The Simpsons Game PS3 Review

The Simpsons are known and loved by millions. The ones that aren’t really into it still enjoy a show or two, so it’s something for everyone, just not everything for everyone. Some die-hard fans will tell you it’s the greatest thing ever; nothing can ever top it and so on. For me personally, it’s good but as time goes on as with anything it gets tiresome and you pray that it gets better. In this game you can tell time has been taken to make it look, sound and play like a good, authentic, Springfield.

When you first turn the game on you can see that EA and the Simpsons team have worked hard on the visual aspects of this title. The cut scenes are high resolution and there is a vector style art for the movies and cel-shaded graphics for game itself. When you start you only have control of Homer, but soon you can unlock Bart and the others. Despite this game being a typical platformer, it has added something that you don’t see very often – cooperative play! You need to play for about 15 minutes first before co-op becomes active. Unfortunately, the co-op isn’t online, but you can’t have everything. The only online aspect of this is hi-score and time attack scoreboard. A decent feature with the co-op is that whoever joins you can just jump into the game straight away and drop out without having to quit back to the menus and so on.

Throughout the game you can’t just rely on your favourite character to make your way through the levels. You have to use everyone to get through each level and each character has their own ability; Bart has his catapult, Homer belches toxic fumes, and so on. It’s quite fun exploring Springfield; you can go anywhere, the problem being sometimes with this version is that the framerate can drop when you have a majority of the city in view. When you are just roaming around the city which is cool, there isn’t anything to do apart from collect tokens, and go to key locations in the city like Kwik-E-Mart and Moe’s Tavern. Unfortunately EA have missed out on making some mini-game opportunities here. They could’ve done something as simple as chugging Slurpies or something related to the location. It is really a disappointment because they could have put a lot more in the city and fells empty and like a ghost town.

While you progress through the game the comic shop guy will occasionally pop-up about “Video Game Clichés”. One of the first ones you come across is double-jumping. When this first appeared, it made me giggle because it’s right that in most platformer style games there is double jumping. Then the list goes on and on, after about the 3rd time it gets annoying and you just want to play without something popping up telling you it’s a cliché. The controls in this game are like most platformers; simplistic, very easy to pick up and play for anyone. The only problem, which many 3D platformers face, is the camera. In some areas of the game the camera angle is so awkward or you can’t move it, which makes it frustrating at times. After you get over the reused script and tired of hearing the same lines, you finally get on with the game! A cool thing in this game is that the levels are cleverly adapted film names like Bartman Begins. Nicely done.

The game overall is fairly good and worth a look if you’re a fan, but there are a lot of better platformers out there such as Mario Sunshine (Wii) and Ratchet & Clank: Tools of Destruction (PS3). Compared to those, The Simpsons is lacking in the gameplay department. Only worth it for hardcore Simpsons fans.

6.5 out of 10

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