Preview: The Simpsons Game

Players: 1 (2 player coop)

Price: $59.99

Platform(s): PS2, PSP, Wii, DS, PS3, 360

Developer: EA Redwood Shores

Publisher: EA

ESRB: Teen

Website: Springfield

Release Date: October 30, 2007

There have been more Simpsons games than Duff beers drunk by Homer, and still we get another. This time around, EA has taken to heart what makes the show great and brought on the writers of the Fox animated hit to pen the events of The Simpsons Game. The action/adventure/platformer is a self-referential piece of genius hilarity, but will the gameplay be worth the price of admission? That’s the problem EA Redwood Shores has to address.

Seeing as how The Simpsons is a bastion of pop culture satire, making a game that does the same to the video game industry seems like a natural course to take. In that The Simpsons Game should excel. The game is a compilation of Simpsons characters lampooning popular gaming franchises. You’ll play as Homer in “Medal of Homer,” quest through the world of “Neverquest,” and battle Lard Lad in “Battle of the Colossal Donut.”

What The Simpsons Game does exceedingly well is provide a humorous look at the ridiculous nature of video games. Comic Book Guy’s explanation that you can’t swim until the sequel elicited a – dare I say? – guffaw. With cel-shaded graphics, which are a vast improvement on the odd 3D looking characters in recent Simpsons games. The world is in 3D, but it is flattened in order to provide the look seen in the cartoon. Cut scenes will be animated using traditional Simpsons methods and it makes the game look exactly like the show for the most part.

But with all the attention to Simpsons detail, the gameplay has been given the shaft. The game doesn’t control too well, and can get frustrating when trying to do simple tasks. You’ll be controlling the four main Simpsons family members (Homer, Marge, Lisa and Bart) for the majority of the game. A few FPS sections will feature Maggie, but these are very limited. If it’s only select stages that have control issues, then The Simpsons Game has a good chance to at least be worth your time. Fans of the series will probably enjoy the game immensely, as it is a great translation of Simpsons humor to a new medium.

Steve West

Staff Writer at CinemaBlend.