How The Worst Simpsons Game And The Best Simpsons Game Is One And The Same
Posted on Friday, February 10 @ 14:00:00 Eastern by Daniel Bischoff
The game's introduction is ripped straight from the television's theme, but things quickly go awry. Each character's bio lists their age, hobby, and alias. Bart's is fairly straightforward....
Well, Bart's bio is too straightfoward. His hobby is "Instigating Disobedience". I don't think it's ever been stated so plainly. At least Konami did the research and discovered Bart's alter-ego, El Barto.
Homer's alias is just as awkwardly worded: "Home Boy / Home Dude." Certainly El Homo would have been more in line with El Barto. Lisa's bio actually manages to capture some piece of Simpsons trivia, stating that her alias is "Moaning Lisa". Much of that is undone by Marge's double-bio with Maggie.
Who ever new Marge's hobby was Making Tasty Geletin Desserts?
Who the hell are these guys? Let's ignore the legion of clones that Mr. Burns sends your way (apparently they're called Royd and Floyd, who knew?), but you'd think that Konami could come up with a proper boss to fight? We can go along with the wrestler at the end of stage one blindly, but who the hell are these mobsters?
Zombies, aliens, sure, but these two characters have never shown their faces in the television show, leaving my brother and me to wonder when they'd show up. It's true that the game didn't have much to work with. The series had only run for just over a year, so there wasn't a ton draw from like there is today, but obviously referencing a bunch of Simpsons lore doesn't make a great game.
Hey, if they're fighting nameless mobsters, why can't the Simpsons fight a bear, a species normally known in the series for the sheer terror they strike in the city's inhabitants?
Mr. Smithers packs a double-whammy of WTF near the end of the game. Once you clear the TV station, Smithers flees in a Krusty Toys helicopter. Why the hell would he be flying a Krusty Toys helicopter? I don't remember the man with the superfluous third nipple ever cozying up with Springfield's resident billionaire.
Of course, why not make Smithers a maniacal lunatic? Why not equip him with a devilish grin? Why not give him bombs to throw at the Simp-- Wait, is that a lab coat he's wearing under the cape?
Easily my favorite oddity in The Simpsons Arcade is featured at the end of the KBBL Broadcasting Studio. The level opens with a news anchor WHO IS NOT Kent Brockman and ends with a fight against a bunch of ninjas and a samurai guy.
I didn't think about it this way when I was younger, but The Simpsons Arcade offers players a unique opportunity to see inside the minds of the Japanese developer. The ninja showdown features an American parody of ancient Japanese culture... through the eyes of a Japanese person.... the meta-commentary here is absurdly fantastic.
The samurai boss hops around like a kabuki actor, mocking the more obvious facets of Japanese culture American developers or the writers behind the Simpsons television show would have targeted.
I could go on, but ultimately The Simpsons Arcade stands the test of time as one of the best beat-em-ups ever created. The gameplay was so solid, it's hard to seriously mock everything else about the title. You can play the classic title on your Xbox 360 or PS3 now, via either's downloadable service. The game includes the Japanese Rom and a host of cleverly titled Achievements and Trophies.
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