It's that time again to have a look at a forgotten classic, and this one will get very mixed reactions. I'm my view it was the holy grail of arcades, the consumer of 20 pence pieces and the scourge of my attention span. Ladies and gentlemen and all in between, this is the Simpson's Arcade.
Released by Konami in 1991, the Simpsons Arcade game was a four player side scrolling beat 'em up featuring Homer, Marge Lisa and Bart as they fight through.... pretty much every Simpson character up to that point in an attempt to rescue Maggie from Mr Burns and Smithers. Traversing Springfield, as well as some truly bizarre locations, the game was fast, furious, hilarious and damn compelling to boot.
In the early nineties the Simpson's were seriously hot property, coupled with the fact that only the posh kids with Sky TV actually had seen it in the UK, the cast and the story lines had reached a certain mythical level in my young childish mind. So when given the opportunity to convert my pocket money into time in the Simpsons' world, I could not pass it up.
Straight away the game looked and sounded amazing, featuring bright, colourful graphics along with the theme song and actual voices from the show, the machine sparkled compared to the drab hum drum offerings in my local arcade. It offered scrolling beat 'em up action but with all the fun of the Simpsons! What was not to like? Streets of Rage meets a cartoon via a drug trip... It was perfect.
And when you got four players at once it was a magical form of chaos. Like any good local co-op there was item sharing, tactics and more than a few shouts from pre-teen lungs. The graphics were smooth and the level design was excellent, combining all of the things you would want from a 16-bit side scroller such as weapons and legions of dudes to punch in the face, but all with a zany Simpsons twist.
Okay, so it can get a little repetitive, and some of the levels such as the dream sequence remain more than a little bizarre, but for many children of the nineties The Simpsons arcade was the pinnacle of arcade gaming. Do yourself a favor and have a go now!
The Simpsons arcade game is available on XBLA and PSN real cheap, grab it!