My reaction to this game can be summed up in one word... and that word is "meh"
What is it with these The Simpsons games? Are they all this bad? I've only tried this game and The Simpsons: Hit & Run, but they're both awful(in spite of having seemingly tons of money tossed at them, given the quality of graphics, the fact that every single role is reprised, etc.), and I've yet to hear anything from a reliable source to suggest that any of the others are anything but cheap, poorly produced attempts at making more money off the popular series, adding nothing good to the franchise(like this and the other recent title I mentioned). The characters chosen for the game don't make much sense(not all of them have big roles in the show... what's Bumblebee Man doing there, for example? Heck, he's usually the one *taking a beating*, and since when are, well, half of the selected characters, really, the fighting kind, at all? Yes, I could see them(including the children) driving, as in Hit & Run, long, long before *wrestling*), and they are very poorly balanced(some are ridiculously strong, others are incredibly weak). As with Hit & Run, it's odd to see the famous(and famously) 2D characters in three dimensional form(outside of that particular Treehouse of Horror special, I mean), and I'm not sure how well it works. Attempts are made at remaining cartoon-y, with varying degrees of success. Before you start playing, you can try a few Pratice Rounds... where you choose a character and fight a randomly chosen weak opponent. Good for learning the ropes(not to mention the moves), as well as try to train yourself up to get good at the game. Then there's the regular championship; first, you beat the opponents(about ten, I think) then you have to win a more difficult championship, and finally defend your title. After which, you'll have beaten the game. After about thirty-odd fights of increasing difficulty. That makes for a few hours of playing, and if you want to beat it with all characters, there should be quite a lot of time-killing for you in this game. Of course, that's only if you can get over the frustration of failing again and again, against overly strong opponents. If you beat the game with at least one character(I think; it's been a long time since I did), you get a bonus round, which lets you play as a few characters you can't normally choose, as well as select which level you play in. You can even play as Itchy or Scratchy(with appropriately cartoon-y attacks and a unique detail or two), in an arena(and, if I recall correctly, *only* there, and only those two, if you choose at least one of them to play as or against) made specifically for them(one that makes good sense, and, like most of the settings in the game, contains various jokes and references to the show). Fairly entertaining. Of course, to get to that, you have to play through ludicrous amounts of overly difficult opponents. The game-play is very poor. The fighters are, as already mentioned, poorly balanced, and this means that practically no fight is even slightly fair. Some have special attacks that'll end the fight in no time if spammed, others have nothing to offer but regular brawling which won't do much good against computer-controlled enemies with aforementioned powers, and yes, they *will* use these any chance they get. The moves are divided into three groups... stuff you do while standing still or walking, stuff you do mid-air from a jump, and stuff you do after being propelled back into the arena from running into the strings in the sides of it(I don't know the correct terms... I'm no wrestling fan, quite a bit from it, as a matter of fact). Now, the second group is limited to three moves... a light attack, a slightly stronger one, and the (feel free to jump in with the right word here, wrestling fans) jump the wrestlers do where they land on top of the other wrestler. The first and third group of moves have unique moves for each character(possibly with some exceptions, I haven't checked all of them). And that's really where the lack of balance shows; there are again three moves per character; regular attack, which can be chained, throw and special attack. Regular attack is self-explanatory... just a bunch of punches, kicks and what have you. Throw is usually throwing something(just to clear up any possible misunderstandings; it's not the kind where you grab the enemy, though I believe that move is there, too), often having to do with the character. Like a Squishee for Apu, a glass of beer for Barney, and a Flaming Moe for (yep, you guessed it) Moe. The third is different for each character. The sound is also pretty bad... during the fights, random, unseen characters spout lines that are in-character, but mostly out of place and not even slightly funny. They really just come off as forced. Before each match, the characters insult each other, and usually these insults are actually directed entirely at the specific character they're fighting(instead of something vague, like in most fighting games), which is a nifty and fairly unique feature(as far as I know, but I don't play beat-'em-up titles all that much... surprising, since I am a rather big fan of martial arts). Of course, it's the only positive thing to the entire game. The concept of the game doesn't make an awful lot of sense. The story... well, I guess it's at about the same level of quality that the actual episodes had, by the point in time this was produced, give or take a year or a few. All in all, really just a game to avoid. I would say that you have to look a long time for a game less entertaining or well-rounded than this. I recommend it to... heck, I don't know... wrestling fans, I guess, possibly. Fans of The Simpsons should most definitely avoid(I would know, I am one of them). 3/10
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