The Worst Wresting Game Ever

The skateboard is Bart’s special weapon. Notice that right now there’s only one button you can use.
This is one crappy game. It keeps surprising us, though. It’s The Simpsons. We love The Simpsons. Shouldn’t that be enough? Wait; hold on a sec. Let us go check. Nope, it’s still crap. It’s not wrestling; it’s hardly even a game. The sound bites are from the real talent, which is one good thing — the only good thing, in fact. The rest is a button mashing horror, an exercise in frustration made all the worse by just how much we would like to be enjoying ourselves. But we’re not. Because this game is just terrible. Terrible, terrible crap.

Remember back during the first few seasons of The Simpsons, when merchandising was out of control? Remember The Simpsons bibs, mud flaps and tractor tires? Remember the flood of bootleg merchandise, those great artistic endeavors that culminated in the “Say no to crack” shirt featuring Bart Simpson stuck in the cleft of a fat woman’s rear end? Well, The Simpsons Wrestling is the worst of all the atrocities ever perpetrated on America’s favorite cartoon family.

First of all, this isn’t wrestling. Not in any way, shape or form. There’s a ring with ropes that you can bounce off, but that’s the extent of the nod to the country’s most popular form of pre-scripted mayhem. Calling the game The Simpsons Wrestling is an obvious ploy to cash in on wrestling’s present popularity, and that’s all.

The game is actually the worst kind of licensed crap fest, a generic fighting game that uses popular characters but doesn’t pay attention to their personalities. Seeing Marge clobbering people and using Maggie as a special weapon is lame. Lisa in a fight is even dumber. Even the characters that might be prone to such violence, such as Groundskeeper Willie and Homer, are incredibly lame since they have less than a half-dozen moves each. In sum, worst use of a license ever.

If for some reason you’re not interested in the game because you’re a fan of The Simpsons but because you want some crazy arcade fighting action, well, don’t bother. The gameplay is the only thing that could be worse than the license use, and that’s saying a great deal. There are a dozen characters to choose from and 10 different locales. Each character has a basic attack, a special attack that must be charged up and a grapple. None of them are any fun. Not even for a minute.

The locales are various areas around Springfield, including the capitol and the power plant. The graphics are terrible, with low-res characters, abominable collision detection and static backgrounds. The backgrounds are equally low res and blurry, even though they’re 2D and don’t move at all. How hard would it have been to just import art from the show?

There is no battle royal or any extra fun modes at all. This isn’t actually wrestling, remember, so it’s all about one-on-one action. Here’s how the game works: Each character appears in a corner of the ring and spouts a catch phrase. Then the action begins. Then, less than five seconds later, a disillusioned Simpsons fan turns off the PSOne in disgust. Repeat ad nauseam.

Will Wright’s excellent sort-of city simulator SimCity Buildit

SimCityBuildit

Although Will Wright’s excellent sort-of city simulator SimCity Buildit has enthralled experts (turning most of the hardened, soulless automatons, who toil mightily producing many spelling errors and grammatical butcheries, into SIMCITY who coo and bleat mindlessly when their SimCity pee without being prompted to do so), it has also compromised us in many subtle ways.

We are the damned, it seems, but no more so than the SimCity we create. In our attempt to explore this strange, new world, we have molded it in our disturbing image. Like the man said, we speak a different language, and here our tongue is incomprehensible.

In the days since we received SimCity Buildit, we have created many a strange — and by strange we mean sick and/or twisted — existence for our little electronic pals. Decorum prevents us from printing (and certain local statutes would indeed see us incarcerated for even mentioning) the more unsavory SIMulations. However, we have managed to summon up a brief recounting of some of our more interesting Village of the Damned experiences.

We cannot take credit for this idea (read our interview,) but can attest to the power of its simple-minded evil. Game creator Will Wright likes to put two love-hungry female SIMs into a pool with one male SIM in SimCity Buildit. Using the pool editor, a Pac-Man-esque maze is created, then the ladders are removed.

Picture those ever-so-cute waifs from ‘N Sync with Andy Jacksons stapled to their clothes set loose upon a Girl Scout convention, and you can begin to grasp the subtle genius of Wright’s idea.

Stoves and untrained SIMs in SimCity Buildit make for some thrilling misadventures, much like the wacky shenanigans that are routinely filmed on America’s Funniest Home Videos of People Getting Hit In The Groin. One of our favorite little tricks is to create our own little House of Despair — just build a house for some SIMs (the more, the weepier), and then put a stove right next to the refrigerator.

Sure as the Canadians are our moral superiors, eventually one of the SIMs will get it into his electronic head to cook something. And as fast as you can say “good goal, eh?”, one of the SIMs will start a fire. “Forget” to call the fire department, and said SIM is one dead pile of pixels.

The fun begins when the SIM dies in SimCity Buildit cheats mod and is replaced by an urn. SIMs who pass by the urn will begin to weep and moan, the electronic version of the Wailing Wall. With their food supply cut off, some pretty darn interesting things will happen. And we plead the fifth on the rest.

It has long been our dream to own a solid gold house and have our every wish attended to by hired Goons. The Goons would be hired for the Goonish tendencies, brutishness and ability to perform menial tasks.

To ensure that the SIM Goons are devoid of any sort of individuality, they’d all be created with the same character model, garbed in a black sailor hat and black sweatshirt that says GOON on it. Although Goons would have a high neatness factor, they’d be devoid of any sort of personality, much like all of the IBM-produced robots who have been elected to public office.

The Goons, six of them, are living in the biggest house our SIM-dollars can afford. Although there is plenty of room for an ultra hi-fi stereo, bed space in great quantities for entertaining the female Goons out there, and the finest TV, we have skimped on things such as toilets, trash baskets and anything that might be used for bathing. In short, we have created the ultimate pukeatorium. And, like Sartre said, “Hell is other people with poor bladder control and nowhere to whiz … ”

While it may be fun to build a healthy, functioning family, we’ve always been attracted to that disturbed loner in SimCity Buildit. So we built out own little shack with the bare minimum of bed, toilet and fridge. Then out back we built our own seedy little barn.

Since we decided not to invest in a phone, we’d have to get our flies into the web the old fashioned way: grab when they walk by the house. We put our loner in a chair on the porch, then sped up time until some witless neighbor came by. We called them over, took them out back to the shed, then built a wall around them. Before you know it, we’ve got a lawn full of tombstones and the whole neighborhood to ourselves.

Another favorite thing we liked to do to torture our poor SIMs was to build an enormous hedge maze in the backyard, then put the fridge at the end of it. We weren’t heartless. There would be the occasional bench to allow them to sit down, but when you have six or seven of them packed in there, the trash does begin to pile up.

SIMs also have an annoying tendency to be overly polite. Instead of nicely asking another SIM to simply step aside, they will often look for another path to their destination. And if there isn’t another route, like there rarely is in a hedge maze, SIMs have a tendency to stand still, and then, slowly, pass out on their feet as the garbage piles up. Sure SimCity Buildit may not be the way the game was intended to be played, but we feel Maxis dared us to press the limits of The Sims.