However, even when these bits are getting you down, The Simpsons Game can always fall back on its humour. The game is consistently pretty funny, and sporadically brilliantly so. The Medal of Homer level, which kicks off with what’s actually a fairly plain collect-a-thon, is raised to another level by its cheerful mockery of the surrender-ready tendencies of the French. Alien invaders pause to ponder relationships or issue poorly thought-out threats. Marge’s self-righteous mission to ban Grand Theft Scratchy from Springfield shops ends with a hilariously cutting pay-off, and the level based in the controversial game itself is pretty pointed about the skewed morality of the whole urban gangster genre. The Simpsons Game has made me laugh much, much more than it has made me groan with frustration and annoyance. It’s also kept me interested as to what game or what genre it’s going to have a run at next. I don’t know about you, but I can live with a few poor camera angles if I’m having that much fun.
The tricky thing is that the humour is going to be a matter of opinion. I might think the hit rate is high, you might sit stoney-faced throughout, in which case the actual gameplay is probably going to get on your nerves. My feeling is that most people will have the same reaction I did, but beware: your mileage may vary. Still, maybe this time the public at large hasn’t made such a disastrous mistake after all. The Simpsons Game does a fine job of capturing the look and the spirit of the show, and for all its flaws it’s an entertaining ride. I wouldn’t myself buy it in preference to, say, Metroid Prime 3: Corruption or the upcoming Ratchet and Clank, but if you love the show you won’t regret giving it a spin.
A game with a few gaping flaws, but with enough of The Simpsons wit and intelligence to mask them pretty well. Smartly written and laugh out loud funny, it’s a title that fans of games and fans of the show should enjoy.