It was the blurst of Simpsons games…
A simple wrestling game inspired by the attitude era of WWE (or WWF), although the wrestling mechanic is implemented loosely. Matches are set in the giant ring set in various locations across Springfield, complete with their own theme tune music. background characters can be heard and will react to attacks you and your opponent will make.
Pinning is very basic and is how you win a match, you can pin everywhere and there is no way to block or reverse attacks. As such it’s not as complex as the WWE wrestling games.
There are a few campaign options that are unlocked sequentially, these are a series of matches that you must play to unlock new characters and to complete the game.
The VS/Exhibition mode is greyed out and needs a second controller to be plugged in to be selectable.
The type of attacks that can be done is determined by the energy/stamina bar, which depletes when you execute a move.
Strike: done by pressing the Square button, deals a basic strike attack. When you have a 4 hit combo you can knock your opponent to the ground
Long Range / Alt Attack: Done by pressing the Triangle button, your character will typically throw or shoot a weapon.
Special: Done using the circle button, this takes a lot of energy but deals a lot of damage, or will unleash a series of uninterruptable attacks on your opponent.
Taunt: Knocking out an opponent gives you one taunt letter, collecting all five allows you to taunt your opponent which will stunt them and gives you temporally invulnerability.
Grappling is possible by pressing L1 when you are next to an opponent, you can then execute a grapple move.
The Cross button will allow your character to jump, and they can combine an attack using the Square, Triangle, or Circle buttons
Lastly, you can also attack using the ropes, which allows your character to execute unique moves, simply run into the ropes and press the desired attack button.
- Barney: The town drunk, fights with a glass full of beer and belches toxic gas that will reduce your health
- Krustry: Throws creme pies and can summon a huge hammer as an attack.
- Willie: Can set traps like a beartrap, a rake or garden scissors,
- Apu: Likes to use the jump attack, a lot. Will sometimes throw his trademark squishee. Special attacks seems to be him having some sort of seizure.
- Homer: Has a basic attack and can deploy bowling balls that roll throughout the ring, has special attat that will transform into a larger sized Homer who will deal more damage
- Marge: Can deploy Maggie who will hold opponents to slow then down, marge can then wack em with her frying pan or headbutt them with her hair
- Bart: Special attack is him rolling on a skateboard, can also fire using his
- Lisa: Plays a saxophone that when done correctly, will stun the opponent character, must have a full energy bar to do this.
- Moe: Has very fast attacks and can throw flaming Moe’s, which resolt in fire for a few seconds
- Frink: Pretty strong character, can deploy random objects like a homing rocket, an exploding robot or an exploding mine
- Bumblebee Man: Ok but has a fucking annoying pet chuwaw dog that will bite your charicter
- Flanders: This is the character that breaks the game, most of his attacks are ok except for one where lighting bolds strike your character, draining your health unless you keep moving. His throw attacks are flying bibles which circle round the ring until they hit your character (I’ve heard of bible bashing but homing bibles takes it to another level). And to top it off he gets an extra life as when you try to pin him, he will resurrect back to life. Really don’t know what they were thinking with Flanders here. The only way to beat him is through luck.
- Smithers: Another overpowered character, but is more fair than Flanders. Smithers can only be played in single player and has his own stage. Mr Burns will throw what appears to be radioactive mini-nukes into the ring which only affect your charicter, Smithers does not take any damage. Perhaps prolonged exposure has made him immune to the effects?
- Kang & Kodos: The space aliens who have their own stage, these charicters are quite large and occupy a lot of space in the ring
As a wrestling game is a poor title, since it very liberally uses the wrestling genre, there are no ring-outs. Really if you’re looking for a good wrestling game, your not gonna get it with The Simpsons, and why would you expect anything more? Calling it one of the worst games ever is misleading, as there is fun to be had here, and what the game lacks in graphics it makes up with its soundtrack.
But for what it is, a Simpsons game is pretty ok, and worth a play if you’re a fan of The Simpsons. And it’s a lot more fun in Vs mode rather than single player, which can get mundane after a few minutes.
Also, why did we only get one Simpsons game on the PlayStation? (Technically two, Simpsons Bowling was an arcade game running on PS1 based hardware) Both were at the prime in the late 90s so you’d think we get a few games on the PlayStation, instead, titles like Virtual Springfield ended up exclusive on PC platforms like Windows and MacOS.