Simpsons: The Arcade Game


Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 7.5

Sound: 8.5

Gameplay: 8

Overall: 8

Try as I might, I can't think of any other video game that has ever used a vacuum cleaner as a deadly weapon. Actually, I think there's even less of a chance of actually finding a saxophone used as a weapon in video game history. Hence why the Simpsons is such a great game. It keeps everything that made the show such a huge hit early on in it's life, the classic gameplay of Konami's other classic brawlers, and so many things that only die-hard fans will be able to appreciate.

Homer runs smack into Smithers, sending a diamond into the air. Using logic that only occurs (and only makes sense) in the world of the Simpsons, Maggie takes a liking to it after it plops into her mouth. Smithers takes off with her and the Simpsons immediately follow. You can go with up to 4 players at one time, each controlling a different Simpson. Bart (with skateboard), Lisa (with saxophone), Marge (with ever so trusty vacuum), and Homer (going bare-fisted) take on a myriad of enemies ranging from generic guys in suits to characters from the show.

During the melee, fans need to check out the backgrounds for a constant barrage of cameos, not only from instantly recognizable characters, but classic locations as well. Right from the start you can pick out the Noiseland Arcade and Dr. Marvin Monroe. It's downright scary to think that this game features characters who have DIED on the show it's been so long. Check out Bleeding Gums Murphy and the above mentioned Dr. Monroe!

The gameplay is a straight brawler and really doesn't offer a lot to separate itself from any other games in the same genre from the same time period. Later games would of course do it better, but there's no denying the Simpsons universe adds a TON of personality. There's a ton of animation on screen nearly every second the game is being played. Though the characters are relatively small, the animation more than makes up for it. The cinemas are also excellent, featuring nearly all the voice actors used in the show with a few exceptions (notably Burns and Smithers). And yes, the theme song is present and accounted for with uncanny accuracy.

EGM recently called the new "Simpsons Hit and Run" the greatest Simpsons game ever. They have obviously forgotten their history. There's no denying that the newest addition to the Simpson legacy is a great game, but it's almost impossible to top the 4-player mayhem this game brings to the table. If you've never played this one and you consider yourself a Simpsons fan of any level, this is THE best video game rendition of America's favorite animated family.


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Last updated: Wednesday, December 10, 2003 02:31 PM