Mediocre at best, but funny as hell.
The Simpsons Game
isn't really something you play for awesomeness. The levels are very linear and (until the last set) quite bland. Each area is just about the same as the last; just jump on platforms and bash enemies to death. The camera WILL KILL YOU more than anything else. The virtual Springfield is fun to explore at first, but it really only amounts to finding more collectibles, and is actually rather small. Co-op feels like it was just tacked on two minutes before launch. And once you've beaten every level, that's it.
That being said, The Simpsons Game
is still a lot of fun the first time through. Why? Because it's the first Simpsons game to be genuinely funny.
The entire game is one giant lampshade of every video game trope under the sun, from pointing out tired cliches, to arguing over game terminology, right down to some jabs at executives and the disposable nature of the game market. Even the bits that don't have any lampshades are a lot of fun, in some ways even more than the actual show in recent years.
The scatterbrained story revolves around the Simpsons discovering an instruction manual for The Simpsons Game,
which allows them to unlock super powers. From there, they fight aliens, chase down Will Wright, explore the inner workings of video game development (hint: it involves hedgehogs in hamster wheels), and so forth. The best part, though, is the last few levels, where the family enters other Simpsons games in development, all so they can hunt down Matt Groening and put an end to their terrible licensed games. In particular, the "Medal of Homer" level is made of pure awesome, the "Big Super Happy Fun Fun Game" level is just so wacked up it's awesome, and the "Neverquest" level has one of the most hilarious boss fights ever. And the Groening fight is so full of Take That's and Self Depreciation, it stands out as the game's true highlight.
Even though the game hits most of the bad design branches on its way down (although not to the level of the Matt Hazard
series), it's simply so god damn funny that it's worth one run through. And since it's probably five bucks or less at your local game store, it's not a bad bargain buy.