Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Retro Game of the Day! The Simpsons (arcade)

Retro Game of the Day! The Simpsons (arcade)

"The Simmmmm-psons!!! Arrrrrr-cade!" released by Konami in 1991.

Here's a game which many should remember quite well - an arcade beat'em-up based on the very popular Simpsons TV show, released early into the cartoon's life (and developed by a Japanese company). One way or another, you knew you were in for some weirdness.

Coming off the mega-success that was the breakthru hit Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Arcade in 1989, Konami was riding pretty high. As expected, countless imitators followed, and even Konami themselves used the exact same gameplay in a few followup games. The Simpsons was one of the more well-known examples of this.

It was a fairly straightforward adventure - walk to the right, hit the attack button, hit the jump button, smash minions, kill bosses. It sounds a little rudimentary now - as well it was back then - but the appeal was the graphics, the presentation, this was simply not something which could be experienced at home (with 4 players, no less).

The game did release a little late into the life-cycle of this style of games, so it's punch was a little diminished somewhat - but the license bouyed it considerably (especially as in the early 1990s, the Simpsons was still a relatively fresh and hot property). For fans of the show, this was an interesting perspective into the world as the game was developed somewhat "out of the normal canon" of the show - obviously it was developed by designers from a different culture, who would not necessarily appreciate a lot of the nuance and cultural sensibilities of the cartoon. Even so, they did a good enough job capturing the likenesses of the characters and their surreal world that it was sufficient.

The Simpsons Arcade is still very fondly remembered and respected among beat'em-ups of the period. It's a but flat now, but can still be fun for a session of button mashing with your buddies!

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1 comment:

  1. The mechanics may not have been anything special, but this game was still a lot of fun. I think the developers of the iPhone version actually did a good job of capturing the feel of this game, while still making it seem more like an extension of the cartoon than the old arcade version. If you're a fan of the show and / or the original game, I highly recommend the iPhone version.