VIDEOGAMES-TO-FLIX is a JoBlo.com column showcasing reviews of videogame translations of Hollywood films (or games soon-to-become Hollywood movies). With both industries getting closer and closer, and videogames, in general, getting so much more popular, you knew it was just a matter of time before we hit that stuff!
THE SIMPSONS GAME
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Systems: XBOX 360, PlayStation 3, Wii, PSP, DS, and PlayStation 2
INTRODUCTION:With THE SIMPSONS in theaters this past summer, EA appears to have picked the perfect opportunity to take a pre-existing license and deliver the game fans have been dying for. Long gone are games like BART SIMPSON'S ESCAPE FROM CAMP DEADLY, THE SIMPSONS: BART VS. THE SPACE MUTANTS, and THE SIMPSONS WRESTLING. Now we have THE SIMPSONS GAME!
GAMEPLAY:It pained me to play this game. While the gameplay isn't broken, it does break. On multiple occasions, things like collision detection, invisible walls, and a poor targeting system ate away at the fabric of my brain. Here's a simple example of this game breaking: I'm playing as Bart Simpson. I jump down off of a ledge onto a gap next to a different ledge. Instead of Bart landing on his feet, he appears to continue falling (even though he is on a surface). He looks like a bug flipped on its back kicking feet into the air. Events like this are commonplace enough that it makes me wonder who was in charge of testing this game. Perhaps lemurs?
GRAPHICS:Graphically, THE SIMPSONS does a lot of things right and just one big thing wrong. Throughout most of the levels, this game looks like playing an episode of the show. The art design is straight out of Matt Groening's sketchbook and includes some clever homages to other games. The fake game art is a must-see element that represents that best in a not-so-great game.
SOUND:A license like THE SIMPSONS lives and dies on the voice work of the cast. Despite the breaks in gameplay and despite a strange art direction decision, the voice work of these characters, and the story that they tell, is hilarious. As I mentioned before, the highlight of this game is watching the cut scenes and feeling like you're watching a real episode of THE SIMPSONS. Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, Yeardley Smith, Hank Azaria, and Harry Shearer, do what they're know best for - being the Simpsons and being funny. There isn't a weak performance in the game and they're only held back by some repetitious elements.
FINAL VERDICT:As a game, THE SIMPSONS flat out stinks. As a television episode, it shines. This conflict makes the game impossible to recommend; however, interesting to watch. Perhaps, you should buy it for a friend and let them struggle with the gameplay. Wait for them to beat the last boss and ask to see the video clips. This game is indicative of the careless management of a license. It is obvious that Matt Groening's people delivered their end of the bargain, while EA shipped the game engine design to someone far under-qualified and over-matched. Final Verdict: 6.9/10
STATUS OF THE MOVIE:THE SIMPSONS MOVIE came out this summer and generated excellent box office ($500 million worldwide!). A sequel in the future makes sense but the last news was a big negative. Check out what the Executive Producer said back in September: Link.
THE JOBLO GAMERTAG:
|Source:||JoBlo.com's Cool Columns|