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I\'ll not insult your intelligence by explaining who \'The Simpsons are… let\'s just say that if you have never heard of this crazy yellow cartoon family (who could possibly be described as the modern day Flintstones) then you simply don\'t exist. I also promise to \'try\' not to litter this document with unnecessary over use of the word Doh! (this could be tough).
Where better to start than those wonderful Simpson sounds. Throughout the entire game you get a blast from the original Simpson\'s theme music, while a complimentary series of wacky tunes contribute towards the background effects during each bout. Each contestant is introduced to the ring by non other than Principle Skinner (who else), whose utterances are sadly kept fairly brief (unless you count the tongue twisting intro of Apu Nahasapeemapetilion), but it\'s during the fights that the sound effects really leap to the forefront. Even before the bell sets a battle on it\'s way each character hugs his corner throwing out a few threats and insults. As the two contestants try to beat seven bells out of each other every verbal cliché from the series is rolled out to full effect, from Bart\'s Kawabunga! and Homers Why you little ****, to Wild Willie\'s highland cussing and Krusty the Clown\'s manic laugh. Top marks!
Gameplay follows the standard beat-em-up formula where a combination of single, or multiple button presses perform an attack. Each character can also jump, grapple, pin down and taunt each other, just don\'t expect anything as diverse as Tekken! The aim of the game is to reveal hidden characters and discover all of their special moves and taunts. For example; Barney throws beers and belch\'s clouds of smelly brown gas that linger and disorientate for a while. Bart whips out his skateboard and fires his trusty catapult. Homer hurtles a bowling ball across the ring, while Willie\'s swings his garden rake around like the madman he is. Basically, you get what I\'m sure most of you would want from a game carrying the Simpsons franchise… a bit of a laugh.
Now all this may sound brilliant, but the novelty soon wares off. Once the characters special moves have been tried a few times there is very little substance left in the game to hold your interest. In fact it all quickly deteriorates into a boring button mash where little skill is required.
Furthermore, the graphics are so lame and boring to look at. They totally lack depth and are void of any strong colors, leaving the finished appearance look as if it had been through the wash a few hundred times. Most annoying was when two characters get close to each other (which is most of the time considering it\'s a beat-em-up) they part overlap and part ghost through each other. I felt that The Simpsons Wrestling was constantly trying to fool me into believing it was a 3 dimensional extravaganza. In reality the grainy, flat, 2D characters completely fail to bring any life to the overall experience. This results in a game that could easily have been made for the 16-bit Megadrive system. Maybe it was?
· Take the title of ring champ wrestling as 15 playable characters from The Simpsons™, including: Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, Krusty the Clown, Groundskeeper Willie, Moe, Apu, Flanders, Bumblebee Man, Barney, Professor Frink and more.
· No-Holds-Barred, No-Burps-Barred Wrestling
· Unleash exclusive character moves and smack talk voiceovers done by actors from the show.
· Try Your Hand at Three Game Modes
· Take on friends in Versus (Two-Player) mode, Tournament (Single-Player) mode and Practice Game (Single-Player) mode. Snag numerous power-ups to keep the upper hand, plus unlock secret characters, bosses and an exclusive bonus level!
· Exclusive Character Taunts and Moves
· Become invulnerable when you smack talk opponents with verbal responses featuring voiceovers by the series\' actual actors, plus use gestured taunts and power moves such as Homer\'s Strangulator, Barney\'s Duff Cloud Burp and Groundskeeper Willie\'s Roundhouse Rake Kick.
· Wrestle your way across 3-D Springfield, taking on opponents at 10 locations from the show, including The Power Plant, The Simpsons House, Krusty Lu Studios, Moe\'s Tavern, Mr. Burn\'s Mansion, Bowl-a-Rama and the Kwik-E-Mart.
1 Block required on Memory card per save (min)
Up to 2 Players (without Multi-tap)
Uses Dual Shock Pad Buttons
Uses Dual Shock Pad Analog Sticks
Uses Dual Shock Pad Vibration facility
REVIEW SCORE GUIDE:
We promise that we have fully played 'Simpsons Wrestling' before writing this review. The scores given above are our honest opinion and were not influenced in any way by the manufacturer or distributor of the game.
SUMMARY OF FINAL RATING (%)
00 - 59 This makes your console seem like an older machine. It utilises little or none of the PSone power.
60 - 69 This game is little more than average and we advise renting or play-testing before considering a purchase.
70 - 79 This is a good solid title that should still appeal to those who like this type of game.
80 - 89 This is a fantastic game that we think you will enjoy playing for quite some time.
90 - 100 This game either pushes the boundaries of it's genre further than ever before on this system, or creates a completely new gaming experience. Either way, it should not be missed and is an essential purchase in our opinion.
IMPORTANT - PLEASE READ:
It is very important that you are aware that the criteria we use to obtain review scores on the PS2 is very different to that used for games on the original Playstation (PSone). The Processing and Graphical power of the two consoles are vastly different and as our reviews are graded against what we estimate is the achievable potential of each system, it does not mean in any way that a game scoring 80 percent on PS2 is worse than a Playstation (PSone) equivalent which scores 95.
A more detailed breakdown of this guide can be read here.
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