The Simpsons Wrestling
In doing my research for this review I found something out about this game that I never knew of before; that this game was published by EA. I have just learned that in the USA it was actually Activision who put the game out.
There had been a vast amount of Simpsons games released on the 8-bit, 16-bit and hand held consoles, but this was the first game to be based on The Simpsons to be released on the Playstation. Which really is quite surprising. Even more surprising is that this was actually the only Simpsons game to be released for the Playstation.
Now the guys who made this game clearly had watched a ton of episodes of The Simpsons and they had to have been big fans. The game features a pretty large roster of characters from the TV show. You of course have The Simpsons family, but you also have many other characters like Smithers, Barney and Willie just to name a few. The game has a very low res look to it, and when it was released many critics absolutely panned the games graphics, but to me they look terrible, but in a good kind of way if that makes any sense.
Each of the characters has their own stage which is really cool. For example Homers stage is the nuclear plant, Moe’s stage is his tavern and Lisa has The Simpson’s house. In addition each stage matching up well with a character, there is a ton of fan service on each stage. There are numerous characters from the TV show who are watching the action.
Even if you are not a fan of the visuals you have to give credit to the sound in the game. The actual cast from the show all recorded dialogue for the game. One really cool thing is how each character has a few specific lines for each other character. So Homer will say one thing to Moe, but something different to Bart. The game has some commentary as well which is done by Kent Brockman.
If the critics were not to kind about the way the game looked when it was released they were even less kind about the game play. I think calling this game The Simpsons Wrestling is really a bit of a stretch as this has far more in common with a regular beat em up than a wrestling game. I actually think a game like Power Stone is the best comparison of course the game lacks the quality and polish of Power Stone, but it is the best comparison I have.
While the matches take place in a wrestling ring you cannot leave it. The action is always inside the ring. The game is a pure button masher, but they did try and add a little depth by having certain strong moves deplete your energy meter and you need to wait for it to refill to use them again. Truth be told this does not really add any depth as you can still just win a match with basic attacks. Each character has moves that fit their personality. For example Barney can wield a beer glass. The AI starts off really dumb, but the later levels see a really drastic turn when the AI becomes very cheap and frustrating. There are a few power ups like a doughnut and a bowling pin that around the ring to try and help spice things up.
While the game play is really shallow the amount of game play options is even worse you can play grudge matches which in multi player actually is really fun. But for single player you have a tournament mode that sees you picking a character and beating a series of opponents. If you do this then you may unlock one of the secret characters. There really is not a great deal to this game in single player mode, and like I said before the AI becomes very cheap which makes the game frustrating, but there is some fun to be had in multi player mode.
I really do not think that this game is as bad as many of the reviews made out. I am a huge Simpsons fan so who knows, maybe it is just me overlooking the flaws because I love the show. If you only ever played this in single player then I can see why you would hate it. But if you have the chance to play it in multi player especially with someone who is a Simpsons fan then this game is pretty fun