Springfield has Never Played Better!
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.
However, with the initial period for you to complete the stages set very low, it hinders the search everything out aspect included. There are character specific items that you can find in each level, including Duff Beer bottle caps for Homer, Krusty Burger coupons for Bart, and coupons for Marge. Collecting all of these awards you with trophies at the end of each stage. There are also various other items you can find in the levels. My personal favorite is Comic Book Guy awarding you the title of Video Game Guy when you encounter or search out the cliché of video games, like No Swimming, Double Jumping, Invisible Barrier, and the wooden crate, “as seen in everything.” With 31 videogame clichés to find, you’ll be surprised with how much the industry reuses things over and over. Also, be on the lookout for mentions of Xbox 720, PlayStation 4, and parodies of some of our favorite characters.
Despite all of the great things The Simpsons Game does, it does have a few faults that need to be mentioned. The camera is probably the most annoying. Sometimes you have the ability to rotate the camera around to judge your situation, and then other times the camera is locked and then it is reliant on your best guess for how to move forward. Another issue with the camera is the spots where it will jerk back and forth behind objects refusing you the ability to see around certain things. This may be a small thing and easy to get used to, but it was still a huge annoyance. However, my biggest complaint involves the co-op gameplay. First off, there’s no reason for this game to have a split screen. The split not only hinders the graphic appeal of the game, but it also narrows the total experience you have in the single player mode. The other reason the co-op doesn’t work is because of the level designs. Some are specific for the characters, which means while one player is busy figuring out the puzzles of the level, the other player will either have nothing to do or square off against countless bad guys. It doesn’t really work for a good two-player experience.
Simply put, this is the Simpsons Game fans have been waiting for. Even with its faults, I would dare say that no one will complain too much, mainly due to being doubled over from laughing so much. If you need an enjoyable game to pop in that makes you laugh to a degree worthy of the longest running animated television show in history, then this is for you. You’ll be playing for hours exploring the world of Springfield and then, after a quick break, you’ll want to dive right back in.
RATING OUT OF 5 RATING DESCRIPTION 4.0 Graphics
Captured the animation style of the show beautifully. This one looks like you are watching one of the shows. 3.0 Control
Loose and non responsive at times, sometimes you’ll think you hit when there’s no connection. The camera controls also slap you in the face more often than not. 3.8 Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Having the voice of the Simpsons is great, but sometimes the repeated dialogue gets annoying. 3.6 Play Value
The eclectic “spoofs” done in the game will have you repeating the levels for more than the various plethora of collectibles. 3.8 Overall Rating – Great
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.