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Game Profile
INFO BOX
PLATFORM:
Xbox 360
PUBLISHER:
EA Games
DEVELOPER:
Visceral Games
GENRE: Action
PLAYERS:   1-2
RELEASE DATE:
October 30, 2007
IN THE SERIES
The Simpsons Game

The Simpsons Game

The Simpsons Game

The Simpsons Game

The Simpsons Game

More in this Series
 Written by Ashley Coomer  on October 12, 2007

Hands-On Preview: A possibly successful game based on a TV series... how?


It wouldn't be unfair to assume The Simpsons Game would follow in the footsteps of yesteryear by copying the basic idea of other video games and trying to add some of the series' trademark humor to justify a brand new release. The Simpsons Skateboarding = Tony Hawk series. Road Rage was an obvious Crazy Taxi takeoff. And as for Hit and Run (which, granted, was a good game), well anyone who didn't see the Grand Theft Auto references? Actually, there can't be anyone who missed the GTA references.



But it's an all new story with The Simpsons Game. Assuming the role of one of the five Simpson family members, the story (written by the TV show's writers), involves a game manual falling from the sky which somehow grants superpowers to the family which, not surprisingly, need to be put to good use to save the world. Come back! Don't let that put you off ? it's not nearly as bad as it sounds. The game will feature 16 levels over four acts which serve as individual episodes of the TV show. While not copying the formula of other successful games the levels will contain a lot of references ? Grand Theft Scratchy mean anything to you?

During these levels you'll be able ? and sometimes need ? to switch between characters by simply tapping the d-pad in a respective direction; characters will have different skills that will help you go about objectives differently. Now here's the fun part ? co-operative play will be featured so a friend can use another controller and help you beat the missions. Sounds like it could be a lot of fun, especially since the second player can drop in and out at any point.

But let's talk levels. First up is The Land of Chocolate (essentially the tutorial). Homer has to follow a chocolate rabbit through an edible town of the same name (which fans of the series will remember from the episode ?Burns Verkaufen der Kraftwerk') and you'll learn some of the moves such as belching and double jumping. A cookie goes out to whoever came up with the great idea of putting Comic Book Guy in the game to comment on video game clich?s such as the double jump (?Oh, a double jump. That's real original.?).

Based on our hands-on time with the game, it's definitely safe to say it will be pretty damn good at the absolute bare minimum. The level on offer involved Kent Brockman (thank you!), a giant Lard Lad and Homer and Bart as playable characters. Not wanting to spoil it for you, let's just say that Lard Lad is? destroying the town and the goal of the mission is to take him down by ripping out his wiring. Okay, so that's a massive spoiler but granted, you can download the demo from the Xbox Live Marketplace this very second. Now! Go!

There will be collectibles in each and every level which can be added to your overall total ? The Simpsons Game will be very much about replay value and since all the levels are timed there's even more reason to go back to previous missions and try and beat your best. For example, the overall objective of a mission is stated, but sub-objectives can also be found in each level ? the previously mentioned tutorial level, The Land of Chocolate's objective is to kill 100 chocolate bunnies in one minute and a half.

One of the things which will undoubtedly make The Simpsons Game the family's best adventure yet is how true to the series it's shaping up to be. Just take a look at any of the screenshots and, assuming you have eyes, you'll notice the instant 2D resemblance to the TV show which increases the feeling of controlling one of the episodes of the show. We aren't big fans of throwing statistics around but sometimes it's justified ? the game will feature over 8,000 lines of dialogue, 100 characters from the series and more than 50 new characters inspired by the game. Luckily, we know only The Simpsons are playable characters so the game's not ?doing a Marvel: Ultimate Alliance' on everyone. The Simpsons game will be released in little less than three weeks so look out for a fearless review on the website around then. Oh, and it's worth noting the game is heartily endorsed by Krusty the Clown.

Final Thoughts
Not to be confused with The Simpsons Movie, the game is shaping up to be really awesome and following some hands-on time with the demo, it's safe to say this could be the best Simpsons game thus far.


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