Review by hand of g0d
"Finally! An Enjoyable Simpsons Game"
It seems throughout the years The Simpsons license has been attached to some pretty bad games. In the early days on the NES we had some fun with Bart Vs. The Space Mutants, but then Bart Meets Radioactive Man was terribly disappointing. Bart Vs. The World wasn't so bad, but it just didn't seem to fill up my expectations cup. The Nintendo Gameboy had many uncomfortable Simpsons ventures as well, that I'd rather not go into, it's just too painful. When other systems came out, so did the games, such as Virtual Bart, and Bart's Nightmare. I think it would be safe to say that 'Nightmare' would be fitting for both titles, which are nothing more than a collection of near impossible mini-games. There was one beautiful ray of light that burst through the cloud of bad games, and that was simply titled The Simpsons. It was an arcade release, and sadly, it was never ported. Still, with the splendor of this game, I grew new hope for America's Favorite Family in the world of video games. A hope that I wouldn't let be burst by the fun, yet horribly short romp through Simpson's Wrestling. I knew The Simpsons would prevail, and unleash an entertaining hit for a console, and with this title, I am glad to report I will be enjoying my Simpsons gaming desires at home, not at the arcade!
Released first on the Sony Playstation 2, then on the Microsoft XBox, this game finally showed up on the Nintendo Gamecube. You know what they say, save the best for last. No, that's not a fanboy comment. Just the opinion of a reviewer, and if you're reading this, that's what you were looking for, my opinion. It just seems to work better on this console. Maybe it's the controller, maybe it's the microscopic size of the disc it comes on. Who knows what the real reason be, but this game shines on this system. The load times are far superior, and it just feels more natural.
Okay, fine, I'll get down to the story. Mr. Burns has taken a monopoly on the public transportation services in Springfield. He's unveiled a cheaper, yet more dangerous, nuclear powered bus. In a once in a lifetime event, Homer Simpson has an idea, to use his car to taxi the citizens around Springfield in efforts to boycott the bus system, and raise funds to buy back the public transportation.
Now this game plays in the manner of Crazy Taxi, but with more interesting characters, and funny, yet at times, repetitive, dialog from around 40 characters. For the playable characters, 17 in total, each has their own unique vehicle. The 6 maps are large, and the graphics are pretty enjoyable. For a non-Simpson fan, it may not seem as funny, but from a strictly gameplay point of view, I think Road Rage takes the cake from Crazy Taxi. If you are a Simpsons fan, then the choice between the two shouldn't even be a question. One of my favorite features, that I cannot let go unmentioned, is the freedom of choice. For every benchmark earned, usually around $25,000, you can unlock a character of your choice, or a different location. This is a nice change of pace from the set standard of what is unlocked, and when.
Here's a short run down in comparison to Crazy Taxi:
Drivers:CT-4, RR-17 plus 4 hidden characters and a bonus car.
Load Time:CT-Fast, RR-Decent
Simpsons Characters and Dialog:CT-No, RR- YES!
FMVs:CT-No, RR- Yes
So, we have a happy ending, or hopefully a fresh beginning, with a top-notch video game using the Simpsons license. If you enjoy arcade style fun, racing, The Simpsons, or any combination of the three this game is definitely worth owning. Don't be scared away with your horrid memories of Bart Vs. The Juggernauts (Nintendo Gameboy) this Simpsons game has got it all.
Rent or Buy?
I would totally suggest that you buy this game. If not for the great characters found within, then for the amazingly fun game that happens to come with it.
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 01/03/02, Updated 01/03/02
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