Written by Twisted Ideas
The arcade 1991 classic has its way to home consoles. The Simpsons Arcade Game was the first game based of the Simpsons and one of the rare Simpsons game that doesn’t suck. The Simpsons family runs into Smithers who is robbing a jewellery store. They collide and a large diamond falls into Maggie’s mouth. Smithers takes Maggie and escapes with Bart, Lisa, Homer and Marge having to fight across Springfield to save Maggie. It has been over 20 years so does this diamond still have any shine?
You and three friends can play as Bart, Homer, Lisa or Marge. The Simpsons Arcade Game is a 2D Sidescrolling beat-em up. You have to punch, kick and bludgeon your way through 8 levels to save Maggie. The controls are simple: jump and attack. Press both buttons at once to perform a hop attack, attack in the air for a dive and stand next to a player for a powerful team attack. You can pick up weapons during levels. Most are one time use projectiles but occasionally is a slingshot with several shots and melee weapons that you hold until you die or throw it away. Health can be found in the form of food either in plain site or hidden in the environment. Each level has a boss who has high health and can deal heavy damage.
Before starting the game you can choose one of four modes. Free Play has unlimited continues, Survival grants only one life and no continues, Quarters gives each player 10 continues and Team Quarters has players share 40 continues. You can adjust difficulty and choose which stage to start. Beating the game with each of the four characters unlocks art work, character bios, and sound and music test.
Beating the game once unlocks the Japan version of the game. The Japanese version changes how the game is scored, there are new usable weapons found in levels, by picking up food you can exceed 100% health and at the start of levels your health is restored.
The main new feature is online multiplayer. You can play online locally with friends, invite friends and play with strangers. The host chooses the options for the game and you can easily drop in and out of a game. There is noticeable lag when playing online resulting in delays in inputs. This usually isn’t a serious issue unless you run into hosts with 100 plus pings.
The visuals are unchanged from the arcade original. The game is presented in full screen with a boarder that looks like an arcade cabinet. For a 20 year old game the cartoon visuals has aged fairly well. Even though the graphics aren’t as smooth as today’s standards the game is bright, colourful and the characters are detailed enough to be recognizable.
The Simpsons Arcade Game fun but too simple even for a beat-em up. When you play it doesn’t feel like there’s any skill involved. This is evident in boss fights with players online. What everyone does is run up to the boss and attack because the boss is going to hit you regardless. If you have Free Play on then you could play with your face and still finish the game. You could easily change the difficulty and game mode to challenge yourself but I don’t see the point.
The Japanese ROM and the online play are nice additions but there’s nothing new here. Konami could have added new levels or even attacks or enemies. The Simpsons Arcade Game is a $10 and after an hour or so I had my fun and I’m done with the game for now. Playstation Plus users such as myself got the game for free so I can’t complain but if you have any intentions of buying this game be 100% sure that you won’t regret it because there are more worthwhile games for $10.