsfest. A playable Simpsonsfest. I love this game, buy it, not for the game itself but for the way it treats the material given. Or you could just buy 50 Cent Blood on the Sand.