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The Simpsons Game Review

Absolutely hilarious... but we're not laughing at the camera

To be quite frank, we're annoyed. In fact, we'd almost go so far as to say irate. And why? Because we've been fibbed to, that's why, and potentially one of the best third-party games of the season has suffered as a result. The full reason for our ire goes back to last month when we got the chance for an extensive seven-hour session on the Wii version of The Simpsons Game. Not surprisingly, this was great, although the code required supervision of an EA representative who was not only there to stop us from getting too far (he stopped us just before the penultimate level) but also answer our questions.

As it was unfinished preview code, there were some superfluous issues - missing cutscenes, Bart's special slingshot move wasn't working and so on, but our main concern was the game's camera which, in layman's terms, was all over the place. Between making it difficult to see what was going on in places, moving to send targeted enemies off-screen and assuming a life of its own when attempting difficult jumping sections, it made the game incredibly infuriating in too many places. The rep's response? Developer Rebellion was aware of the problem and it was being fixed. Really. A month on and we've got review code, complete with all the problems fixed. Bar one. And can you guess which that might be?

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Lights, Camera, Broken

The crime here is that if it wasn't for the camera often rendering the game awkward and annoying, The Simpsons Game would be a wonderful experience. It's certainly got all the right elements, as we pointed out in our big preview last month. The platform-based action is simple without becoming too repetitive, the mix of character-specific moves and puzzles relying on swapping between them helps keep things interesting and there are enough hidden collectables and neat tricks to offer plenty of replay value.

Plus, best of all, it's easily the funniest game we've ever played and had us laughing from beginning to end, simply because it's the perfect example of the games industry taking the mickey out of itself. Never has a game made us chortle out loud to such an extent and for all the right reasons. The last collection of levels in particular (from the Medal Of Honor and GTA send-ups, to the final two which we're obviously not going to spoil here) had us in fits. Like we said, the script turns a basic platform adventure into a work of genius and, perhaps more importantly, a genuinely enjoyable use of a license.

Strife Through A Lens

Unfortunately, the game's one massive fault - yes, the camera - blunders in and breaks all the china. To be fair, we've done our research and discovered that the camera's rubbish across all the versions (bar DS), so it's not just the Wii that suffers, although the fact that the Wii game is cut down and missing elements that are in all the versions appearing on other consoles is

a bit of a bummer.

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When the rest of the package is so enjoyable, it's bitterly disappointing that such a fundamental element essentially breaks the experience. It's not totally unplayable but, equally, it's an experience that'll see you cursing your inability to complete simple tasks as often as laughing at all of the jokes. The phrase 'D'oh!' has never been so apt.


13 comments so far...
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  1. rik-69 Sunday 20th Jan 2008 at 20:25

    Is it based on the movie?

  2. Illyflippo Saturday 16th Feb 2008 at 00:59

    No - The game has it's own storylines.
    The ending was very dissapointing. I now know why You gave it 74%

  3. DBZFan355 Thursday 1st Jan 2009 at 14:53

    It is absolutely hilarious, especially seeing Ralph as an elf. Apparently the PS2 version had the most missing from it, since there were two levels missing and a chunk missing from the Medal of Honour stage

  4. blubbergate Tuesday 4th Aug 2009 at 10:47

    I don't think the camera is THAT bad. I've seen worse, like the tomb raider angel of darkness...*shudders*

  5. Okami Saturday 15th Aug 2009 at 10:10

    I rented the PS2 version - it wasn't that bad, and I didn't notice anything wrong with the camera, particularly. ><
    I'd probably be interested in buying this if I hadn't got stuck on the level with the giant Doughnut Kid (forgot his name - it'll probably come back to me after I've posted this though :roll: ) when I rented it.
    I get infuriated so easily when I'm playing a game. DX

  6. TheSimpsonsMad Sunday 30th Aug 2009 at 09:53

    The cameras not that bad. In boss levels, it can get annoying. I think the DS version is miles better though. Its a classic platform game. The script is side-splitting funny, and the animations are pretty cool too. I just thought I wanted to say that, since I am The Simpsons Ultiamte Fan :wink: . By the way, that was the worst Comic Book Guy impression I have ever heard. Trust me.

  7. starfox1994 Wednesday 7th Oct 2009 at 09:12

    The camera's not that bad, it should have been given about 5-10% higher.

  8. MickG Thursday 21st Jan 2010 at 19:45

    Agree the Doughtnut Boy (Lard Lad) level was frustrating as hell, even after I found a walkthrough guide - almost entirely the fault of the camera (but not quite entirely!).

    Funny and good looking with nods to gaming cliches through the ages, it quickly became tiresome and a chore, rather than a fun challenge.

    I wonder if the camera issue wasn't resolved so as to extend the life (or more accurately the frustration levels) of the game.

    The dialogue was clearly the highlight of the game, which isn't a good enough reason to buy it sadly, no matter how much of a Simpsons fan you are.

  9. boofan25 Friday 15th Apr 2011 at 18:18

    My fav level is proberly the one where they take the mickout of pokemon. and i agree the camera thing is a bummer but i think its made up by the humor.

  10. Chris95 Saturday 16th Apr 2011 at 19:44

    Now that was a bump.

  11. Nintendo52 Tuesday 10th Jul 2012 at 06:36

    I Really Enjoyed The Game As It Had Alot Of Replay Value, Personally I Would Have Given It Around The 85% Mark.

  12. hamzahdsi Tuesday 10th Jul 2012 at 15:19

    Looks nothing like "Hit and Run" therefore i do not plan on buying it. Aw, Hit and many memories

  13. imbusydoctorwho Wednesday 11th Jul 2012 at 09:54

    The DS version was the best.

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