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The Simpsons (Games)

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Tags: simpsons (7 pics), simpson (20 pics)

The Simpsons Game is an action/platformer video game based on the animated TV series The Simpsons, made for the Wii, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PlayStation 2, Nintendo DS, and PlayStation Portable. The game was developed, published, and distributed by Electronic Arts; it was released in North America in Oct. 2007 (12 years ago) and worldwide in Nov. 2007 (12 years ago). It features an original storyline written by Tim Long, Matt Selman, and Matt Warburton. In the self-referential plot, the family discovers that they are forced to participate in another The Simpsons video game. Similar to the show, the game pokes fun at popular culture, other video games, and Electronic Arts, its publisher.

The game follows the five Simpson family members—Homer, Marge (with Maggie), Bart, and Lisa—who learn they are part of a video game and are given superpowers to resolve several situations. Eventually, they must save their 8-bit predecessors from Will Wright, the game's antagonist, and the creator of their video game character selves, Matt Groening. The Simpson family travels to four scenarios in parodies of other games to collect key cards used to infiltrate their creator's mansion and ultimately to save their predecessors from destruction.

Video game critics gave the game a mixed reaction. They praised its visuals and writing, which included many parodies of other video games, while they criticized its short length and poor camera system, which did not always function properly. The Simpsons Game received the Best Game Based on a Movie or TV Show award at the 2007 (12 years ago) Spike Video Game Awards and was nominated for Best Video Game Writing at the 2007 (12 years ago) Writers Guild of America Awards. As of Jan. 31, 2008 (11 years ago), four million copies of the game have been sold worldwide.

Reception

The game received mostly positive reaction, receiving an aggregated score of 71% on Metacritic for the Xbox 360 & PS3 version of the game. Praise focused on the game's visuals and writing, which lampooned the gaming industry and the show itself. The Simpsons Game won the award for Best Game Based on a Movie or TV Show at the Spike Video Game Awards 2007 (12 years ago), and was nominated for the first-ever award for Best Video Game Writing at the Writers Guild of America Awards 2007 (12 years ago). As of Jan. 31, 2008 (11 years ago), four million copies of the game have been sold. Peter Nowak of CBC News named it the third-best game of 2007 (12 years ago) and described it as "easily the best game starring the wacky residents of Springfield".

The game's use of The Simpsons-style humor received a mixed reception. Both GameSpot and GameTrailers said that the game delivered more than enough laughs to make it worth playing through at least once. It was considered enjoyable for both hardcore and casual The Simpsons fans by IGN and GameDaily, who also called it a particularly appealing game for diehard fans. Despite the few problems that the game had, GameSpy said that it was worth it to see the humorous parodies. Eurogamer's Tom Bramwell, however, believed that the game's humor could only carry it so far, and suggested to those interested in The Simpsons humor to purchase a box set of one of the TV series' seasons instead. Joe Juba of Game Informer called the game an average experience. He elaborated that the game would appeal primarily to fans of the TV series, but would not be worth playing for people unfamiliar with it.

Eurogamer praised the involvement of people from The Simpsons TV series with the game's development, and GameZone enjoyed the two-character mechanics of the game and had fun collecting unlockable items. GameTrailers thought the graphics and animations looked great and appreciated the hand-drawn appearances, even though they found it obvious that the characters were "never really meant to jump into the third dimension" because of their second-dimension roots.

Criticism of the game focused on its short, uninspiring gameplay and troublesome camera system. GameSpot considered the gameplay "nothing special", and GameZone called it a "pretty shallow" game that depended too much on repetitive jumping puzzles and a weak combat system. The game disappointed IGN because it did not include an online feature and that it was too short. The camera system was found to be problematic by both GameZone and GameSpy, who called it "a pain" and a "busted" feature; GameDaily also found it bothersome because it often got stuck.

The DS version of the game, which was significantly different from the other versions, received praise for its unique gameplay but criticism for its short length. IGN lauded the DS version's unique gameplay experience, and GameSpot proclaimed that is was satisfying from start to finish. GameSpot and GameZone, however, were both disappointed that the game was extremely brief. 1UP found that even though The Simpsons Game parodied numerous 2D platform game conventions, it used them anyway, making it a pointless endeavor.


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