Arcade Review: The Simpsons Arcade
Xbox Live Arcade Game
800 MS Points
Back in the early 90’s, arcades were still a big craze and many times, the kinds of games you could find in the arcade were better than the games you’d find for consoles. Some examples of this are games like the X-Men arcade game and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles arcade game (Though, there was a port of TMNT that wasn’t quite the same). The Simpsons was one of these amazing games that was never ported to any console until now. This arcade title of the past has made it’s way unto both XBLA and PSN. Is it worth buying? Or is this nothing more than a nostalgia trip?
With a few different filters, you can play the Simpsons Arcade in it’s original form and with some smoothed out graphics. The smoothed graphics don’t really do much to improve the quality of the game, but for anyone who played the original, the classic sprites still look perfectly acceptable for today’s gaming. Having an actual arcade border seems to take away from the experience of the game and thus, you’ll want to zoom the image in as much as you can so that the arcade border doesn’t take up too much of the screen. Shading doesn’t really exist but the colors are vibrant and everything meshes together very well. While it’s not too much to look at by today’s standards, it’s true to it’s original form and delivers as much as you’d expect it to.
The game follows a very basic control scheme of jumping and attacking. It’s a classic button mashing beat-em-up title and plays as such. Hit detection seems fairly cheap in that you need to be very close and very well lined up, depth-wise, in order to attack an opponent and land the hit. Many times you’ll find yourself moving between the background and foreground trying to find that magical spot where the enemy can be hit by you.
Aside from the attacking, the rest of the game is still a blast to play. Running through all the different imaginative environments and messing with them (Picking up rocks, bowling balls or animals) brings them to life. Boss fights are still just as challenging but it’s also clear that this game was intended to be a quarter eater in the days of arcades. You’ll die often and you’ll continue often.
The music is taken right out of the show and the pieces that were originally made for this title still hold up today. The sounds of the characters attacking can get a little annoying and the actual character dialogue is very dated. There are times where you can clearly hear that they were limited in the abilities to record decent audio for the title. It doesn’t take the player too far out of the game, but it’s noticeable enough that it could break enjoyment of the title.
As it is an arcade classic, this game allows for a good deal of replayability. Being able to play with 4 people over Xbox Live or PSN allows for a much better experience than by yourself and you’ll find that there are many achievements tied to playing the game multiple times and in different ways. There are different versions such as the Japanese rom and the USA rom that change up how the game plays but all in all, this is still the same game people played in their youth and not too much has changed.
The achievements for this game have a good variety that have a bit of a challenge, but not so much that it’s frustrating. Beating the game in one go from the first level will get a person around half of the achievements. The rest of them are obtained by multiple playthroughs and special challenges like beating a boss without dying. A good variety and not too impossible.
- Game still feels solid
- Great party game
- Decently Replayable
- Some cheap gameplay
- Sounds can be distorted
- Graphics lack by today’s standards
You’ll find that this title is still a good one to play and if you’ve got a couple nostalgic friends or even just fans of the Simpsons, you’ll find yourself enjoying this title fully and satisfyingly. If you’re looking to get some great arcade beat-em-up fun, you can’t really go wrong getting this title. It’s still a blast and full of great humor. A definite recommendation for a good time.
Replay Value- 8