The Simpsons Arcade Game
||This article may contain original research. (February 2012)|
|The Simpsons Arcade Game|
Advertisement flyer of the game depicting the four available characters and Maggie, the character they must rescue.
Backbone Entertainment (XBLA, PSN)
2 Players, Set 1
|Genre(s)||Beat 'em up|
|CPU||KONAMI (@ 3 MHz)|
|Sound||Sound Chips: YM2151 (@ 3.579545 MHz), K053260 (@ 4 MHz)|
|Display||Raster, 288 x 224 pixels (Horizontal), 2048 colors|
The Simpsons Arcade Game is an arcade beat 'em up developed by Konami released in 1991, and the first video game based on The Simpsons franchise. The voice actors of the immediate family (Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, and Yeardley Smith) provide voices for their respective characters. It uses the same engine and therefore has similar overall gameplay as the 1989 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles arcade game, also made by Konami. The game was ported to the Commodore 64 and MS-DOS soon after its launch in the arcades. The game was released on Xbox Live Arcade on February 3, 2012 and was released for the PlayStation Network on February 7, 2012.
The game begins with Waylon Smithers and two goons robbing Springfield Jewelers (for reasons unknown). Smithers bumps into Homer Simpson, whose family is conveniently walking down the street. The encounter knocks a diamond from Smithers' haul, and Maggie catches it in her mouth (to replace the pacifier). Smithers then snatches Maggie (rather than just the diamond) and runs off. The Simpsons give chase, but hundreds of suit-wearing goons under Mr. Burns' employ stand in their way.
The Simpson family go through many stages chasing Smithers, from Downtown Springfield (Stage 1), Krustyland theme park (Stage 2), Springfield Discount Cemetery (Stage 3), Moe's Tavern (Stage 4), the Springfield butte (Stage 5), a waterfall plunge-induced dreamland (Stage 6), the KBBL's Channel 6 Broadcasting studio (Stage 7), and the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant (Stage 8, the final stage).
The game ends with the player(s) having a showdown with a bomb throwing Smithers and then finally Mr. Burns who is in a plutonium-powered armored fighting vehicle. Then, once the player(s) defeats him, Maggie appears, walking toward the unconscious Mr. Burns. A finale cutscene shows her putting her pacifier into his mouth and sucking on the diamond. As the victor, the player(s) stands behind Maggie and picks her up, and the family walks off. The family walks back to Springfield while the credits roll. After the credits, Homer tosses away the giant diamond that Maggie had in her mouth.
The player chooses from one of the remaining four Simpsons (as shown in playable order): Marge (The first player), who swings her vacuum cleaner; Homer (The second player), who punches and kicks; Bart (The third player), who wields his skateboard; and Lisa (The fourth player), who uses a jump rope like a whip. They fight through the employees and chase Smithers as he escapes through various Springfield landscapes. The game's levels are based on the streets of Springfield, Krustyland, the Springfield Discount Graveyard, Moe's Tavern, Springfield Butte, a dream world, the Channel 6 studio, and the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant. Each level ends with a boss whose speed and strength would increase after taking a set amount of damage.
In Stage 4 (Moe's Tavern), there are several arcade machines, including one of the Simpsons arcade game. There was an Aliens arcade game which features a Space Mutant (a recurring movie in the show) which gets scared off by a xenomorph from the Aliens film which happens to be Marge wearing a xenomorph costume. Aliens was made in 1990 by Konami.
Although the game is one of many beat 'em ups produced after Final Fight, it contained many innovations, including the option for two players to team up and attack enemies, with the exact attack differing slightly depending on which two characters were being used. Each character would occasionally perform an attack in the form of something going wrong: Marge's hair would get caught in her vacuum cleaner as she swung it, Homer would uppercut himself in the jaw, Bart would spin violently around on his skateboard and fall backwards, and Lisa's jump rope would tangle around her. Food could be used for healing, and various weapons and items could be obtained for use for a short time or for a one-time projectile attack. These items were often brought into the game by other Simpsons characters, and the Simpsons' own pets could be used as thrown weapons at various points in the game. The Japanese version of the game included small scale nuclear bombs that, when thrown, clear all on-screen enemies, as well as a life bar that can be doubled by eating food when your character's health was full. The main characters retained their voice actors from the show.
The game features two minigames in which players competed against each other to be the first to finish a task (inflating a balloon shaped like their character in the first game, waking up their character in the second). The minigame was based on repeated button-pushing, with the player who pushed the buttons fastest winning. If fewer than four players were present, the player or players competed against 1-3 computer-controlled characters in these minigames.
The game featured many enemies, ranging from the infamous men in the purple suits who had the ability to hold the player from behind, to battles with Bongo-like rabbits. The game included battling fat, old men; miniboss-like firemen; and even giant donuts.
Soon after its release in the arcades, the game received ports to Commodore 64 and MS-DOS computers developed by Novotrade. A listing on the Australian Classification Board website, posted on November 9, 2011, hinted at a port of the game being developed by Backbone Entertainment for multiple platforms. In January 2012, Sony announced the launch of a high-definition port of The Simpsons Arcade Game on its PlayStation Network online service in February. The game will be initially made available exclusively to PlayStation Plus users at no charge. One day after the Sony announcement, Konami added that the game would also be ported to Microsoft's Xbox 360 console through Xbox Live Arcade. Konami elaborated further on the game's upgrades, which include online multiplayer, the ability to unlock the rare Japanese 4-player version of the game, and promotional content from the game's arcade launch.
ScrewAttack placed the game as the #1 best cartoon-based game of all time. The PC/MS-DOS version of the game was reviewed in 1992 in Dragon #180 by Hartley, Patricia, and Kirk Lesser in "The Role of Computers" column. The reviewers gave the game 3 out of 5 stars.
- Sterling, Jim. "The Simpsons Arcade likely coming to consoles". Destructoid.
- Makuch, Eddie (January 31, 2012). "Simpsons Arcade Game arriving next week for PlayStation Plus subscribers". GameSpot.com. CNet. Retrieved January 31, 2012.
- Makuch, Eddie (February 1, 2012). "Simspons Arcade Game hits XBL Friday". GameSpot.com. CNet. Retrieved February 1, 2012.
- Lesser, Hartley, Patricia, and Kirk (April 1992). "The Role of Computers". Dragon (180): 57–61.
- The Simpsons Arcade Game at MobyGames
- Simpsons, The at the Killer List of Videogames
- The Simpsons Arcade Game on XBLA