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Even though I definitely enjoyed the game, I still felt the $10 price tag was a bit steep for something so brief and unilayered. Sadly enough, it bristles a bit to realize that most of us likely spent more than that playing through the game back in the arcade days – but that sorry fact still doesn’t justify price gouging now. The Simpsons Arcade Game shows that in most cases, despite graphical limitations, the old games are still better than today’s far prettier, but far less entertaining crowd. As with today’s overproduced “music” and digitally reworked, 3D/CGI “films,” we may have gained surface prettiness, but the soul is gone. And everyone seems to forget: todays “oohs and aahs” are continually upstaged by technical upgrades tomorrow, rendering last week’s empty but “visually astounding” crapfest absolutely worthless in the light of tomorrow. It’s like they always say, beauty is only skin deep, but ugly goes clear to the bone.
The Simpsons is a classic of its kind, but some players aren’t going to understand why. That’s perfectly fine. Not everyone playing games today was 10 years old in 1991. For retro arcade fans who want to relive happy memories, or Simpsons fans hoping for a flashback to the days when the TV show was a cultural phenomenon, this is a fine little nostalgia fix. The 10-dollar download is a pretty good deal, too – beating the arcade game used to cost at least that much.
The best part of The Simpsons Arcade Game is that it’s actually a pretty good port. They could have released a version that flashed insulting messages about the player’s mom every other minute, and the nostalgia crazies would have still gone nuts for it because it allows them to play a game they used to play before life crushed their hopes and dreams. Instead, the game includes some unlockables and various other extras.
The Simpson's Arcade Game should have been a slam-dunk, but the people who port games to Xbox Live have an annoying way of sucking the fun out of them.