Hands On with The Simpsons Game Demo
PS3 owners got The Simpsons Game demo love last week, but today Xbox 360 owners can get their chance to experience some of the game in action. The Simpsons Game demo is now available for download through Xbox Live, and it gives you a little taste of what to expect from a next-gen game based on America’s favorite yellow-skinned family. So what can you expect? Hilarity and uneven gameplay it would seem.
The demo has you playing essentially one big boss battle from the game, where you battle a Lard Lad statue come to life who brings little Krusty dolls to life along with him. Lard Lad is destroying part of downtown Springfield and its up to Bart and Homer to stop him. You can switch between the two Simpsons on the fly, and each of them has their ow unique abilities. Bart can fire a slingshot and use his Bartman cape to glide, while Homer unleashes devastating belches and can transform into a massive Homerball to roll over foes.
Working your way around the town can be a little cumbersome at times, as you’ll need to find special places to launch yourself onto rooftops. The camera can also become an annoyance as it will more often than not find the precise angle so you can’t see the action in front of you. There’s a lock-on system that is crucial to defeating Lard Lad, but getting it to lock onto what you want can be difficult way too often. In general, just playing the game isn’t impossible, but it’s definitely not without problems.
Luckily, despite these basic gameplay flaws, even just the demo is hilarious. The cut scenes were all made specifically for the game and are in the same style as the show. Every character in the game continually spouts one-liners, some of which aren’t that funny, but some are just golden. Personal fave: Kent Brockman providing the commentary, “Bart Simpson has been knocked down, but taking a page from the book of Chumba Wumba, he’s gotten back up again.” It’s also nice to see a game that doesn’t take itself too seriously and even pokes fun at itself. In the demo, you can collect three “Gaming Cliches,” which are pointed out once you find them and mocked by the Comic Book Guy; for example, an invisible barrier blocking you from leaving the town. Besides all that, even this small area is chock full of references form the show, like the Spirograph Factory or Krustylu Studios.
Overall, this is definitely a game for Simpsons fans and Simpsons fans alone. If you don’t like the series or you don’t know anything about it, this is probably a game to avoid when it comes out. Personally though, I’m still keeping this on my “To Rent” list, because its humor is enough to make the gameplay bearable.