|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|
by Matthew Walker
The Simpsons have been causing people to burst with uncontrollable laughter for several years. Every week they have been poking fun at themselves and other various things going on in the world. In the early years, they were the show to watch, whether it be legitimately or sneaking when your parents weren't looking. It is because of this sometimes-controversial attitude the Simpsons have that they have warranted several games to attempt to capture the flare that is the Simpsons. As most of us will agree, they have failed more often than not at trying to bring them to a console successfully. How are we to expect this time be any different? Well for starters, the writers of the show penned this adventure.
The great thing about this game is there's no "thinking you are playing just another story of the characters." Almost right at the beginning, the Simpsons clan knows that they are in a video game. With this knowledge, you'll control them through a few stages to be more acquainted with them. Bart returns as Bartman, cape and cowl included, Lisa strikes fear into the hearts of environmental polluters, Marge forms a mob to halt the continued sale of an extremely violent game, and my personal favorite, Homer enters a chocolate world where he takes on a smart talking white chocolate rabbit. It may have been a bit disturbing, but when you defeat the enemies in chocolate world, their heads fall to the ground and Homer eats them. Hey, it's chocolate so it's not that bad. After those initial rounds on the training levels, you'll start seeing an over-arching story happening. I won't give it all away because there are some very solid jokes in each of the "episodes." The humor alone is reason enough to pick up the title. You will find yourself beginning with a chuckle and then have to just burst with some of the parodies and inside jokes.
The jokes worked well for only one reason: the voice cast. Everyone from the show provides his or her voice to the game. Granted, this has been done before, but not on this level. Even the minor characters from the show have the voice talent behind them. In addition to the voice talent authenticating the experience of the Simpsons, the animation looks just like the television show, with a movie polish. I was so glad to know developers were not going to try to use the 3D models they have tried to use in the past. In look and sound, this is the best Simpsons experience around. The only problem I had with the visuals is at times the animations seemed to be a little off, but nothing ever looks completely out of place.
Each of the four main Simpsons you will play as control the same. The attack, special attack, and various other abilities react to the same buttons. This comes in handy when you switch characters as often as you are asked to. The focus on teamwork in a Simpsons game might seem unlike the show, but they do usually end up acting like a strong family by helping one another out when it comes down to the wire. In addition to the story mode you play through, you have the chance to play back through in a time attack mode after you complete a stage.