The Simpsons Arcade Game review for PSN, XBLA

Platform: XBLA
Also on: PSN
Publisher: Konami
Developer: Backbone Entertainment
Medium: Digital Download
Players: 1 – 4
Online: Yes
ESRB: E10+

As the Simpsons approach their 500th episode (my gawd!) Konami has finally given fans who grew up in the arcades in the 90s what they?ve wanted ever since they released their beloved The Simpsons Arcade game back when the show was new and popular. Created in the early 90s as a fun little beat-em-up and clone of the popular TMNT arcade game, The Simpsons Arcade game had since become one of the most begged-to-be-ported games in history. And now, it?s here.

Hardcore fans of the show will soon realize the continuity errors right away as the storyline doesn?t quite fit comparatively to where the character development has grown over these many years. You play as one of the 4 Simpsons family members; Marge, Lisa, Homer, and/or Bart in an attempt to save Maggie (who ends up having a huge diamond in her mouth like a pacifier) from the clutches of a cape wearing Smithers after he just robbed a jewelry store for Mr. Burns. Soon after, you will wade through various stages from Downtown Springfield, Moe?s Tavern, to a cemetery, that finally lead you to Mr. Burns? Springfield Nuclear Plant. Can you save Maggie and keep Mr. Burns and Smithers from getting err?um?richer with this diamond they had to heist?

The story may be odd, but there are some great characters, past and present you will enjoy seeing in the game such as Nelson, Patty and Selma, Krusty the Clown, Grandpa, Barney, and even dead characters like Bleeding Gums Murphy show their faces along the way. Oddly enough, none of these major characters you will actually battle as you are instead put up against mindless thugs, zombies, power plant employees, and a host of other forgettable and non essential characters to get to the end of each level and fight a boss. The mechanics are simple, you have an attack and a jump button and pressing the two together allows you to perform a jump attack. You have a health meter that you must monitor and try to make it to the end by not dying?.a whole lot at least.

Is this your first trip down this memory lane or have you been down this road before? Honestly, it?s the group who grew up with this game that will have the most devotion to it and it delivers in spades. As now fans are not only able to relive nostalgia with this seemingly timeless gem on XBLA and PSN, but for only 10 bucks, but Konami didn?t skimp on the goods when porting this bad boy over from the arcade motherboard. You get the full arcade game complete with 4 player mode, the ability to play it online with others, a choice of how many quarters (from 10 to 40 or unlimited) to start the game with, a Japanese ROM of the game that ramps up the difficulty, and even a survival mode to see just how bad ass you are with one man. Toss in Achievements/Trophies and extras such as music, profiles and much more, and Konami not only heard your cry from these many years, but wanted to provide above and beyond what you would hope for. While the HD transfer isn?t?well?HD, it still looks spot on perfect as compared to the way it was designed to originally look, so it?s like having the arcade machine in your home, but at a fraction of the cost.

Kudos to Konami for giving us Simpsons fans everywhere finally what we?ve always wanted. Now with TMNT, X-Men, and now The Simpsons in our virtual arcade thanks to digital downloads, I can officially relieve the 90?s?now where are my Hyper color T-shirts?

Grade: A-