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.