You can check out the Salient website here for The Simpsons Game review, click on the printed version for a closeup, or read it below…
The Simpsons Game
Developer: EA Redwood Shores
Platform: Xbox 360, PS3, Ps2 Wii, PC
Publishers: Electronic Arts
Genre: 3D Platformer
There have been many Simpsons’ games in the past but really they weren’t any good. So the aptly named The Simpsons Game was produced to change all that and make something that stands up to The Simpsons name. The game starts off when Bart discovers a manual for The Simpsons Game and realizes he is actually a video game character and discovers the unique abilities he and his family has.
You have the entire town of Springfield to explore, discover every unique nook and cranny which is quite a task with all the collectables on offer. Unless you’re extra careful on your first play through, you’re gonna have to go back to each level if you want the illustrious achievement of collecting every token in the game.
Each character you play has unique abilities; Homer can change into a large ball and easily smash through obstacles and roll with extreme speed. Bart turns into Bartman and can glide, rappel and climb walls. Lisa has the palm of Budda which she uses to pick up objects, squash enemies and solve puzzles. Marge has the power of nagging which she uses to recruit nearby people to her mob of flames and pitchforks. Maggie comes into play when Marge finds airducts she can climb into, so she can solve certain puzzles. As you progress through the game you gain extra abilities that add to or extend your current performance. Very humorous moments are when you come across common video game clichés, The Comic Book Guy pops up and tells you how wooden crates and your character not being able to swim is quite unoriginal. Hilarity. The Simpsons Game often breaks through the fourth wall with selfreferential dialogue; especially in the cut-scenes. Even Electronic Arts isn’t spared from the irony. A video game designer and other famous people make cameo appearances. You also come across other video game characters such as Mario, Sonic, Madden football players and Ryu from Street Fighter. In a nice touch many of the voice actors from the show lend their voices to the many colourful characters of Springfield.
Splitscreen co-op mode is pretty fun – apart from fighting over who wants to be Homer. A huge downside is that only one player can explore Springfield, player two is kicked out until they enter an episode. My guess being that the town is too large for players to go their separate ways.
The graphics are appealing. The game is presented in 2D so it looks like you’re actually in the Simpson’s cartoon world. But the game is a bit short and can probably be finished in a single weekend. The platforming aspects aren’t really amazing and nothing is exactly original but that is excused by the fact that the game is only trying to act like a typical video game. If you’re into The Simpsons at all, interested in a parody game, or are just looking for a simple platformer that passes the time, try this one out.