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Written by  :  Brandon Tabbert (19)
Written on  :  Jun 30, 2008
Platform  :  Xbox 360
Rating  :  3.57 Stars3.57 Stars3.57 Stars3.57 Stars3.57 Stars

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Summary

For die-hard and casual fans alike, it’s a fun play

The Good

I’ve watched The Simpsons for the majority of my life. They’re my second family that have been there through thick and thin, from childhood to adulthood, and I wanted this game to be an extension of that. Thankfully for my sanity, it sort of is. This title is, without a doubt, the most faithful interpretation of the show I’ve found. It’s rich with self-referential humor and parody, and the jokes are very reminiscent of quality Simpsons’ episodes from the sixth-tenth seasons.

Comic Book Guy presents us with, ranging from Double Jumps to Green Warp Pipes, back around again to Wooden Crates and Pressure Pads. There are also countless funny references to other popular culture mediums throughout the game. There are quotes from Batman, appearances by Hilary Clinton and Will Wright (of Sim City and The Sims fame), and even a parody or two of contemporary video games like ‘Metal Gear Soiled 4.’

The Simpsons Game doesn’t just present you with funny dialogue and jokes, it comes across with gorgeous cell-shading visuals and flawless animations. The graphics are strong throughout the game, but falter at the in-game cinematics. These scenes look a bit more like my drawings of Homer from when I was seven, as opposed to following the same visual style as the rest of the game. The cutscenes, however, are just as visually pleasing as you’d want them to be.

Though there are some visual flaws, the soundtrack and voice track to the game are the crowning achievement. The music feels ripped directly from season six and fits perfectly into each level, or ‘episode.’ The cast does a tremendous job voicing the characters and the one-liners and jokes almost all land well. Without a question, the sound is the shining star of this game.

The Bad

What’s that? The Internet told you that the gameplay, controls, and camera work are shoddy? Fine, some of that is true. Holding out hope that the demo was not going to detail the poor camera angles, I was let down. The camera gets lost several times in each level and while in the Simpsons’ house, might as well be buried in Snowball II’s litter box. This could have been executed much better. Controlling the characters is easy enough, with no glaring flaws. Overall gameplay is pretty standard for this platform. It’s reasonably fun, but easily becomes a bit boring.

The Bottom Line

Presentation: Ranging from funny to hilarious, at times, the game plays out like a marathon of pretty good episodes. The script is well-written and stays true to the tone of the show. Cameos and parodies make a strong showing around the slightly-longer-than-comfortable load times.

Gameplay: If you’re looking for a short, six-to-eight hour, fun (but not exciting) game without much replay value, this is it.

Graphics/Sound: Even considering the few visual flaws regarding in-game cinematics and camera work, the sound is a strong enough reason to play through the title. The graphics are, for the most part, true to the television show and are pulled off well with the cell shading. And did I mention the soundtrack?

Value Factor: I have Simpsons’ plush dolls, chess sets, blankets, toys, coffee mugs, and every other useless piece of memorabilia you can imagine. Keep that in mind when I say this: this game is not a must own, it’s a rental.

Bottom Line: For die-hard and casual fans alike, it’s a fun play. Go out to your nearest gaming store and rent it for a decent weekend game. But overall, I was disappointed, and that hurts.