The Simpsons Arcade which released in 1991 has finaly arrived on Xbox Live Arcade.
The Simpsons Arcade is an all time classic. Not only was it the first Simpsons game, but it's one of the most memorable beat'em ups from the early 90's. If you played The Simpsons Arcade back in 1991, then it's time for a trip down memory lane. For those who didn't get to play, now's your chance to catch up. The XBLA version isn't just a straight port. The whole game is exactly the same, but it has been updated with online Co-op and polished with HD visuals.
The Simspons Arcade is like any other beat'em up. Requiring you to move along the screen, beat up some enemies, move and repeat. It's extremely easy to pick up and play. The controls are very responsive. You use the left analogue or D-pad to move, A to jump, and X to attack. It's that straight forward. But The Simpsons Arcade isn't an easy ride. Like many old school beat'em ups, you will take a lot of hits, and many deaths, unless your a master at it. If you die too many times you will be shown the continue screen, which allows you to carry on playing.
The game offers four playable characters. Homer, Marge Bart and Lisa. Each of them having their own attacks. Homer punches and kicks, Marge uses her hoover, Lisa whips enemies with her skipping rope, and Bart uses his trusty skateboard. Playing co-operatively also offers some special attacks, with each character joining in two. For example, Homer can join with Marge allowing them to roll into a ball. It's great co-op fun and should definitely be experience with four players.
A single run through only takes around 30 minutes or less, but there's still more on offer. After completing the game once you will unlock a Japanese mode. This gives you increased health and additional weapons, like atomic bombs. There's also three different modes. Quarters Mode has each player sharing 10 credits, Team Quarters has you sharing 40 credits, Survival, where you only have 1 life and credit, and finally, free play, which offers unlimited plays. You can also play co-operatively, locally and online with three other players.
Overall, The Simpsons Arcade is a great updated port. It's short, but totally fun and shouldn't be missed by any Simpsons fan.
Review by Gareth Smith