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The Simpsons Game Review

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Developer: EA Redwood Shores Publisher: Electronic Arts
Release Date: October 30, 2007 Also On: PS2, PS3, Wii and Xbox 360

There never seems to be a shortage of TV based video games to play. While most of these are horrible, some do turn out to be okay once in a while. Fox seems to really enjoy taking this chance on their franchises (Futurama, Family Guy, 24). The Simpsons have had a lot of different games over the years, but since the original arcade game, none have really come close to success at all. Road Rage was alright, but it is The Simpsons Game that really takes the cake. While it may not be the best game of the fall, it may very well be the most surprising.

In The Simpsons Game, you will play as the Simpsons family who think they are going through real life. When things start going bad, they realize they are video game characters and have super powers. With these powers, you are fighting to save Springfield from the evil Dolphins and and alien invasion. When they can not stop them, they go out on a search to find their creator to stop this mess. When that fails, they go after the only other person who can help them…God. Along the way, there will be many references and good old fashion Simpsons humor.

Visually, the cutscenes are rendered in the real Simpsons animation. The gameplay however, only looks okay when in comparison. You can see a lot of pixelation of characters, which is amplified 1,000 times through in engine cutscenes. The city of Springfield itself looks great, but very small compared to the scope of the show. This makes sense since you are only traveling to levels in the city, but disappointing as a whole. You can, however, visit many of the famous places in the show like the comic book shop, Kwik-E-Mart, Springfield Elementary School, and the Simpsons home. All your favorite characters are in the city roaming, but there are no cars and the city feels dead.

The Simpsons themed tunes are played frequently throughout the game, really catching the feel of the show. All the characters have their voice talents backing them up, making for an incredibly real Simpson experience. But like I mentioned earlier, Springfield feels dead. Besides the characters roaming making witty comments, there is not much to Springfield bringing it alive.

While not groundbreaking, The Simpsons Game plays very well, giving each character a unique set of powers. Homer can turn into a huge ball to steamroll over people or throw gummy bombs at people. Bart can use his slingshot and turn into Bartman to glide and use a grappling hook. Lisa can stun people with her sax and use meditation to manipulate the environment. Marge has nag powers that can start a riot and use them to reconstruct new items and can use Maggie to get through small openings. The levels are not challenging at all, but they are very enjoyable to play.

Ripping on such topics as the console war, old video game characters, and gaming cliches, The Simpsons Game is the best episode of The Simpsons imaginable, only in video game form. It does, however, only last 6-7 hours, which I guess would be good for a season of the TV show, but this is a video game. There are extra challenges and 2 player co-op, but that is not enough to keep you interested for long. Mindless collectibles throughout the game only offer a tiny bonus, making them worthless. I recommend The Simpsons Game as a great rental for any Simpson fan, or comedy enthusiast. Just do not bother to purchase this with how little there is to play.

Graphics: 7
Sound: 9
Gameplay: 8
Creativity: 8
Replay Value/Game Length: 6
Final: 7.6
Written by Shawn Review Guide