Simpsons Arcade Game gif - Homer fighting

A Retrospective: The Simpsons Arcade Game (PS3)

A long time ago in a Chuck E. Cheese far away…

There stood an arcade cabinet. Not just any arcade cabinet, but a cabinet of The Simpsons Arcade Game.

The Simpsons was one of my favorite childhood shows so this arcade game really drew me in. I couldn’t tell you how many tokens I would spend just to get a tiny bit further. The game was a bit unfair at times, but that was how they made their money.

Fast forward to now, and there’s a Simpsons Arcade Game PS3 and XBOX 360 port. I’m going to specifically focus on the PS3 version, but will still touch on the original arcade. 

Simpsons Arcade game PS3 intro gif
A tale as old as time.

Story

The story revolves around Homer literally running into Mr. Smithers right after Smithers robbed a jewelry store. The jewel that Smithers stole is thrown into the air and Maggie catches it in her mouth.

Instead of just taking the jewel, Smithers grabs Maggie and runs away with her… Hey, it’s made by Konami, what do you expect? It’s a classic arcade beat ‘em up story. It is up to you to select one of the Simpsons and rescue her.

That’s it. That’s the story.

Gameplay

Right off the bat, you have different gameplay options to choose from (assuming you are playing on the PS3). You can select the American version or the Japanese version.

If you want to play the quarter-munching version from yesteryears, then the American version is a must. Otherwise, I would select the Japanese version. It seems fairer, to me at least. It provides you with more health pickups as well as delivers a few unique weapons and dials down the difficulty.

For example, the Japanese version has atom bombs to throw around while the American version removes that and a lot of the health pickups.

Either way, you will probably lose all of your lives before reaching the last stage, but it is okay because you have infinite quarters…err, continues.

Simpsons Arcade Game gif - Homer fighting
The next best thing to an atom bomb

You fight your way through 8 Springfield-related levels to get Maggie back from Smithers.

Each of these levels has a unique boss to fight. The bosses range from wrestlers, hot air balloons and a kabuki warrior. All of the levels are amazing.

My favorite is the dream sequence in which you fight off things related to each of the Simpsons e.g. donuts, saxophones, and hazmat suits. The boss of this level is a Bowling Ball that shoots pins out of its mouth. All of the bosses take a fair amount of hits before they go down, especially in the American version. 

Simpsons Arcade Game PS3 - Bart and Homer battle a bowling ball
The most logical boss in the game.

It’s amazing how much you can discover about a game after so many years.

For instance, I never knew you could use team attacks with all the characters. Guess I only played it in the arcade by myself. *forever alone* Speaking of, 4 players can play at the same time. 

The journey comes to a conclusion when the Simpsons reach the nuclear power plant.

You finally confront Smithers and fight him in order to get Maggie back. You may have noticed that the eyes on the painting in the background have been watching the entire time. Once Smithers is defeated, it’s time to face the final boss…*Spoiler Alert* Mr. Burns!

Sarcasm aside, I’m not entirely sure why Smithers wouldn’t take the diamond from Maggie’s mouth and run off with it. It’s not like the Simpsons are after the diamond. Guess it makes as much sense as Smithers wearing a cape and throwing bombs.

Speaking of not making sense, we’re treated to Mr. Burns piloting a giant mecha. This fight consists of multiple phases where his suit continually breaks down/transforms. Eventually you come face-to-face with the old man himself. No worries, one punch takes him down.

Simpsons Arcade Game PS3 - the Simpsons battling Mr. Burns
Mecha Burns

Conclusion – Does The Simpsons (PS3) hold up today?

I think so. It’s a fun distraction that you can easily pick up whenever you’re bored. It’s still a fun game to play with friends or by yourself.  

I give this game 4 diamond pacifiers out of 5.

hyp3rblue

[Did you know J-Town “Hyp3rblue” also reviews really bad games? He’s sort of an expert. Check out his review for Psycho Killer!]

2 comments

  1. Awesome! I still love the Simpson’s Arcade Game after all these years. I have many memories of all the time spent at a local pizza place we would visit which had a small area with a few arcade machines, this being one of them. Classic beat em’ ups like this are still a blast to play.

    1. hyp3rblue says:

      Absolutely. This, X-Men, and TMNT are still loads of fun to play.

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