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Written by  :  Katakis | カタキス (41035)
Written on  :  Apr 14, 2003
Platform  :  DOS

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Just doesn't live up to the standards of the arcade version

The Good

Well, you've seen the hit TV show, you brought the figurines, now play the video game. Konami brought us Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Arcade Game, now they've brought us The Simpsons. In downtown Springfield, a jewel heist involving Homer and Smithers goes wrong when Homer bumps into him while Smithers is carrying one of the diamond. It flies in the air and lands in Maggie's mouth. As a result, Maggie is kidnapped by Smithers, and it's up to the Simpsons to rescue her.

As the player, you can choose to rescue Maggie as Marge, Homer, Bart, or Lisa, but since The Simpsons supports two players, you can only play with one other person (the arcade version has 4-player support). Each character has their own weapon. For example, Marge uses her vacuum cleaner to knock down enemies, Lisa uses her skipping rope, Bart the skateboard, and Homer only his fists). I personally play Marge, since her vacuum cleaner can pack a mean punch. Furthermore, they have their own quotes, which you can read if you stand there doing nothing for five seconds. Marge, for instance, will say "How's my hair?" and Bart says "Who are hell are you?"

There are eight stages in The Simpsons, and involves you chasing Smithers around the place. In order, these stages include:

1. Downtown Springfield
2. Krustyland
3. Springfield Discount Cemetery
4. Moe's Tavern
5. Springfield Butte
6. Dreamland
7. Channel 6 
8. Nuclear Power Plant

You have to knock down people that get in your way stage after stage after stage, and fight the end-of-stage boss. While knocking down enemies, you can also pick things up and throw it at them, and more often than not, they will go down in just one shot. For example, in stage one, you can pick up bus stop signs and letter boxes and throw them mostly at enemies with blue suits. Rather than using your default weapon, you can also get weapons along the way like hammers and slingshots, either lying on the ground or from someone else offering it to you.

You start each new game with three lives and there is a meter right next to the number of lives to tell you how much energy you've got. If you get hit by an enemy, your energy is reduced, and once the energy meter is depleted, you'll lose one of your life. The only way that you can get an extra life is by winning two bonus stages. In the bonus stages, you compete with three other CPU players, and the first bonus stage has you blowing up a balloon so hard that it is bigger than the rest of the balloons. The second has you hit yourself on the face as many times as you can.

As with the energy meter, you can restore it to its fullest if you manage to pick up a piece of fruit or a bowl of rice. It is recommended that The Simpsons is played with another person. That way, you won't get sore fingers if you're going to handle more than one enemy.

The Bad

The Simpsons is only available for MS-DOS, and I'm afraid that it is not quite as good as the arcade version. First, all of the music sounds terrible in the game. The music was done in MID format, and it could have been better if it was in Sound Blaster and used the WAV format. The only music I liked is the music while you're entering your name in the high scores. The sound effects are also crap, and not the best that they could be.

Second, the graphics are not as great as the arcade version, as they were done in EGA. Third, I mentioned that the MS-DOS vesion has support for only two players, while the arcade version has support for four. It would sure be nice if you played the game with three other players instead.

Finally, some locations that were present in the arcade version are not present in the MS-DOS version. As far as I know, for example, after you've beaten stage three in the arcade version, you ride in this elevator while you fight enemies. This is not present, and it means that the MS-DOS version is much shorter than the arcade version.

The Bottom Line

A poor conversion with features lacking here and there, this game isn't even close to the original, and gamers who have already played the arcade version may not be as pleased at what the MS-DOS version has to offer. If you don't want to be disappointed, you might as well play the arcade version through this magnificent emulator. *