Review by Megaman1981

"Grand Theft Auto Springfield?"

Let me start by saying that I love the Simpsons. I've been watching them on T.V. since I was a kid. In addition, they have also made several video games. Most of them have been hit or miss. One example could be from this title, Bart vs. the space mutants, a game made for the NES I believe. Seriously, the only time we see the space mutants are on the Treehouse of Horror. In fact most of the games actually revolve around the space mutants. Anyway, the only game that was considered a success was the arcade game, a TMNT clone, but good nonetheless. I have only played three Simpson games, Road Rage (excellent), Simpsons Skateboarding (avoid at all costs), and Hit and Run. The Simpsons: Hit and Run is a fine game, and should be played by all.

Basically the game developers decided to combine the Grand Theft Auto license with the Simpsons. The end result is Hit and Run. I like it, and it could be the best Simpsons game ever made. Anyway, in the GTA series you complete missions in order to advance the game along, and make money. That is exactly what happens in Hit and Run. You choose from five Simpson characters, and use them for the game's seven levels. You choose from Homer, Bart, Marge, Lisa, Apu, and then Bart and Homer each get a second level to play threw. It's not hard to realize who the two favorite Simpson characters are.

During the game, you must complete several missions in order to advance the story along. Some are really easy (recovering all of the items that Homer "borrowed" from Flanders), to some really hard ones (transporting toxic waste). Also like the GTA series, you can also just putz around and collect things as well, but to advance the story, you must do the missions. Another feature is the criminal rating system from the GTA series. In GTA, if you run someone over, the cops will be after you. In Hit and Run, if you run someone over, or even hit another car, the police will be after you. That said, the game is very easy at the beginning, but by the end it is brutal. One interesting note, you can hitch a ride with anyone, but you can't actually steal the car like in GTA.

The story is pretty basic. Actually most Simpson games don't have the best story in the world, but at least Hit and Run tries. The beginning of the game simply revolves around the Simpsons and their daily lives. There is a twist at the end of Apu's level, but I won't spoil it for you.

The graphics are very nice. All of the cars are very detailed as are the environments. I must say that the Simpsons don't look that great in 3D, but better than Road Rage and Simpsons Skateboarding. The music is also well done, very Simpson-like. Also, the character voices have been ripped straight from the show, and give their own blend of classic Simpson humor.

Replay value? Much like a GTA game, Hit and Run has lots of replay value as well. First, all of the missions will take a long time to complete. Second, like GTA, there are numerous side quests to complete, such as collecting coins in order to unlock cars, and special Simpson outfits. One is Homer's Muumuu, from the episode where Homer gained weight to stay home from work. Another is Bart's own superhero creation, Bartman. There is also numerous wasp cameras' scattered across Springfield that need to be destroyed, much like the hidden packages in GTA. The final thing to collect are hidden cards in the game. Each one contains information about a random Simpson episode. However, collecting all of them with unlock a special Itchy & Scratchy movie, made specifically for this game.

In conclusion, Hit and Run is the perfect type of game if you love the GTA series, and the Simpsons. I highly advise anyone that likes either one to pick up this game. You won't be disappointed.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 02/23/05, Updated 02/03/06

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