On September 5th, Electronic Arts held a studio showcase at their headquarters in Redwood City, CA. This was an opportunity to highlight the many games the company will be releasing in the final quarter of 2007. One of these games is The Simpsons Game. I was invited to attend the Showcase, preview the game, and meet its creators.
EA's Simpsons game is unlike many of the other Simpsons videogames in recent years. Many previous games took the Simpsons characters and simply plopped them into an existing game concept (ie. 'Hit and Run' was 'Crazy Taxi' in Springfield). The EA game is set up as a unique, interactive Simpsons experience... like getting to play 16 new Simpsons episodes. Original story ideas and quests were created, with imput from the Simpsons writing game, and the hardcore Simpsons geeks who worked on the game for EA. The Simpsons voice cast also participated, recording an immense amount of new dialogue, which is specific to the levels and gameplay.
The general concept of the game is that the Simpsons are licensed into a videogame... and become self-aware of this fact. The game is broken into four acts, so to speak, with one part focusing on an alien invasion from Kang and Kodos, for instance. There are specific levels that deal with characters Simpsons fans love, such as Mr. Sparkle or the Lard Lad Donut mascot (based on the THOH short). Two-play mode is fun and easy, and in one-player mode you can easily switch back and forth between the two characters involved in that level.
The graphics in this game are top-notch. At one point, seeing a screen showing a part of the game set in the Land of Chocolate (from Homer's dream sequence), one of my fellow attendees-- from the No Homers Club-- thought it was the episode itself. A lot of work has clearly gone into making this game desirable to the notoriously picky Simpsons fanbase (average fans and gamers will enjoy it too, of course).
The game will be available on the following systems: X-Box 360, Playstation 3, Playstation 2, Playstation portable, Nintendo Wii, and Nintendo DS. Where applicable, the creators have added features and controls unique to each system. For example, the Nintendo DS features a 'Pet Homer' you can feed and interact with using your stylus.
Screenshots and videos are available- here.
I also took some short videos of the game being played at the showcase for you to see it in real-life action (or, as real-life as you can get via the internet). Enjoy!
Finally, below are pictures from the event. The game is due later this Fall.
[NOTE: The writeups from the attending No Homers members are available- here.]
The Studio Showcase event was held at their Redwood Studios in California. There were many forms of entertainment specific to each game. A special Simpsons Lounge was open to see the game in action, eat some Krusty Burgers, and have an ice cold Duff.
A look at the box art for each system.
- Install the Akbar Font
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