GOOD SIDES OVER BAD SIDES
The Simpsons Game is hilarious, full of video game parody and familiar characters, it's good-looking and it has great voice acting. But it also has bigtime camera problems that squeeze down the experience and it is basically just a traditional platformer that relies on it's Simpsons license. Will you take the good sides over the bad sides? It's up for you to decide, but I did and I'm happy with this game.
One day, a manual named The Simpsons Game drops from the sky right in front of Bart, the troublemaker of the Simpsons family. Bart discovers that he and his whole family have unique special powers that they can use for justice or fun. Homer can turn into a giant meatball after eating stuff, Bart can glide and shoot with his slingshot as his alter ego Bartman, Marge can manipulate the masses with her megaphone and Lisa can confuse enemies with her saxophone and move things with a meditation power called Buddha's hand. Maggie is only playing a small part, occasionally crawling inside small passages the other's can't go into. After days of using these special powers, Springfield gets attacked by aliens, led by, of course, the Kang & Kodos duo. The Simpsons have to save their home city by defeating the aliens. Everything isn't that simple, but I won't reveal anything more about the story.
FAMILIAR YELLOW FACES
The Simpsons Game isn't the sharpest PS2 game graphically. While most of the scenery looks bright and good, there seems to be lot of rough edges and blurry textures. Especially the characters look a bit silly with their eyes or other body parts sometimes blending in their yellow skins while they should be lined with black. The yellow family roams in many different kind of places. There's a museum, a forest, Springfield downtown, game engine (!), a big mansion and a lot more. Many familiar faces from the TV series are encountered during the levels. While The Simpsons are of course featured the most, hilarious side characters like Sea Captain, Mr. Burns, Lenny, Carl, Comic Book Guy and more all make their memorable appearances. In Xbox 360 and PS3 versions, you can roam freely in Springfield, this feature however is not present in the PS2 version.
THE STORY OF A DRUNKEN CAMERAMAN
The Simpsons Game's core gameplay is traditional platforming. The Simpsons Game partly is what it laughs at. The always sarcastic Comic Book Guy pops up now and then and criticizes the cliches in the game, like double jump, switch puzzle, unability to swim, bumpers and more. There are lots of video game parodies to be spotted from hilarious game posters (Frink starring in Zero-Life, Homer in Need For Speedo, Flanders in Moral Kombat etc) to encountered enemies (Ryu clones, NFL players, familiar looking plumber, big gorilla etc). It is easy to control the characters and their special powers are useful and fun to use. The puzzles are pretty light and easy and they usually require using Lisa's Buddha's hand power. Only one puzzle got me frustrated (you'll probably notice it too). There's enough variety in the levels and the game flows with a good vibe. Now, let's face the number one enemy of the player, the cameraman. It is almost always in the wrong place, not showing enough or showing the wrong things. I don't remember the last time I've had so much problems with a camera in a video game. You can move it freely, but it always feels half-assed. The cutscenes look just like the TV program giving unlimited hilarious moments with clever or sometimes just stupid jokes, but the humor always works.
LESS REFERENCES, MORE MOPPING
While the musical side of Simpsons Game only impresses at times (Medal of Homer and Big Super Happy Fun Fun Game do impress!), the voice acting is superb, just like in the TV series. Every character has their voice actor from the TV program, which is awesome. Homer, Bart, Marge, Cletus the yokel, Kang & Kodos, Kent Brockman, they all sound great and are as hilarious as ever. The comments and remarks made by the enemies and especially French people's surrender comments are hilarious. The sound effects are pretty neat also.
The Simpsons Game features 16 levels which last from approximately 5 minutes (only one level is that short) to 50 minutes, depending on the player of course. The overall length is about 8-10 hours which is decent. The collectibles in the game, like shopping stamps, Krusty the Clown tickets and Duff bottle corks are pretty useless so collecting them didn't really appeal to me at all. Like I mentioned earlier, there is no free-roaming in the Springfield city in this version so that reduces the length a bit. Another thing the player may do is try to beat his own best time, but that probably won't keep you interested too long, since you've just beat the game and played the levels.
+ Pros: Nice scenery, superb voice acting, hilarious humor, good length, familiar characters
- Cons: Terrible camera
REAL SCORE: 9.3