The Simpsons Arcade Game

Developer(s): Konami, Backbone Entertainment

Platform(s): Arcade, PSN, XLA

Release Date(s): Mar 1991, Feb 2012

Everybody loves The Simpsons.
(WARNING! This assumption is taken from the 90s!)
And everybody loves beat ’em up games.
(Timeless assumption)
So why not combine the two? That’s exactly what Konami did all the way back in 1991, and now they have re-released their creation on the Playstation Network and Xbox Arcade. For such a low price, is it worth your money? If you have friends, yes. If not, we’re very sorry for your trouble and hope you find some soon.
(Funny Simpsons Clip #1)

The Set-up:
Maggie has been kidnapped by Mr. Burns! Play as any of the other four Simpsons to beat up numerous identical enemies with hammers and save her!

This is, in essence, a Streets of Rage clone. Why is it, when people think scrolling beat ’em ups, Streets of Rage is always the first game that comes to mind? Surely there are better ones out there? Or did everyone just own that Sega cartridge with 6 games on it? Is it the common denominator? Am I rambling? Why yes I am, but it’s nearly 1 a.m. so humor me.

Ahem.
(Funny Simpsons Clip #2)

This is essentially a Streets of Rage clone. You go around beating up bad guys, are given the occasional pick up, and usually fight a boss at the end of each level. Few games such as this stray far from the formula, so there is little to add. It’s simply a way to take out frustration without actually beating up your cat or killing someone.
(Funny Simpsons Clip #3

It takes place in the town of Springfield and so there are plenty of locals and in jokes to spot in the background. This is an immediate plus, giving it a slight edge over other beat ’em ups. As well as this, you can play with four players which is frantic, but a lot of fun. And while it only has 8 levels, it remains fun through multiple playthroughs.
(Funny Simpsons Clip #4

This remastered edition of the game offers a few perks to justify the sale of a twenty year old game. Many of these, such as the content that can be unlocked by completing the game with each player, is rather pointless filler. Things like concept art is not only scarce, but dull. The only extra feature that is really worth noting is the ability to play the Japanese version of the game which, although not drastically different, is still a humorous experience.
(Funny Simpsons Clip #5

Overall:
The Simpsons Arcade Game is not unlike any other 2D beat ’em up you’ve ever played before. It’s fun to play in single player, sure. But an evening in playing with friends is by far the more rewarding experience. For less than ten euro, you can certainly justify it’s purchase. However, like all games of the genre, there is very little depth here. A brilliantly simple party game, but with the single player campaign offering so little, hardly a masterpiece.
(Funny Simpsons Clip #6

Rating: 6/10

Bring back my sister, mister.” – Lisa

Shamelessly Awful Facts:

  • On a holiday to Trabolgan in Cork, I found this game in an arcade. Like a mollusk, I attached myself to it and spent, I would estimate, in the region of £15 on it. Eventually, Captain Croc himself (the parks mascot) had to pry me away from the machine because other kids wanted a go.
  • This is actually the very first video game to feature The Simpsons, ever.
  • There surely must be an essay on Feminism and The Simpsons based entirely on the fact that Marge uses a vacuum cleaner as a weapon in the game.
  • Whenever the demo played, I always noted that two players could join together to do a special move. Myself and my brother performed every combination of button presses imaginable (which wasn’t a lot, considering there were only two buttons), but we never figured out how to do it. Finally, when the game was re-released, we checked the manual.
    “Remain still for two seconds next to another player to perform a special attack”………goddammit.

This game is kind of like:

  • The games Bart plays in the Noiseland Arcade

or

  • The pure but fleeting enjoyment you get out of a Stretch Armstrong
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Published in: on April 11, 2012 at 8:41 pm  Comments (1)  
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