Review: The Simpsons Arcade Game


Although I am of an age to, I do not remember this game in the arcades I used to haunt in my younger years, although plenty of my friends do. For those not familiar, this is a side scrolling beat em up game from the early 90s, and has had a direct port onto XBLA and PSN. No graphical upscaling to HD, no changes to levels, just the game which ate up your money back then, for you to play at home.

This is £7.99 in the UK, which as someone who doesn’t have a nostalgic link to the game, I think is a little steep, however, there are plenty of unlocks as you play through, many modes of difficulty, and something which this game does not lack in, is the fun factor. And ultimately that is what I am looking for, specifically in a PSN title.  The ability to play 4 player co-op earns this game a few extra points.

The graphics are bright and colourful, the sound is tinny and retro in a totally endearing way, and the levels are surprisingly varied, starting off quite normal in Springfield and progressing to the more surreal, in a dreamland escapade.  The one element of these games I don’t enjoy so much is the boss batttles, but these had me chuckling out loud when played through in co-op mode. (And these games are best played with your favourite people by your side). My only gripes are the lack of full screen mode and the fact this would have looked pretty sweet in HD.

Although Streets of Rage 2 will remain my side scrolling beat em up classic of choice, I still say this is worth a look if you enjoy this genre of gameplay, or are a fan of the yellow family franchise in general.  *Tip* Stand Bart and Lisa side by side to perform a special move. (I have my boyfriend, who does remember this as an arcade game, to thank for that one!)

General Scoring

Gameplay 9/10  Addictive and great fun, especially when played co-op.
Graphics 6/10  Not great, but forgiven for being a direct arcade port.
Sound 7/10  Old school in a good way, voices are a little muffled at times though.
Music 7/10  Slightly irritating at some points, excellent in others.
Story 8/10  Just like an episode of the show, only slightly more surreal.


Difficulty 8/10  Easily customisable, from unlimited continues to one life survival mode.
Trophies 8/10  Slightly on the difficult side for a PSN game.
Art Style 8/10  Simpsons through and through, and that’s a good thing. Bright sprites and great backgrounds.
Multiplayer 9/10  Immensely enjoyable, just don’t argue over who gets to be who.
Value for Money 7/10  A little steep price wise, but can be played through more than once and with friends too.

Total Score: 77%

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