Published Nov 21, 2007Remember that Halloween episode where Homer went 3D? It was cool, I guess, but when playing a Simpsons videogame we want to play the cartoon, not a three-dimensional facsimile. Well, after 22 largely forgettable games, the best, and least imaginatively-titled of the lot looks nearly as good as the show itself.
Ok, ok, so the action-platforming game-play is a little rote but thats part of the joke. Comic Book Guy even shows up every while to gripe about the various gaming clichés (exploding barrels, invisible barriers, etc). And thats just the beginning of the meta.
Throughout the game, which revolves around the Simpsons discovering theyre in a videogame, the show writers satirize the entire industry. Everyone from the Madden series to marketing departments are in for a mocking with levels making fun of different genres. But they demonstrate respect for gamers, too, with tons of well-researched in-jokes ranging from Katamari and Shadow of the Colossus shout-outs and a Frogger sight gag to a pivotal cameo from Sims creator Will Wright. Oh, plus Grand Theft Scratchy.
Of course, the big attraction is the license itself and the developers have thrown in plenty of obscure references for the Simpsons obsessive, including Lisa as Clobber Girl, a possessed Lard Lad, evil dolphins and an insanity pepper appearance. With a sprawling Springfield to explore, a Kodos and Kang-led invasion to quash and endless dialogue from pretty much every character to savour, it might not be the Best. Game. Ever. But The Simpsons Game is some of the sweetest fan-service yet. (EA)