How to Parody Games
Product: The Simpsons Game
Company: EA Games
Date: 07/15/2007
Avaliable On:

At this year’s E3, EA showed off its idea of what a Simpsons game should be. Appropriately named The Simpsons Game is EA’s first crack at this title and what they have put out looks like it will be a hit for fans of both games and the series.

Basically, The Simpsons Game has what every fan will want. The idea behind this title is to parody many of the other games we have seen throughout the industry’s life. You will see references of everything from Frogger to Guitar Hero crop up in this title and gamers will find the tongue and cheek way this game pokes fun at everything to be a blast.

Levels are named things like “Medal of Homer” or “Shadow of the Colossal Doughnut” making obvious references to both EA-owned titles and other companies’ games. Levels themselves take on an action-platformer style where two characters from the Simpsons family work together to complete some mission, whether that mission is for Lisa and Marge to remove the new violent game from the stores (GTS: Grand Theft Scratchy) or stop an invading horde of evil dolphins in a nod to the Tree House of Horror episode “Day of the Dolphins.”

Because there are two characters running around the level, at any time, your friend can pop in and help solve the puzzles or take out the enemies and then pop out again. When a second player is in control, the game goes split-screen, but even if you are playing it alone, the second character’s A.I. seems to be able to navigate the world pretty well.

The game is filled with tons of little details for fans of both the series and games in general. Throughout The Simpsons Game, you will find clichés. These are things like obvious weak points, exploding barrels and giant saw blades. As you encounter these items, Comic Book Guy pops on the screen, notes that you found one of the hidden clichés and remarks about how it is the “Worst cliché ever.”

An interesting thing to note is that The Simpsons Game is not connected to the upcoming movie. Though they will release very close to each other, this new game was started about a year before the movie’s script began. EA wanted to make it known that this isn’t The Simpsons Movie Game, this is just another original story put together by the same script-writers that brought you the series. Expect to see The Simpsons Game on shelves for the Nintendo DS, Wii, PS3, PS2, PSP and Xbox 360.

J.R. Nip aka Chris Meyer

GameVortex PSIllustrated