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    jp's The Simpsons Game (DS)

    [September 21, 2022 12:45:05 PM]
    Ok, so a little Youtube sleuthing (5 minutes, really) shows that - it seems like the basic storyline and overall structure of the game (DS) is the same as the other console versions. However, those are in 3D (not sidescrolling 2D or kind of isometric 2D) and...look worse? I can't tell if the gameplay is wonky or not - but they did go with 3D looks pretty good! (saw xbox360 footage). It's obviously stylized to look like the show. I'm going to assume that the gameplay is better - mostly because of the additional freedom of movement making the location puzzles seem less linear/obvious, combat seems more open - less just having to take hits will button mashing - and there's more "resources" (e.g. voice, animation, characters etc.) and features. I think the cut-scenes in the 360 version are animated - so it looks like some of the ones in the DS game where recreated in-engine and then exported to the DS? Like, wow.

    I guess picture thought: Should we consider The Simpsons Game (DS) a contemporaneous demake of the 360/ps3 version? Clearly the console version are deeper/richer/have more features and so on - and clearly they're following the same big picture game design in terms of powers, abilities, locations, and also storyline.

    Oh, and yes - Will Wright does appear in the console version!
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    [September 18, 2022 11:40:41 PM]
    This game is both terrible and amazing. I've finished - and the challenge definitely ramped up significantly, almost to a "ugh, why bother" stage. But, I did complete it!

    Terrible? Well, the controls feel a bit wonky, the combat system isn't that responsive and you feel like you can't help but take damage - so it's just button mashing in the end. The platforming is floaty, I often died from things that came out of nowhere (off screen). In all it feels like a crappy old school platformer (with easy puzzles) and brawling from the old, often unfair and unforgiving.

    BUT, the level design is really fun, and interesting, and funny, and wacky - and everything you'd expect (hope for?) in a Simpsons game that really tries to be as true to the spirit of the source material as possible.

    The game really goes meta in terms of it being a game and the characters knowing it's a game - you even meet Matt Groening because he supposedly has the power to save the town from the alien invaders (but he doesn't really care) - so you go to god - who's all distracted playing a DS game for help! Also, along the way, you meet villain Will Wright who is taunted mercilessly as he floats around on a platform powered by a "The Sims" crystal. Oh, an EA executives are also made fun of (and the company as a whole). They try to bribe the mayor so he wont ban Grand theft Itchy - but there's a riot.
    Oh, you also save some 16-bit versions of Simpsons characters from another videogame. The whole thing is loony crazy - like many of the Simpsons episodes.

    I checked the final credits and Will Wright and Matt Groening are thanked - but they don't appear in the cast. So, their voices were done by actors and not them? I'm not sure - but Will Wright did sound like him, but who knows.

    So, the game was well worth playing for that - and to be fair the gameplay while wonky is varied and surprisingly so. There's lots of things (e.g. Space Invader style short level) that appear only once...almost as/for a gag. Definitely a lot of thought and care went into the game. So what happened? Why the rough edges? My guess is that short time and budget meant that it shipped when it needed to rather than when it was done? I also wonder what the connection/relation is to the other Simpsons games ("The Simpsons Game"). Perhaps the DS version was the little sibling title? It feels like the gameplay is unique to this title, but I could be totally wrong. The other games are PS2 era? I'll have to check just for my own curiosity.
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    [September 5, 2022 11:41:10 PM]
    Having just played the Heracles platforming game on the DS I was not prepared for how GOOD this game is. So good I think I blew through a third of it without putting it down.

    It's mostly a platforming game - but the variety in the levels is really quite something AND you play as Marge, Homer, Lisa, and Bart - sometimes alternating in a level - each of whom has a special ability/mechanics (required for the level). There is simply a lot of variety in this small cart. I'm surprised I hadn't heard more about the game when it came out because it really is much more than I was expecting. The characters are even voiced by the original voice actors! (I checked the credits, at least a few names I recognized - so I assumed they got the entire cast).

    Things of note so far:

    (1) There's a level where Marge wants to get the game Grand Theft Scratchy banned - her power is to wield a megaphone and get people to join her cause. In the level you beat up little kids (that are wearing Itchy or Scratchy masks)! You eventually make your way to city hall to confront the mayor. He won't ban the game because he's in a hot tub with an EA executive! This game pulls no punches!

    (2) There's a level where you play as Lisa (and Bart) who are taking down a gian t factory that's chopping down all the trees (a Mr. Burns company, but it has another name). In one of the interior levels Lenny and Carl are tied to a moving conveyor belt and you need to disable the saws that would otherwise hurt them. Carl has a bark that's something like "This won't happen when Obama is president" or something to that effect! Wow!

    (3) The game has cut-scenes that are not animated (like the show) but they look pretty decent. I think they're 3D animations (modelled characters) that are then rendered to look like those in the show. You can tell they're 3D models - but the effect is pretty impressive!

    (4) The premise of the game is really meta. The Simpsons game falls from the sky - and Bart learns that he has special powers (like in the game). Later, after visiting the professor's house and going through a portal - the professor tries to give the kids the strategy guide to the game - which has cheats they could use to be more powerful (and defeat an alien invasion). So meta!
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    jp's The Simpsons Game (DS)

    Current Status: Finished playing

    GameLog started on: Sunday 4 September, 2022

    GameLog closed on: Wednesday 21 September, 2022

    jp's opinion and rating for this game

    No comment, yet.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstarstar

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