|System: X360, PS3, Wii, PS2, DS, PSP||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: EA Games||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: EA Games||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Oct. 30, 2007||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-4||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
It's clear that the developers put quite a bit of hard work into this game, rather than just hashing out a DS version of an already-created console title. The most obvious example of this, of course, is that it's a platformer rather than an action game. But another example is that The Simpsons Game employs the DS touch screen occasionally -- and uses it surprisingly well. For example, a special ability of Lisa's involves using a mystic hand to pick up items and manipulate objects. For this task, the touch screen is put to work -- you use the screen to pick up random objects and throw them at foes. While this may not seem particularly exciting, the game actually implements ideas like this quite well, and they provide a breath of fresh air in an otherwise tedious (albeit admittedly fun) gaming experience.
The graphics and sound are also surprisingly good, especially seeing as this is a licensed game. The game's visuals are decidedly cartoony, and do a fantastic job of really emulating the feel of the show. The music, likewise, does a great job of pulling enjoyable aspects from the show and inserting them in the game. The tunes are catchy and fun, and combined with the graphics really serve to immerse you in the fictional town of Springfield.
Another slight problem with The Simpsons Game is that it's clearly not geared toward the hardcore gamer. The game is fairly short -- around six to eight hours of gaming time. It's also pretty straightforward and easy. As mentioned before, the game is quite linear and simplistic. Those of you that have played platformers before will have no trouble breezing through this game in a few hours. It's an easy game and a short one: a pretty deadly combination when it comes to whether or not to purchase a game. In fact, unless you're a huge Simpsons fan, I wouldn't recommend purchasing this one; instead, give it a rent. It offers some fun gaming, but you'll beat it to easily to make it worth a 30 dollar purchase.
Overall, while it does sport some flaws, The Simpsons Game for the DS is a solid gaming experience. Platformers may be an overdone genre of games, but The Simpsons Game does a decent job of providing a good game, while not necessarily an innovative one. The graphics and music are fantastic and do a great job of supporting a slightly stumbling gameplay mechanic. And overall, while there are a few significant problems, The Simpsons Game is fun enough to be worth the time you spend to play it.
CCC Freelance Writer