The Simpsons Wrestling
|The Simpsons Wrestling|
|Developer(s)||Big Ape Productions|
|Publisher(s)||EU Electronic Arts
|Release date(s)||EU March 22, 2001
NA April 12, 2001
The Simpsons Wrestling is a professional wrestling video game based on the animated television series The Simpsons, made for the PlayStation console. The game was developed by Big Ape Productions, published by Electronic Arts in Europe and Activision in North America and distributed by Fox Interactive. It was released in Europe on March 22, 2001, and in North America on April 12, 2001. Nintendo 64 and Dreamcast versions of the game were planned, but were later cancelled.
There are 18 characters in the game, all of whom are voiced by the same actors that provide their voices in the show, and each character executes his or her own exclusive moves and gestures and power moves in the wrestling ring. The matches take place in detailed 3D locations from Springfield. A match in the game ends when one wrestler pins his opponent for a three count.
There are 18 characters in the game, all of whom are voiced by the same actors that provide their voices in The Simpsons. They are Homer, Bart, Lisa, Marge, Barney, Krusty, Apu, Groundskeeper Willie, Bumblebee Man, Moe, Ned Flanders, Professor Frink, Mr. Burns and Waylon Smithers, Kang and Kodos, Itchy, and Scratchy, some of which must be unlocked. Each character executes their own exclusive moves and gestures.
During matches, wrestlers have a health meter that drains as they perform special moves, and gradually refills when they are not attacking. Different moves use up different amounts of energy, and certain characters can win any match by repeatedly using a particularly damaging move that does not require much energy. Several different power-ups are also available in the game, including a donut that increases speed, bowling pins that can be used as clubs, and bubble gum that slows players down.
The game can be played in two modes: a tournament style single-player game or a grudge match where two players can interact. The matches take place in ten different detailed 3D locations from Springfield, such as the Simpsons' house, the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant, the Kwik-E-Mart, and Moe's Tavern. Letters float around in the wrestling ring, and if a wrestler collects enough of them, he can taunt and temporarily become invincible. A match ends when one wrestler pins his opponent for a three count.
Big Ape Productions developed The Simpsons Wrestling. At the Electronic Entertainment Expo in 2000, Fox Interactive announced its plans to produce and publish the game for the PlayStation console. Karly Young, director of Fox Interactive, said that the company had received an "overwhelming" response to their previous Simpsons games, so they wanted to give the fans "another dose of Bart and Homer—this time for PlayStation gamers".
The following months, Fox Interactive looked to partner with somebody who could help publish the game. Activision, who knew the possible casual gamer interest in The Simpsons, announced on March 12, 2001 that it had signed a deal with Fox Interactive that would allow it to publish The Simpsons Wrestling in North America. Kathy Vrabeck, executive vice president of Activision, commented that "The Simpsons is a property that enjoys phenomenal success across several entertainment mediums, including interactive entertainment. The acquisition of this game reinforces our strategy of delivering products based on powerful, recognizable brands."
The Simpsons Wrestling received negative reviews from critics. It received an aggregated score of 41.21% on GameRankings and 32/100 on Metacritic. They criticized the game for having simplistic, unbalanced gameplay and bad graphics, but praised the game's audio track.
Doug Perry of IGN described The Simpsons Wrestling as one of the "ugliest" games he had ever seen. He thought the graphics were "choppy" looking, and the character outlines looked "broken up". Game Informer's Andrew Reiner criticized the game's design by saying that he did not think it held any wrestling qualities at all, and that the characters looked "awful". He said that instead of "grappling" or performing "devastating slams", you have to "slap your opponent silly" by mashing the buttons redundantly. GameZone, however, called the graphics "quite good, though a little clipped at times by the pace of the combat". Perry also thought there was little wrestling in the game, instead it is "all about smashing buttons and not having any skill whatsoever". Reiner said that the game was a major disappointment and is "one of the worst PS games to date".
In contrast to the game's negative response, GameZone said that even though the game does not feature continuous play, "the action flows well once into an event". GameZone's review praised the game's audio track, and thought it was "fun" because the comedy is straight from the television show, and the characters will "bring a smile to your face". Reiner also commented positively on the soundtrack and that the game may not be the best wrestling game available, "but it delivers what the cover advertises". GameSpot's Frank Provo said that "wit" and "charm" are the two most redeeming features of The Simpsons Wrestling, and in spite of the game's weak gameplay, it has "plenty of laughs in store" that devoted fans of the The Simpsons will enjoy. The BBC's David Gibbon wrote that the end result of the track is one that will not "fail to impress fans".
- Gibbon, David (March 23, 2001). "The Simpsons go Wrestling". BBC. Retrieved 2009-01-01.
- Provo, Frank (March 12, 2001). "The Simpsons Wrestling for PlayStation Review". GameSpot. Retrieved 2009-01-01.
- "Activision ships The Simpsons Wrestling". GameSpot. April 13, 2001. Retrieved 2009-01-01.
- Reiner, Andrew. "Simpsons Wrestling". Game Informer. Retrieved 2009-01-01.[dead link]
- "'Let's Get Ready to … D'Oh!". Business Wire. May 11, 2000. Retrieved 2009-01-01.
- Mar, Posted (March 12, 2001). "Activision to publish The Simpsons Wrestling". GameSpot. Retrieved 2009-01-01.
- "Activision Scoops up The Simpsons". IGN. March 12, 2001. Retrieved 2009-01-01.
- "The Simpsons Wrestling for PlayStation". GameRankings. Retrieved 2010-11-10.
- "The Simpsons Wrestling for PlayStation Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2008-12-13.
- "The Simpsons Wrestling Review - PlayStation". GameZone. April 4, 2001. Retrieved 2009-01-01.
- Perry, Doug (April 6, 2001). "The Simpsons Wrestling Review". IGN. Retrieved 2009-01-01.
- The Simpsons Wrestling at IGN
- The Simpsons Wrestling at MobyGames
- The Simpsons Wrestling at the Internet Movie Database