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Feb 072011

The Simpsons are favorites of mine with their brand of humor, but did you know that there was an arcade game based on them? Back in the early 90s, The Simpsons Arcade Game was one of my favorite arcade games to play. Unfortunately, this game has never come to any other video game console like many other games have. What a rip off!

As the story goes, Smithers is a mad bomber, who robs a jewelry store. He comes out, only to run into the Simpsons. A diamond falls into Maggie’s mouth and she sucks on it like a pacifier. Instead of snatching back the diamond, Smithers kidnaps Maggie and it’s up to the other Simpsons to rescue her. That’s where up to four characters can play at once.

The game play is unlike anything you’d find on the series. Bart swings on his skateboard, Lisa uses a jump rope like a whip, Marge pummels enemies with a vacuum cleaner, and Homer fights with his bare fists. Plus they all jump very high. How exciting is that? When a Simpson loses a life, he/she flies back in a superhero costume. (Too bad they don’t get to keep it.) I’m sure that was based on Bart’s popularity at the time as Bartman.

The bosses in this game are also neat. The Simpsons end up fighting tough fighters like a pro wrestler and a ninja master, freaky objects like a giant Krusty balloon and a monstrous bowling ball, and even Mr. Burns in his destructive suit. Seriously, all this over a little diamond? I always thought that Smithers was crazy.

As Homer, Marge, Bart, and Lisa chase Smithers throughout Springfield, they have to fight their way through all kinds of enemies, most of which are not from the series either.

There are eight stages in this game. Some of them are as creative as they are challenging. And of course the background music on these levels is awesome too. It starts with chasing down Smithers in Downtown Springfield, which totally sets the mood for how exciting the game is.

Next you fly to Krusty Land by balloons. It’s not all fun and games, especially with that giant balloon boss.

After defeating the giant balloon, you fall down to Springfield Discount Cemetery, which has a nice spooky setup and zombies to fight. It also has an open grave with Krusty’s picture on it, which is actually a secret passage to Moe’s Tavern.

You fight an angry drunk at the tavern and ride an elevator up to Springfield Butte. Out in the wilderness you fight a Bear boss and there’s an exciting part where you dive in the river to rescue Maggie, but fall down the waterfall instead.

It doesn’t kill you, but you do end up in Dreamland, where you have to fight your way back to reality. You then catch a lucky break when you find Smithers at the Channel Six TV station, which has three sections. First in the newsroom, a news anchor talks about Maggie and Mr. Burns. Yet he doesn’t notice the action going on in front of his desk. After that is a sci-fi section with robot monsters and a section with ninjas. Once that’s all taken care of, you follow Smithers to the Nuclear Power Plant for a final showdown, but it’s not over yet.

Although The Simpsons did have a widespread of video games over the years, none of them come close to this one. They don’t make arcade games like that anymore. I still don’t understand why this game was never released for a video game console, but it will always be a favorite to me. Thank goodness for YouTube.

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