Published on February 16th, 2012 | by Chris Ramirez, Editor
The Simpsons Arcade Game Review
Developer: Konami Digital Entertainment
Platform: PlayStation 3 via PlayStation Network, Xbox 360 via Xbox LIVE Arcade [Reviewed]
MSRP: $9.99, 800 MSP
Release Date: Feb. 7, 2012
The Simpsons is one of the most beloved dysfunctional families in American pop culture. And it is no surprise The Simpsons Arcade Game is considered one of the most classic arcade games and machine around. Players chose between Homer, Maggie, Bart or Lisa in a chase through Springfield to save Maggie from Smithers and Mr. Burns. After years of outcry of porting the classic arcade game to home consoles, Konami, 20th Century, and Grace Films finally made The Simpsons Arcade Game available to download on the PlayStation Network and Xbox LIVE Arcade. The question becomes “Is The Simpson Arcade Game as amazing and fun as we remember the game being?”
In short, yes it is.
This is not a HD remake, however they did include a smoothing and sharpening feature so it could look good while playing on HD televisions. The game stays on its original 4×3 aspect ratio. To fit the 16×9 aspect ratio televisions, Konami placed the screen boarders to fill in the gaps–what would be the black side bars. The problem with the screen boarders is that Konami tried to make the player feel as if they are playing on the arcade machine.
In the middle of the screen boarder is the top half of the arcade machine. The gameplay is a smaller square in the middle of your television. The rest of the screen boarder is a dulled out gray color. There is no colorful artwork as we seen with other arcade ports. Luckily, Konami has the options to remove the screen boarder and zoom into the gameplay screen, so 4×3 square is not floating in the middle of the television allowing the gameplay to fit the top and bottom of the screen.
The screen boarder is present as soon as you start the game. In fact, the screen boarder is the menu screen. The menus, online lobbies, and options have been handled well with other arcade ports by modernizing them. The Simpsons Arcade made no attempt to modernize the game. The menu options are implemented in the original “start screen” of the game. Having the menus part of the port itself emphasize just how dated the game actual is.
Konami left this port exactly how it is in the arcade with addition of online multiplayer. The Simpsons Arcade Game continues to last the test of time. It is one of the most enjoyable arcade games to experience by yourself or with others. Konami implemented a drop-in/drop-out system in the online multiplayer. This allows online players to seamlessly drop in and out of the game without any freezes, loading or host issues. In addition, Konami implemented different types of game modes which involve the number of credits players receive. You have your quick play with unlimited credits, quarters mode, which gives each player 10 credits/quarters, team quarters mode that gives the entire team 40 credits/quarters and Survival mode. The Simpsons Arcade Game obtains its authentic arcade experience while playing online.
Konami did not just repack the USA version of the game. Once you beat the game, the Japanese version of the game will be unlocked. The major difference between the USA version to the Japanese version is different points system, some additional items and health/power tweaks. The addition of the Japanese version of the game is a great addition to hard core Simpson fans and retro gamers. Konami also added basic unlockable (based on characters and modes the game is completed) which includes pictures and music.
The Simpsons Arcade Game is a classic game that is loved by fans of the show and retro gamers. This port keeps the classic game in its original form. The addition of the online multiplayer, bonus content, and the Japanese version of the game is a great addition for fans. However, the game seems like it was a rush release. The poorly designed menu presentation and screen boarders pull away from what is one of the greatest arcade games, especially from what we seen from other arcade ports like TMNT and X-Men. As a fan and retro gamer, I expected more than just a image of the arcade machine with a gray background. In this case, the poor presentation hurts the overall experience of The Simpsons Arcade Game.
[xrr label=”Rating: 7.0/10″ rating=7.0/10]
+ Online multiplayer
+ Original arcade
+ Bonus content
– Menu presentation
– Game screen boarders
– Screen options