" Playing this game is less fun than mistakenly telling a Nazi war doctor your favorite body part and having him break glass off in it. "
Title: Simpsons Wrestling by Activision
Format: Playstation Swill…Er…Fighting
Reviewing Monkey: Dungapult
The Dungapult Hype: I need to preface this review. I know, normally I don’t do that but I really feel the need this time. The preface is that I am a HUGE Simpsons fan. It’s one of only 3 non-news shows I’ll sit down for during the week and I watch it religiously. Not only on Sunday nights when its new, but also twice a day during the week when they air repeats. I don’t care that I’ve seen all of the episodes 53 times. I don’t care that I have them memorized. I LOVE the Simpsons. They make me happy. So, with that in mind, don’t think I had any negative predisposition in regards to this game. So now, on with the official review. -D
The Real Hype: People like The Simpsons. And, by that I mean, people Really like The Simpsons. They, like the good little sheep they truly are, will buy just about anything if it has The Simpsons on it, in it, or pitching it. So, when the geniuses at Fox realized it may have been a whole week and a half since they pooped out something new, they looked around and said, "Wrestling’s big…I bet if we made Simpsons wrestling it would sell huge." And, so it came to be.
What This Monkey Thought...
Graphics: Anyone out there old enough to remember "Pro Wrestling" for the original Nintendo Entertainment System? I don’t mean the N64, or even the Super Nintendo…I mean the ORIGINAL Nintendo. Well, if you remember that system, and you remember Pro Wrestling (with Star Man, Giant Panther, and Amazon), then you’ll have a pretty good grasp of what this game looks like. It, in short, is Crap. Swill. Garbage. It’s like poop piled on top of shit. There is no smoothness, no texturing, no shading, no dynamic rendering, no anything. It looks like, in all honesty, it was rendered on an 8-bit system. The characters are loosely formed blobs with intermittently spaced black lines to hint at definition. The backgrounds and ring look like they were made on a multi-colored etchi-sketch. The animations are atrocities. And the clipping is horrendous. It looks, in all honesty, like this was busted out by a junior high computer class over the course of a weekend. It is absolutely, completely, and totally inexcusable for a game on the Playstation. 1/2 out of 5
Sound: This is, far and away, the only place this silicone excrement shines. And, the only reason for that is that they got the actual cast to do the voice-overs. So, Marge is Marge, Homer is Homer, Apu is Apu, etc. And that’s pretty damned keen. What’s also keen is that when you square off against another character your opening taunt is usually directed specifically towards them. For example, brilliantly, Barney tells Homer, "There isn’t enough beer in this town for the both of us. You must die!" Unfortunately, those are the only positive points. And, not to let them stand unabated, you only rarely get to hear the characters speak, they have a very limited number of lines each, and for the most part, the quips aren’t that witty, or even funny, they’re just bland and obviously recorded in 15 minutes on some Friday night. Beyond that, the in game sounds are badly synthesized and overly cartoony. The music is dull and not even related to the show or the scenarios your fighting in. It was, far and away, disappointing. Far more so when you realize this is the only even half way decent thing this game has to offer. 3 out of 5
Game Play: To call this game "wrestling"
is a huge misnomer. It is, at best, a button-mashing fighter. At worst, it is
all that is loathsome about fast tapping and power up hoarding. The premise
is simple enough: You and one other combatant square off and try to use everything
at your disposal to destroy each other. What are at your disposal are punches,
kicks, light ranged attacks (such as sling shots and bowling balls), and character
unique power ups. Unfortunately, however, any positive images that description
may invoke should immediately be forgotten.
Game play, in truth, boils down to 2 things: Smashing the square button and picking up power ups. That’s it. End of strategy, you hit the square button enough times and one of the two of you will fall down. If you intersperse your hitting of the square button with running around the ring picking up more power ups (such as health and extra speed) than your opponent then you will win. That’s it, end of strategy. You’re supposed to be able to use "3 different styles of attack" but, in truth, for the most part you won’t. It’s too easy to just jump around and avoid any kind of ranged attacks and they barely do any damage anyway. So, you will eventually devolve into standing toe to toe, mashing the same button, hoping either for a quick shot at a power up or for your opponent’s finger to cramp- whichever comes first. The only potential break in that action is if you get what’s called a Taunt, which turns you temporarily invincible. But, even if you do, its no big deal…Your opponent will just run around jumping like an idiot, avoiding you, until your not invincible any more.
There is no strategy, there is no drama, there is no playability, there is nothing but hectic button mashing and perpetual frustration should the other guy manage to get more power ups than you. In which case, with out fail, he will win, end of story. We tried it single player, we tried it double player, we tried to use strategy, we tried to get drunk and just pound on it, and none of it ever made a difference. Playing this game is less fun than mistakenly telling a Nazi war doctor your favorite body part and having him break glass off in it. It sucked. 0 out of 5
Level and Environment Designs: The good news is that the levels are loosely based on the show. You’ll find rings in the town’s square, in the power plant, in the Stone Cutter’s mansion, etc. The addendum to the good news is that next to the ring are interesting characters and items from the show. The bad news is that it all looks like frickin’ hell. They are, far and away, the worst backgrounds I’ve ever seen on a PSX game and they will make your eyes bleed. Poorly rendered, badly colored, horribly pixilated, and more 2 dimensional than a piece of paper, you will do your best to tune them out rather than actually enjoy whatever possible in jokes are there. 1 out of 5
Multiplayer: As I said, the game play sucks so you know multi-player is just going to be annoying. And, what’s worse, it is so frustrating to play that you will invariably just get mad at whoever you’re playing with once they start getting more power ups than you and so you will punch them in the face. On the plus side, this will lead to a real fight which is far more entertaining than anything you’ll see in this game. 1 out of 5 strictly for bothering to include it.
Replayability: Hahahahah! Replayability! In this game! AHAHAHAHAH! Not only is this the worst of hack fest, b.s. no load, crap gaming but it cheats. Yes, I said it cheats…plain and simply. The way difficulty increases in the single player mode is that the computer knows where the power ups are going to appear, often before they actually do, and so beats you to each and every one (it is not unusual to see the comp. character running over to a spot and standing there until a power up appears under its feet). It’s insane. It’s horrible. It guarantees I will never, ever, put this game back in my Playstation…unless, of course, I want to show someone else how bad this game is, or, maybe, early next year when we’re making nominations for Worst Game of 2001. 0 out of 5
Story/Dramatics: The short version is there isn’t one. The "story" to the game is that Kent Brockman (the reporter) wants to do something about making some show about wrestling…Damn. I forget. I forget because the story is only told in a single paragraph in the instructions…and it is a small paragraph at that. Now, I ask you, when you make a show of one of the longest running sitcoms ever, shouldn’t it have a nice funny story line to cling to? 0 out of 5
Instructions and Learning Curve: Well, the instructions sucked ass but that may just be because there’s nothing to know about this game. And, of course, since there’s nothing to know except the basic buttons the learning curve is short. I guess that’s good. 2 out of 5
Installation and Real System Requirements: This game is ugly…No, that’s not fair to ugly games everywhere. This game is Hideous. This game is also simple. This game has only 2 modes of play. This game has an environment the size of a postage stamp and crap backgrounds. So, can some one please tell me why the load times are so long?!?!? 1 out of 5
|This is one of the worst games I’ve ever played in my life. It is beyond horrible. It’s beyond horrific. It’s…It’s…Gigantically Poopy…I don’t know. And, best of all, setting new Monkey precedent, I actually talked to both Fox Interactive (the designer) and Acitivision (the distributor) to see why this game sucks so much. Amusingly enough, they both blamed the other for its flaws. Fox saying that Activision rushed production and Activision saying Fox never put the effort into it to begin with. Neither, however, could explain why if both parties new it sucked so much they’re charging $50 for it anyway.|
The Good: It has the TV show’s voices.
The Bad: Everything else imaginable.
The Overall Ugly: Don’t go near this game. Don’t buy it. Don’t rent it. Don’t even walk near it in the stores. It’s a frickin’ abomination.
What it's Worth: Nothing