Those who even have a passing knowledge of my existence can tell you three basic facts about me:
1) I love wrestling.
2) I love videogames.
3) I love The Simpsons.
The last one is probably my most pronounced addiction. Sure, I have every manner of videogame in my humble abode, and yes, I’ve spent the last four years of my life updating a pro wrestling website, and even written a book on the matter. But The Simpsons? I’m lucky to even fabricate a single sentence without making a reference to something that’s happened on the show. I mean, just take a look at this picture of me, taken on October 31 this year:
So yeah, I am more than just a bit fanatical about the Simpsons. In fact, with God above as my witness, I could very easily tie every single email I get into a Simpsons episode. I won’t, because at that point, you would see that I really am nothing more than a complete nutcase, and you’d quit visiting the site. Trust me, though, I could. Easily. I’m like a junkie who can’t put down the needle, and I know I have to drive everyone around me absolutely bonkers with my endless blathering on about Homer and the rest of the residents of Springfield.
Therefore, when the announcement of Simpsons Wrestling was made in 2000, it was as though God himself reached down and patted me on the head like an obedient puppy, and he was about to reach into his personal bag of Snausages and throw me a treat like no other. Well, apparently I must have crapped on the floor and made the Big Guy extremely unhappy, because there can be no other explanation for the putrid experience known as Simpsons Wrestling.
“Everything about this game stinks like old fish…shame should hang like a noose on everyone who worked on this title.” – PSX.IGN
Just to give you an idea of how horrible this game is, IGN (one of the ‘net’s largest gaming sites) gave this a 1.0 out of 10. That would be bad enough, but this is from the same group that gave Superman on the N64, a game that many have labelled the worst videogame ever, a 3.4. In essence, then, Simpsons Wrestling is 3.4 times worse than the worst game ever made.
They may be right. Flying through unending hoops as the Man of Steel may have been idiotic, but at least you felt like you had some, albeit very little, control over the main character. Sure, Krypton’s favorite son was fluttering around as though he’d just hit the peace pipe with Apache Chief, but there was some slight, remote chance that your input had some effect on the outcome of the game.
Not so in Simpsons Wrestling. Even though I’ve played the thing dozens of times (for reasons which even my psychiatrist cannot explain), I don’t think I ever even knew what the hell I was doing and whether what I did was good or bad. Sometimes I’d win. Sometimes I’d lose. No, take that back – EVERY TIME I’d lose, it’s just that sometimes the screen would flash “WINNER.”
You might be wondering what awesome moves there are in the game. Well, there are a few frames of animation, that if you were being very kind, you could consider grappling of some sort. Maybe. But most of the game is spent leaping in the air (more on that in a moment) and landing on your opponent’s head. Sound fun? No? Well, good, I wouldn’t want to disappoint you.
I guess since this is, at the heart of it, a videogame review, I should talk about graphics. They look just like the characters from the show – if they were created in MS Paint, version .000000000000000000001 alpha. Seriously, you could get better results by dipping your ass in yellow paint and smearing it against the wall. Your ass-drawn Simpsons would probably animate better too. The perspectives in the game are all over the place, as sometimes you will have two similarly sized characters (say Krusty and Barney) and one will appear to be roughly 2x the size of the other. And when they jump, they jump what appears to be approximately 637 miles in the air. One time as Homer, I leaped so high that I thought I had left earth’s gravitational pull. I could only be so lucky – then I’d be out of this stupid game.
The sound is ok. Well, I should say the soundbites are ok, if overly repetitive. Repetitive. Repetitive. Did I mention that they were repetitive? And the music sounds almost, yet not entirely, unlike the show’s theme. It’s as if Danny Elfman’s six week old son had just gotten a Casio keyboard and started trying to duplicate his daddy’s work.
Have I mentioned yet just how much I hate this game? Well, I do. In fact, here’s a short list of things I’d rather do than play Simpsons Wrestling ever again:
– Have a three hour conversation with Stephanie McMahon in which I spend the entire time talking about what a wonderful performer she is and how, yes, she should be the center of every WWE show
– Listen to Chyna read aloud her literally masterpiece If They Only Knew
– Go see that Cat in the Hat movie
Not sure which of these would be the most torturous, but I do know that there’s no pain that can compare to Simpsons Wrestling.
3.4 times worse than the worst game ever made? Sounds too generous to me.