|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: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Two of the four Simpson characters play each level; this allows for co-op gameplay at any time, displayed on split screen mode. Your friend can join and quit whenever he/she wants without stopping the game. If you're playing by yourself, you can just switch between one character and the other, depending on what needs to be done. Word balloons with symbols and pictures give you hints about what should be done and who should do it. It's nice to get these clues so you're never completely lost. Also, pressing the 1 button will bring up a notebook that shows the tasks that you need to do. Sharing the game is not entirely fun because in many occasions a character won't be able to do much until the other has done something else. It also means that a character might be missing part of the fun.
Scattered throughout the game, you'll come across numerous clichés typically found on video games, like the double-jump, levers, switches, bosses with weak spots, ladders, invisible barriers, enemy repetition, and more. After you play each level, new extras will be accessible from the main screen, like all the cutscenes you've seen and the clichés you've hit upon. Additionally, the Wii version contains a couple of unlockables known as "Wii Moments." They're actual mini-games that you can play alone or against your friend. Bite Nite, a parody of EA's Fight Night games, will have Homer participate in a food-eating contest against Barney, the Comic Guy, and others. It's a really simple and fun mini-game you can play by yourself or against someone else. You'll eat by alternating movement with the Nunchuk and the Wii-mote; pressing B and moving the Wii-mote will push the veggies away. Otherwise you'll lose points! Just focus on those "creamylicious" donuts, hamburgers, hotdogs, and the racks of spare ribs and you'll be good to go! The same mini-game has a variant: Homer will have to snatch food from the left or right plate before the adversary does. You'll be able to unlock more of these Wii Moments, which are a nice addition to an already enjoyable title.
The cel-shaded graphics also give the game a distinct and unique look that makes it authentic. Previous titles in older consoles were too pixilated, and the latest ones just gave us The Simpsons in 3D. I'm glad EA went for a more genuine and two-dimensional look this time. This doesn't mean the game is a side scroller; you'll still move in wonderful 3D-looking environments, and the character movements and animations look great. EA really put some love into it, and they came out with wonderfully crafted visuals; Matt Groening, The Simpsons' father and creator, has paid close attention to the development of this game, and maybe that's what made the difference. The classic cel-shaded touch makes this game that much closer to the show, and the cutscenes are just like the show itself: excellent. What's my only complaint? The Wii can't deliver what the Xbox 360 and PS3 do in terms of graphics: high definition. Even though the graphics are mostly sharp and well outlined, they're not nearly as good as on the other two big consoles. You'll see lots of "jaggies" and geometrical shapes that try to form The Simpsons' world. Thankfully, I was able to get over it after a while
The authenticity of the game goes as far as incorporating the genuine voice acting of the show. That's another plus! Even though the lines are so authentic, hilarious, and delivered with true passion, I didn't enjoy the constant repetition. If you're one of those who takes a sweet time to beat each level, you might go bonkers! How many times can you hear Smithers say "Wow! Those men sure are glistening!" or Bart saying "I gotta remember to steal something in this place!" The sound effects are typical of The Simpsons and the other video games they're making fun of. You'll know what I'm talking about when you hear the pipe sounds in Super Mario's spoof level. Yes, Mario got one too! The music tunes are very distinct and proper for each level, going all the way from jazz to pop.
This game is truly emblematic, and that's why it's so good and can be accepted even with its flaws. The gameplay is not the best of the best, but the creativity and wit that has been put into it does it all. If you love The Simpsons, you have to love this one. Just remember that you will need more than some patience to get through it and enjoy it. If you absolutely hate jumping onto the same platform a bunch of times because of broken camera angles, you might despise this game. All in all, I had a great time and was always excited to see the next cutscene. Ay, caramba!
CCC Site Director