The Simpsons Arcade - Xbox Live Download Review

The Simpsons Arcade is a four player co-op game that allows the players to take control of either Homer, Bart, Lisa or Marge as they try and rescue Maggie from the evil and slightly camp clutches of a cape wearing Smithers and a robotic suit wearing Mr Burns.

Just under a year ago we here at What Culture posted an article looking at 10 classic games that deserved an Xbox Live or PSN remake and it seems that creators of a certain game read this site as available now for download is the 1991 classic game masterpiece The Simpsons Arcade. In recent years we have been treated to many new takes of classic games or long awaited sequels, that always disappoint fans who have fond childhood memories of the originals. Thankfully Konami, the people behind T.S.A, decided against the idea of completely revamping an old game and simply transported an already great game into the future by releasing it for console download. The Simpsons Arcade is a four player co-op game that allows the players to take control of either Homer, Bart, Lisa or Marge as they try and rescue Maggie from the evil and slightly camp clutches of a cape wearing Smithers and a robotic suit wearing Mr Burns, who want a diamond that Maggie happens to get ahold of. The plot, however, is completely unneeded and is only there to serve as an excuse to play as your favourite character whilst button bashing your way through hordes of different and creatively thought of goons. The game has almost literally been lifted from the original arcade machine (with only a few very subtle new features) as its only controls are move, jump, attack and an ingenious combination which sees you have to press jump and then attack. Todays children, who are used to thirty buttons combos, may take a while to master that one. With this new version, thanks to the wonders of consoles, there are some new features as-well as the ability to unlock some pretty sweet stuff that past you would never have been able to dream of as you shoved another coin into this arcade masterpiece. The unlockables are pretty basic, character art, sound effects etc etc, we've seen it all before but it is still nice to see at least one more time. One worry that I had before starting up this large part of my childhood was the whole "Life System". In the good old days of Yore if you died then you had to quickly shove your hand in your pocket, retrieve another coin and put it into the machine in a very tight and tense 10 second window. I remember the horrors of one time finding nothing but lint in my pocket but that is a different story. But obviously with a console release then there is no way to insert coins for more time on the game. So how does T.S.A solve this? with alternate game modes of course. You can either do the very boring free play option where you essentially have an unlimited amount of lives *YAWN* or you can choose the modes where either have a limit of ten lives (or ten credits) or, and this is my favourite, where you only have one life for the entire game. So thats that worry gone. One feature that I absolutely love is the Japanese Rom, available after completing the game, which never stops making laugh out loud. Everything else is pretty much solid for a downloadable game release. The voice acting, albeit tinny in places, reminds you of how the original sounded, the soundtrack is classic Simpsons, the boss battles are pure insanity as you battle against drunken people, a dream bowling ball and as stated earlier a robotic suit wearing Mr Burns (One of the best finales to a game ever!) and the animation reminds you of the classic episodes where it seems the the artists had not learned how to draw properly. My only downside to the whole thing is the length of the game. In a world of Mass Effect and Skyrim, where it takes anywhere from 30 hours to well over 100 to complete a game, the minimal 25 minutes worth of gameplay feels a bit "Oh is that it?" in this modern day and age. Yes back then it wasn't about length of game and more about the challenge (I never managed to reach the final boss when I was a kid) but I still feel a little upset whenever I see the credits rolling. However, with the different game modes, I am able to set it to the hardest difficulty with only one life and so life becomes good again. I am back to being a small boy standing in the freezing cold arcade on the seafront shoving my pocket money into a machine that delights in beating the crap out of me and then asking for more of my money.
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Now a fully graduated and official adult Thomas spends most of his days writing, playing x-box 360 and laughing at how his brain is bigger than all the haters out there.