The Simpsons Arcade - The Most Fun Beat'em Up
Konami reigned as the undisputed queen of arcades for an extended period. Many assert its supremacy, attributing it to titles like The Simpsons Arcade; I won't delve into that debate now, as it's not the focal point. However, one cannot easily forget the enchantment that graced the arcade scene—whether it be the Turtles, GI-Joe, or the X-Men.
The Simpsons, the beloved American family that gradually found its way into our country during that era, became the fortunate recipients of Konami's gaming prowess. Known for their knack in creating exceptional games, Konami delivered once more with The Simpsons Arcade—a mythical machine that not only captivated audiences like few others but also facilitated communal gaming experiences. In keeping with the era's trends, Konami permitted four players to engage simultaneously.
Admittedly, the narrative of The Simpsons Arcade appears somewhat ludicrous, yet any pretext is valid when stepping into the shoes of the Simpson family within this splendid beat'em-up. The premise unfolds as Smithers, Mr. Burns' loyal henchman, perpetrates a heist on a jewelry store, absconding with a priceless diamond. In the midst of their escape, they cross paths with the Simpsons. Tragically, Maggie mistakes the coveted diamond for her pacifier, leading to her unfortunate kidnapping by the nefarious villains. While extracting the diamond from her grasp would be a simple solution, such an outcome would not befit a game. Instead, it presents an opportunity to showcase that the antagonists possess intellectual capacities that surpass even that of a monkey.
Consequently, Homer, Marge, Bart, and Lisa embark on a quest to rescue young Maggie through eight stages, each progressively more challenging and vibrant than the last...
One fateful day at Konami, someone exclaimed, "Why not create arcades for 4 players?" Such genius deserves a monument in its honor. The brilliance wasn't exclusive to The Simpsons Arcade; many other arcades of that era embraced the concept.
The arcade cabinet was truly impressive, and although those playing on the sides faced a bit more difficulty, the gaming sessions with friends were undeniably spectacular. Each joystick was dedicated to one of the characters, often leading to debates over who would be the fortunate one to control Bart—perhaps due to his charisma, his superior attacks, or for reasons unknown...
Homer relied on the power of his fists, Marge wielded her vacuum cleaner (a woman casually strolling with a vacuum cleaner, delivering blows to enemies, is, at the very least, a captivating concept), Bart rode his skateboard, and Lisa twirled a jump rope. The game controls were not excessively intricate: a jump button and an attack button, with, at most, some combination of both or special attacks involving the collaboration of two characters.
Those who played this magnificent arcade in its heyday will fondly recall its challenging nature. Progressing even a little meant investing a considerable amount of money. The characters in The Simpsons Arcade could endure only a few hits, and the end-of-stage bosses posed significant challenges. Success required a mastery of skills. The inclusion of 4 simultaneous characters eased the task for groups, but for a lone player, the challenge was formidable.
"Colorful" aptly describes The Simpsons Arcade. The visuals burst with vibrant hues, featuring sprites that closely mirror the beloved characters from the television series. These characters spring to life through a variety of animations and numerous nods to the TV show. Naturally, the game's environments are inspired by familiar TV locations, such as Moe's Bar, the Nuclear Power Plant, and Channel 6. Throughout the gameplay, a majority of the recurring characters from the series, animals included, make delightful cameo appearances. They offer helpful items like food for health recovery, hammers, and more.
Noteworthy in The Simpsons Arcade are the scenes between stages—animated sequences with a few frames, considering the limitations of the time, that evoke the charm of the television series.
Music & Sound
The music in The Simpsons Arcade is undeniably catchy and seamlessly complements the gameplay. It's evident that many of the melodies draw clear inspiration from the animated series, particularly the intro, which directly mirrors the iconic opening theme. As for sound effects, they are superb. Konami went the extra mile by securing the original voice actors from The Simpsons. This commitment is palpable throughout the game, as the characters are far from silent; they continuously deliver the iconic lines that have made them famous.
Gameplay of The Simpsons Arcade
Below, you can download the bezel or overlay for this game, eliminating the unsightly TV borders, just click here.
In a word: Addictive. Arcade establishments that had the insight to feature this machine undoubtedly witnessed a substantial increase in their profits. The constant occupancy of The Simpsons Arcade was not just because it allowed for the simultaneous play of four people; its allure extended to the outstanding gameplay and impressive graphics. And if you happened to be a fan of The Simpsons series, all the better. Nevertheless, it's worth noting that being a fan was not a prerequisite for fully savoring this exceptional arcade experience.