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Commonwealth Games 2002

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Friday, 23 March, 2001, 13:31 GMT
The Simpsons go Wrestling
Bart Simpson in the wrestling ring
Bart and Moe get into the swing of things
David Gibbon wrestles with the Simpsons.

Over the past few years, the PlayStation has enjoyed some of the greatest wrestling games ever witnessed by gaming fans.

In particular, of course, is the excellent WWF Smackdown series, which comes backed with the official WWF licence and all of the stars' fans have come to know and admire.

The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin and even Hulk Hogan - and all with their own unique range of moves and combos - helped make Smackdown a legend amongst gamers.

How, then, can this fun little title compete with such an epic? Well, to be perfectly honest, it can't.

But what the Simpsons Wrestling game will do is bring the TV show's millions of fans the chance to play as their on-screen hero - albeit as a wrestler.

It seems that the developers of all successful cartoon characters cannot wait to cash in on their fans' loyalty and that's exactly what Fox Interactive could be accused of doing here.

Commercialism

The Simpsons is one of the most popular TV shows in the world - and literally anything with the name on will shift great numbers.

The truth of the matter is that it's not an epic - but it's not awful either. When it was previewed in a US games show, it was actually considered the worst game of the show.

To be fair, however, it was still in the early stages of development and improvements have been made to make it a little more respectable.

The game features 22 characters from the TV show - including everyone's favourites such as Bart, Homer, Krusty the Clown and Marge - to name a few.

Bart Simpson
Bart is one of 22 characters

To bring an extra touch of authenticity to the proceedings, and to keep it in line with other wrestling games, 240 verbal taunts are included.

Each one is voiced by the same person who recorded the voice over for the TV show - and the end result is one that won't fail to impress fans.

Each of the Simpsons characters also has their own particular moves to reflect their personality and their life on the TV show.

The Bumblebee Man, for example, can summon his pet Chihuahua to lay the smack down on the opposition. And the Kwik-E-Mart clerk Apu can pull off-the-wall kung-fu attacks.

Kung-fu

This pushes the gameplay into new territories and gives it a lot more depth than expected.

The game can be played in two modes, either a tournament style single player game or a grudge match where two players can get involved.

In the former mode, the idea is to battle your way through the competition to become Champion of Springfield. But if you've got your pals around, the two player grudge match can offer some real laughs.

During each match, a range of power-ups can be collected that do different things. For example, there's a chocolate doughnut that increases speed, bubble gum that slows players down and bowling pins that can be used as clubs.

Rather than just have one stage, the developers have kindly included numerous locations to keep things a little more interesting.

There's the Simpsons House, Moe's Tavern, Itchy and Scratchy Land, the Schoolyard, Town Hall and even Mr Burns' Mansion.

Visually, Simpsons Wrestling looks really nice. It is colourful and the animation is first class - though occasional flicker does creep in to spoil it. But overall, Fox have made sure fans of the TV series will be more than impressed.

With that hugely popular TV show behind it and the fact that each of the characters in the game battle using their own unique moves, Simpsons Wrestling really does have an edge that will keep you playing for months to come.

Published by Fox Interactive, Format - PSone

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