The story starts out with the Simpsons, like always, watching TV (probably some Hollywood hogwash). We soon see Homer falling asleep and dreaming of the land of chocolate. This acts as the tutorial level, insulting you along the way about your skills and how you can't even perform a double jump and other controls it teaches you. Soon by completing the level we are treated to Homer, yet again cursing the Heavens about not being able to turn into a giant blob that can eat anything.(don't we all wish for that?) As the story picks up we see the Simpsons gain powers through an instruction book Bart found.(plot device) They use said powers to benefit their own gain and (of course) it begins to ruin the town in which they now have to save. Not to mention making fun of video games along the way.
What is truly great about this game is the fact that it never stops to poke fun at itself, and other genres of video games, or even characters themselves. Gamers will be laughing at how many references there are to other games, and Simpsons fans will laugh at all the references to the series itself. The story binds two things that couldn't seem to work, Simpsons and Video games, and manages to pull them together with satirical humor. The story feels on par or even above par to that of the Simpson show, in its good years (seasons 3-9, for you people that don't know). It never stops to make you laugh at what it's doing, and it's a good thing too, because for the Simpsons Story is everything.
But like most deals with the devil there is a catch. The Simpsons game traded quality gameplay for quality writing. But by no means is the gameplay horrible or unbearable. In fact its not, its just average, in fact everything is taken from other more successful games (or not successful games) and put into this game, but its more over to lampoon them then be played half the time. That's the thing with this game, its all flash and no substance; all the worlds fill rather hollow and generic. The Enemies feel the same way. If it wasn't for the writing I wouldn't be able to get through it. But in this way it fills fitting. I know it sounds weird but everything seems to have a purpose to why its there, and it's so it can be made fun of, such as respawning enemies, collecting items, and power-ups. Which in any other game, would be mediocre at best. The AI isn't the brightest either, you will be doing most of the work (unless, and I recommended it, you are doing co-op play through), but the computer sometimes gets stuck on walls and platforms. Enemy AI isn't much better.
However despite the rather generic feel to all the levels they are all at least different and offer a different variety of elements, traveling to such places as japanimation land, Neverquest (land full of dudgeon with dragons), and grand theft scratchy land, which is not a parody of the Grand theft Auto series. On top of the variety of levels we also get interesting bosses either parody of games or from the show itself, like the bullies, king snorky, donkey kong like ape thingy, and Shakespeare?!?
All the bosses have interesting ways to battle them, from fighting invaders (from space) to beating the pants off Benjamin Franklin, its always worth going through the levels just to face the odd bosses this game throws at you. Another interesting gimmick in the Simpsons game is that it calls itself out, via Comic Book Guy. Each time something obvious or out of the everyday happens you bet he will be there complaining about it. This adds on to the same type of, average things added for lampooning category then anything else, but it is fun to see it every once in a while.
The Sound is true to the Simpsons, and the music blends well with the background, sometimes too well. Sometimes I found myself wondering were the music was or if it even existed, overall all the sound effects and voice acting you couldn't tell. Really the music is played down hugely, and generic most of the time. But what really is the star here is the voice acting, all the original voice actors are all here. Dan Callestina (Homer), Nacey Cartwright (Bart), and the rest(which names I can't remember or spell correctly) all here to provide quality Simpsons voices or annoying grunts, instead of prerecord voices from the show. Which gives this game a fresh feel to it's otherwise dull world that has a personality of a potato. Although this game does throw out way to many one liners, "I hope I get to meet Zelda! ZELDA!!!" can only be heard for so long till you want to kill someone.
All in All, this is the Simpsons we all know and love from the show. It presents itself in a 3D rendering of the show's town. Although most of the background and environment are hollow, the characters themselves are filled and do well in the gaming world, which help make up for it. The cut scenes look like they came out of the show, or rather the movie, which give the feeling of watching the show rather then a scene in a game, and even if it is in 3D its show in a 2D like scene. The Story is given a strong sense of humor, and satire toward the gaming industry, that makes the game more of a episode then a game. Which make it more of an interactive episode then it is a game.
In the end, The Simpsons game is trying to be two things at once, when in reality it be better has one of them. This game would be better off as a special or an episode then a game. Sure the story, voice acting, and humor are great, but that's qualities of a show, not a game. When you strip what makes this part of the Simpsons, you get something that's rather mediocre and bland. But the story is worth seeing, so see those anyway you can (anyway….you…can). But this game is really just for the fans, those that aren't dedicated should rent it or borrow from a friend at best.