E for All 2007 Preview
This past summer, one of the biggest
movies to hit the box office was The Simpsons. Based on the hit show, the movie
was buried in secrecy, leading many out there to wonder whether or not the film
would even be a cartoon like the show, or if it in fact would be a live-action
take on the series. However, the film did what it did best, staying animated
with the series’ voice actors firmly in place. The Simpsons Game will follow in
the same vein as the film and the TV show, but given its context in video games,
it will tackle its medium as only the franchise can.
Gameplaywise, The Simpsons Game
feels a lot like X-Men Legends. You’ll have between one or four characters
(family members) in your control throughout, each with their own unique
abilities and special powers. Homer, for example, can balloon up into a gigantic
ball and crush enemies and objects, while Bart can transform into Bartman and
use tools like a grappling hook to get up to high points and his cape to float
down (or up in air drafts). Oftentimes, you’ll be required to use a certain
character to proceed to a certain point and use team work in order to get your
characters to defeat a boss.
One great element in the game will
be the video game clichés. Much like the TV series will poke fun at pop culture
and spoof films, the video game will point out glaring video game clichés as you
do them. This works out to be a pretty interesting mini-game of sorts, as you’ll
have to go through and do all the various things that you often wouldn’t get
away with in video games, like swimming or running up to an invisible boundary
set by the video game’s developer. There are tons of them out there to find, so
keep in that video gaming mindset and you’re likely to stumble upon a few.
Graphically, the next-gen versions
do a great job of capturing the essence of the show without really straining too
hard and making a creepy 3D mess of things. The character models look good and
are well animated, and the environments are fantastic and full of little nuances
and in-jokes that series fans will undoubtedly enjoy and appreciate.
The Simpsons Game will be out at the
end of the month. If you’d like to try it out for yourself, download the demo
from Xbox Live or the Playstation Network.