The Simpsons Arcade


By: Dene Benham    On: Xbox 360
Published: Wednesday 21 Mar 2012 11:00 AM
 
 
 
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Once upon a time, a long, long time ago, videogames used to have one joystick and two buttons. And when you finished playing, you’d have no money and aching thumbs.

So, if you always find yourself thinking about old Quantum Leap episodes and how cool grunge was, don’t worry. It can be 1991 again. It's time to dial up Nevermind on your iPod, because The Simpsons Arcade Game is back in all its single joystick thrashing, two button mashing, glory.

The evil Smithers has robbed the local jewellery store and he’s taken Maggie as part of his haul. So, it’s up to Homer, Marge, Bart, and Lisa to rescue her. That’s it really. You have a punch button and a jump button. Or, in multiplayer mode, you can join with another member of the Simpson clan to do a combo attack. It’s simple. But don’t worry, by the time you’ve pounded your way through all the bowling balls, zombies, saxophones, and robots, you’ll know what RSI-inducing, classic gaming is all about.

As you can guess from the whole ‘Smithers as villain’ thing, The Simpsons Arcade Game was originally released by Konami around the time of the program’s second season. So, it’s not just retro gaming, it’s retro Simpsons. While you get very quick in-game cameo’s from the likes of Santa’s Little Helper and Nelson, the gameplay centres on the four Simpsons.

Homer punches and kicks, Marge hits people with her vacuum cleaner, Lisa uses a skipping rope, and Bart has his skate board. Food gives you health. Rocks can by picked up and thrown. And there are a few sling-shots lying for a limited number of ranged attacks. While collision detection is a bit random, if everyone is swinging at the same time it’s hard to tell if you’re doing any damage, your unlimited lives let you bash your way comfortably through all eight levels. From the streets of Springfield, all the way to the nuclear power plant.

If you have four controllers, players can drop in and out of games as they like. And a crowded four player game is as fun as it sounds. Especially when the hats, rocks, and even the odd car, start getting chucked around.

But it’s not just about teamwork; the game keeps a running count of kills, so there’s a lot of jumping around trying to steal the last hit on the shuriken-throwing ninja or walking donut. Also, to keep the sense of competition going, the game includes a couple of bonus rounds that take it back to who’s fastest on the buttons.

If you’re really fast on the buttons, and you want to take your skills to the world, The Simpsons Arcade Game goes there too. From a very simple online menu, you can quickly set-up or join a game. While joining an in-progress game usually means waiting for an in-progress game to shed a player, once you do join everything runs perfectly.

However, when players drop out of games, and they will (if only to get a bit of ice on their aching thumbs), it’s no problem. Playing by yourself not only keeps your kill count going, giving you a head start for when the game picks up new players, but it still allows you to unlock rewards for completing the game and using different characters.

Sore fingers aside though, The Simpsons Arcade Game not that difficult. While it’s the kind of button-masher you don’t get anymore, it’s also very short. In fact, you could probably finish it twice in the time it takes to watch The Simpsons Movie. And, while there are rewards for going back, there’s not a lot to unlock. That is really the game’s only problem. Gameplay, graphics and sound are pure 1991, but you usually want your retro games to be tough to finish. For all the boss battles and button mashing, The Simpsons Arcade Game is pretty easy.

What there is though, is good. Especially if you love the classics. And from the stripped down theme tune to the ‘Doh’ Homer mutters every time he kicks someone in the back and can’t run away, The Simpsons Arcade Game is a classic.


The Score

The Simpsons Arcade
"Best videogame ever"
7.6
Good
Rating: PG   Difficulty: Easy   Learning Curve: 5 Min

 

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Comments (8)

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Ubercuber NZGamer.com VIP VIP Silver
On Wednesday 21 Mar 2012 11:53 AM Posted by Ubercuber
These games kinda lose their appeal when you don't have to worry about running out of 20c coins.
 
 
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CheeseTastic NZGamer.com VIP VIP Silver
On Wednesday 21 Mar 2012 12:04 PM Posted by CheeseTastic
Totally. The stress of running out of money, or running out of lives was part of what made these games fun; even if you never realise it at the time.
 
 
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Ron NZGamer.com VIP VIP Gold
On Wednesday 21 Mar 2012 1:15 PM Posted by Ron
I remember sinking some serious $$$ on this game at Rainbows End back in the day.
 
 
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Mongrel_Rob NZGamer.com VIP VIP Silver
On Wednesday 21 Mar 2012 1:48 PM Posted by Mongrel_Rob
I've great memories of playing this game at Wizards and Roadrunners (formerly in Woolston) in Christchurch. Great times :)
 
 
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PunisherNZL
On Wednesday 21 Mar 2012 2:31 PM Posted by PunisherNZL
21 March 2012, 01:48 PM Reply to Mongrel_Rob
I've great memories of playing this game at Wizards and Roadrunners (formerly in Woolston) in Christchurch. Great times :)
SAME HERE! wizards was awsome! never went to roadrunners tho but i live in woolston now where abouts was it?
 
 
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Mongrel_Rob NZGamer.com VIP VIP Silver
On Wednesday 21 Mar 2012 3:16 PM Posted by Mongrel_Rob
21 March 2012, 02:31 PM Reply to PunisherNZL
SAME HERE! wizards was awsome! never went to roadrunners tho but i live in woolston now where abouts was it?
On Ferry Road, near Woolston School. Roughly where this car yard is now: http://g.co/maps/a58m8.
I'm not sure it was ever officially called Roadrunners - we called it that because there was a large picture of Roadrunner on the wall.
Back in those days we used to also play spacies at Wing's Takeaways up the road too.
 
 
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kiwiatlarge NZGamer.com VIP VIP Bronze
On Wednesday 21 Mar 2012 6:16 PM Posted by kiwiatlarge
21 March 2012, 03:16 PM Reply to Mongrel_Rob
On Ferry Road, near Woolston School. Roughly where this car yard is now: http://g.co/maps/a58m8.
I'm not sure it was ever officially called Roadrunners - we called it that because there was a large picture of Roadrunner on the wall.
Back in those days we used to also play spacies at Wing's Takeaways up the road too.
Don't forget Linwood City Timeout... long before it was called Eastgate ;)
 
 
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PunisherNZL
On Wednesday 21 Mar 2012 8:11 PM Posted by PunisherNZL
21 March 2012, 03:16 PM Reply to Mongrel_Rob
On Ferry Road, near Woolston School. Roughly where this car yard is now: http://g.co/maps/a58m8.
I'm not sure it was ever officially called Roadrunners - we called it that because there was a large picture of Roadrunner on the wall.
Back in those days we used to also play spacies at Wing's Takeaways up the road too.
dude! i fully rember it now i woulda been like 6 or 7 but i do rember playing games there and the roadrunner on the wall. Wow memories lol.
 
 
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