chris-littlechild - February 15, 2012
A series for those of us who remember the good old days. The days when consoles had processing power equal to your average toaster, and enormous cartridges that often wouldn't work unless you blew on them. How that was supposed to have any effect, I can't imagine.
What retro consoles did have, though, was a slew of amazing games. One of my favourite functions of the Xbox 360 and PS3's online stores is the opportunity to buy some of these classics, cheap as chips. Let's take a look at one game, that's been repeatedly requested and only just released: Konami's The Simpsons Arcade Game.
The game was originally released in 1991, in fantastic not-seen-often-enough-any-more arcade cabinet form. It's a scrolling beat 'em up, instantly familiar to those that grew up on a diet of Streets of Rage and the like. There's a token storyline to justify the mass pummelling, as always. Smithers drops a diamond whilst on a raid, which Maggie catches and sucks as a pacifier. To retrieve his treasure, he takes off with both jewel and baby. Before you can say 'Kidnapper!', the pissed off family are in pursuit.
It may sound like something from an appalling 80's soap opera, but it sets the scene, and that's the best you could hope for at the time. You had to fight waves of Burns's goons (and the occassional Homer-ified Yeti) across eight Springfield locales.
It's the setting that makes the game special. The mere fact that it's Homer Simpson punching a yellow-faced ninja in the groin makes it a lot more appealing than generic hero, generic ninja's groin. The game is primitive-looking, of course, but the gameplay is still remarkably solid. Thanks to the PSN and XBLA release, and the range of extras that come with it, it's definitely worth dusting off this creaking title today.
Article by Chris Littlechild