Simpsons hit and run is a sort of racing come free roam game based on the simpsons franchise. You can play as homer, bart, marge and lisa as you run about the city causing mayhem, collecting coins and completing missions, whilst avoiding Cheif Wigam. Its an ok game, but it get lame quickly, as I will now explain.
Really this game is a GTA for younger kids, so off the bat its trying to be another game, and fails really, as there is no point in this game of getting out of your car. The only thing you can do out of your car is "kick" people and things to collect coins (in this game you get coins by destroying things), but in a car you can destroy it so much quicker by crashing into things. That is one major flaw in the game.
The second flaw is the humour. Yes this game has humour that is typical of the simpsons brand, but the problem is, is that in this game it feel very repetitive. After you hear Homer say "D'OH" for the thirtieth time when you crash or something, you can't help but feel that you have done this all before.
Also the map is a bit annoying. Its very restrictive, so you get the feeling its not a true free roam game, and the whole area looks very similar. Its not like in GTA for example, where there are dessert bits, and docks and peers. In this game it all feels the same (apart from one or two areas like Mr Burns Mansion, but its really lame in there, or at least I thought so).
Overall then, this game can be thought of as a GTA game for people under the age of 18. Sadly though, these days you hear lots about 12 year olds playing Call of duty and the like, which begs the question as to who this game is aimed at. If I had kids, I would let them play this, but not games like GTA, but other than that, I see no reason to play this game.
The Simpson Hit and Run is by far the best Simpson game
The game has over 50 driving and on-foot missions that are done in 7 huge levels spread out over the familiar Springfield landmarks from the Television show. There are mission like collecting possessions for people, racing etc. For me missions took between 5 and 15 minutes to complete and im a hardcore gamer. Each of the 7 levels has one of the Simpsons family as the player each level matches their personality and I think Bart is the most funniest because he has alot of jokes and mischievousness missions. I think Lisa's level can be a bit frustrating because she is such a goody goody just like the show she bores me because her missions are boring and very easy.
You are able to explore Springfield on foot as Homer, Bart, Apu, Marge, and Lisa and enter into interiors of locations like the Kwik-e-mart, the Power Plant, and even the Simpsons home. I think they have done a good job of getting the same feel as the Television program. The game is voiced by the Simpsons cast which makes it all that more authentic as a game for the show.
You are able to drive as drive as 17 different characters including Cletus, Comic Book Guy, and Principal Skinner. The fun thing about driving you can drive at you own pace and have as much fun by driving on grass, pavements, ramps etc. If you cause too much havoc the police will arrest you. This is fun but can be bad when your in the middle of a race mission as it slows you down.
There are many vehicles from the show that can be brought with coins that you collect from damaging things which makes is good for Simpsons fans as well as regular gamers.
In-game animated gags and hidden jokes throughout the environments give the genuine feel of being in an episode of The Simpsons. This element for me maximises the fact that is The Simpsons I love the Simpsons and the gags are much like the show Barts level is where you find the funny ones.
Multiplayer mode for up-to 4 players in unlockable driving challenges. You will need more than one controller to play this mode.
One thing that makes it good for everybody is it has many game elements that I love and other people love such as collecting items, buying items, and completing missions, this makes the game longer to complete so its takes longer to get bored of.
I think this game is really fun it also tells a story throughout which makes it like a little Simpsons movie where your in control of what's happening. Your the one saving the day is something that I really like about this game.
People that love Adventure games with lots of mission will enjoy this game as much as I do. You can get this game for next to nothing on Amazon or eBay.
I have played the other Simpsons games, such as the Simpsons Movie on the PS2 platform, but none of them have been as good as Hit and Run. I bought it a while back at the full price of £30, but now it has definitely decreased as PS2 games have lost a lot of market and I've seen it in game for around £5 preowned.
While other games based upon television shows and movie tend to be a downfall in the game department, this proved to be great and enjoyable. It doesn't follow a previous Simpsons episode, and they have created a whole new plotline for Simpsons fans to follow! The game is rated 7 plus, and this is due to the fact that throughout most of the game violent things can occur like running people over. It can be quite difficult to complete some of the tasks, so I would rate this as more of a 12 game.
The plotline centers around the new soda drink Buzz Cola that has been appearing throughout the town and following its arrival into Springfield, there have been black vans carrying cameras whizzing around the town. With the help of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Apu you have to do various missions throughout the game and see what's really going on and try your best to stop it.
It has basically been developed as The Simpsons version of Grand Theft Auto, except not as difficult. You tend to just drive around the town, with the ability to pick up random missions or following the storyline missions given to you. Usually the missions revolve around driving round the town picking up objects as you go along, avoiding being hit by cars or getting as far away from another car as possible. Some can be quite difficult and take a while to complete, but a nice thing in this game, is that after a while they will give you the option to skip a mission and move on to the next one.
One thing when playing this game is to make sure you avoid any of the citizens of Springfield, as if you hit them, your Hit and Run meter will increase and if it turns into a full 360 circle, you'll start to get chased by the police. During missions I actually found it quite hard to keep a low Hit and Run meter, as with such short time limits you find yourself rushing past whatever you can just to get items or away from someone.
If the police catch you during this Hit and Run, you'll face a fine, which is 50 coins and can be annoying if you have just started a mission which requires you to buy something!
Scattered around the game, and when you hit obstacles or win a race, are coins that you need to collect to buy vehicles or costumes. It's handy to get as many of these as you can as if you don't have enough to bu particular things for particular missions, it can be really frustrating trying to gather enough to complete all the missions. Collecting all the vehicles and clothes options can take ages, but there is nothing more satisfying than knowing you have got every bit of a game! There is also set amounts of Collectors Cards to find, which if you want to waste some time, you can wander around and look for all of them as it will unlock a race for you to play on each level. Collecting all of these took me quite a while which was great as it gave me much more gameplay than I expected.
As mentioned above you can buy vehicles with the money that you gain from the game, and as The Simpsons Hit and Run missions mainly focus around driving everywhere it's no suprise that there is a large variety of cars. Each character has their own car for each level, and as you increase in the story and unlock new characters, their cars are unlocked with you. Homer has the sedan and Mr Plow, Marge has her Canyonero, Bart a rocketstyle car and Lisa a Malibu Stacy dream car. All of the cars set to the characters really match the personalities of them, the most famous obviously being Homer's as it is shown in the opening scene of every Simpsons episode!
Each vehicle has different stats, and you have to make sure you choose wisely when competing in races or doing particular missions, as ones that are heavier will be able to do more damage whereas faster ones will have you beating all of the opponents in a race. However, the vehicles do face some problems as if you find yourself crashing into things repeatedly, your vehicle will start to fall apart and eventually explode, losing you some of your hard earned coins. However, it's easy to repair them as their are spanners everywhere in the game and if they are totally destroyed, for a small fee you can repair them at the telephone stations that are everywhere.
All the controls used are really simple, as when guiding a character all you really have to do is press the the contol pad to make them jump or run and when you are controlling the car, all you do is use the analog stick to guide it down the streets. There is also the helpful option of pressing a button on the controller if you get stuck, and this releases the car and sets you in the right direction.
The graphics do resemble the well drawn cartoony style of the Simpsons, and all the characters look as they are in their television show. They are extremely well done for PS2 graphics, as they are really bright colourful and detailed extremely well. I've never had a glitch while owning this game, so it's clear the developers spent a lot of time working on it. My favourite part is that now you can actually explore Springfield in 3D and look at the town as it has been imagined on the television show!
These excellent graphics are well combined with the sounds in the game, as whenever you break down an object, it makes the sound that corresponds with this. The best part about the sounds however, has to the characters catchphrases, with each saying a variety of them throughout their level e.g. my favourite of Homers being "I'm A Lean Mean Speed Thingy"
Overall, this is a great game that any fan of the Simpsons or Grand Theft Auto would enjoy, as it has many aspects from the television show and game. It manages to combine humour, an interesting plot with great graphics and sound to make gameplay really fun. It's great for most levels of gamers as it does get more challenging, and less experienced gamers may find it fun to simply wander around and do the missions at their leisure. It's reasonably priced right now and one of the best PS2 games out there.
The Simpsons games franchise marked the pinnacle of the Simpsons brand as a whole, when everything was covered in Bart and Homer. This was the culmination of the video game branch of this merchandising, and in fairness, wasn't a bad game.
--- Summary ---
The plot consists of you driving around Springfield trying to solve the unravelling mystery that is emerging - something is going on involving Buzz Cola, Aliens and memory loss. The game has a large number of cars that you can drive, as well as several characters you can play as - Bart, Homer, Lisa, Marge and Apu. You can travel on foot, or by highjacking a car. The game follows loosely on some of the ideas developed in Grand Theft Auto, except toned down in terms of violence, chaos, drug use, prostitution and the like.
--- Review ---
This is a great game - it has much of the comedy which the Simpsons is renowned for, helped on by the use of the original voice overs. This makes it hugely enjoyable to play. The missions are fairly well varied, and the ability to unlock new cars and the strong storyline make you want to continue to play on to see if you can finish it. What's more, there is plenty to do in free mode, such as collecting Itchy and Scratchy cards, or simply seeing all the places you've seen on the TV show. The map is huge, with plenty of nice little hidden parts. There are cheats available which can add some funny options. The game has a few glitches, but they don't effect on anything. It is at a relatively good difficulty, meaning that it gives you significant play time. It can get a little repetitive over time, however, but that is one of the few criticisms I can think of.
--- Summary ---
A great laugh of a game, which doesn't take itself too seriously, but provides a lot of fun.
When this game first came out I thought it was the best game out! I loved the whole concept and the way you could just free room and talk to different characters which you had seen in the episodes was just fantastic. I would play this with my dad over and over again day after day,week after week and month after month!
The main point that I love about this game is that you don't just need to do the missions you are allowed to just go and free roam. Completing various side missions and street races organized by some off your favorite Simpson's characters this really gives the game a unique feel.
One thing that I really didn't like about this game was the simplicity. It is a 7+ game but once you get into it it could be completed by a 4 year old. This though is just a minor flaw in what is a very good game otherwise.
I have completed this game numerous times and each time I have enjoyed it, even though I have played all the missions it's still very good for the price off it.
Overall I would recommend this game to any simpsons or even non-simpsons fan as it is also a very good stand alone game even without watching any previous simpsons episodes or playing any off the other simpsons franchise games.
As most gamers are well aware, many video games that are based off of movies or TV shows turn out to be pretty big flops. Just take a look at Spiderman video games. Don't see them winning too many awards do ya? However, being a very big fan of The Simpsons, I decided I was pretty much obligated to purchase this game. I really didn't know what to expect before I started playing. If you check out the back of the package you will see a lot of driving stuff. So I was sort of expecting this to be a game that involved a lot of driving. Though much driving is involved, however, there is actually a distinct amount of platforming gameplay that makes up a lot of this game. What's even more shocking is the fact that the platforming gameplay isn't half bad!
The game starts out with a rather long tutorial level where the player steps into the shoes of the infamous Homer Simpson. Basically the tutorial level has you following a bunch of different errands that get you familiar with the controls (although you play as every Simpson, the controls are the same for each of them). So expect a lot of annoying grinding stuff at the beginning of the game. However, after the initial tutorial is through with, you will find that you have a lot of freedom in this game. You are not obligated to go do a mission the second after you just finished one.
Really what I like about this game is the amount of extra things you can do in each "campaign" of each character. Each character is set in a different part of town. For example, Homer begins in front of the Simpsons house, while Bart begins in downtown Springfield. Each of these locations has tons of different things for you to explore. There are side quests. There are flying bee cameras to go punch. There are gags to find. There are cards to collect. And there are coins to acquire. The coins allow you to purchase different things, some for that character exclusively and some for any character. Like for Homer you can buy the "skin" for him so that Homer is now walking around in his underwear. Or you could buy a car, which all characters can drive at any point after purchasing.
As far as gameplay goes, this game is pretty decent. The controls and camera can be a bit jerky at times so that's frustrating, but for the most part this game will entertain you. There is a good mix of platforming and driving, it really is like 50-50. The platforming missions are generally pretty simple and just involve your character making a couple of jumps or maybe punching a couple of things. Still though, I was impressed by some of them. The driving missions are all rather creative and are crazy fun. In a way it's a lot like Simpsons GTA. So would I recommend this game? I suppose. It's got a couple of flaws and it's not like it's the most creative game in the world, so you're never going to see it winning any awards. But if you want to just come home from a long day of work and do something entertaining, smashing through light posts in the Mr. Plow truck can be a lot of fun.
The Simpsons Hit & Run game is fairly straight forward. It starts with some mysterious bee like creatures attacking the whole of Springfield. Also every you go you will see some strange black cars and vans parked everywhere! Also there is a thing called a 'cola' which is controlling the mind of all the citizens in Springfield. Can Homer, Bart, Marge, Lisa and Apu save the day?
Bart gets kidnapped by a beam of light, there after his sister, Lisa goes on a hunt to find who took Bart. There are seven levels in the game, and several missions in each one. Bart and Homer being the main characters get two missions to themselves, Lisa, Apu and Marge only have one each. Each character has their own technique and ability. Some missions involve you to race some people, deliver goods from one place to another, and usually just beating up the bad guys.
You may know that this game is a remake from the GTA game. Infact there is hardly any difference shown. Most of the missions are an exact clone of the GTA version, which is not at all good. A slight difference would be good enough, but not even that. Where you go in the left corner of the screen there is a little radar which shows a triangle to show where you are, which is exactly what it is like on the GTA games.
You can currently buy the game at play.com for £9.00 brand new, which is a real bargain. It is a great loved game, young or old. I give it 4 Star.
Simpsons Hit and Run for the PS2 is a quite average game. You play the game as different characters through out, including Bart, Lisa, Marge and Homer, you complete different challenges to unlock new cars, get rewards or it may just be in the interest if the character in line with the story to complete the missions. You also come across other characters when completing missions like Doctor Nick, Mr Burns, Smithers and many others.
The graphics in this game are very bright and cartoony, they are much a like the Simpsons cartoon graphics, they are much more square though which leaves the characters looking a bit different to the cartoon, the graphics arent very impressive, though they do not ruin the game either.
I bought this game over a year ago for around £15, however I am very sure that you could get it much more cheaper at the moment, especially if you buy it pre owned or on the internet.
The missions in this game get really repetitive and boring after a few games, they do get harder, however the general layout for a mission gets very sameish. I cant really play this game for a long period of time because of this.
The game has a real Grand Theift Auto feel to it, and has a lot of basic similarities, apart from ofcouse the charaters are from the Simpsons and the game is set in Springfield. Like in the game if you hit too many people or objects, the police come chase you and if you are caught you lose.
There is a series of cards and coins to also collect around the map in this game, you can also collect clothes and other items throughout the game which can make it more enjoyable and harder to complete 100% which is good for people who like a challenge.
Overall I think that this is a quite repetitive game, so it cant really entertain for over an hour without boring me, though it may interest Grand Theift Auto and Simpsons fans, as it has that kind of theme.
***Also posted on ciao.uk under lorrainek90***
This is a review on the Playstation 2 game called The Simpsons Hit and Run. It is the first Simpsons game to be in the style of a Grand Theft Auto game. Not too sure who the Simpsons are? Then you are either a person who does not watch TV much, or very young or just dont have a TV. The Simpsons is a TV series, starring the likes of Homer, and Bart, and the Comic Book Guy. The Simpsons live in a town called Springfield in America. The Simpsons family, called The Simpsons always get into mischief or help people out, sometimes just for no reason. There are loads of other characters that are in roughly every episode, and then there are some rare characters. The rare characters are mainly famous people. The Simpsons have had loads of famous people on their show, like Red Hot Chilly Peppers, and Steven Hawkins. The creator of The Simpsons (Matt Groening) also has his parts in the games, as he instructs on what they shall say etc etc. Matt Groening has also done another TV series called Futurama, as some people might know. It is also the same comedy likes of The Simpsons yet it is set in the year 3000 (1000 years from the year 2000 as thats what the first episode is set in). Well I hope that gave you a background story on what The Simpsons are if any of you were wandering, Im sure one of you were.
The Simpsons Hit and Run has the same principals of Grand Theft Auto, do missions, and get further in the game. There are 7 different areas of Springfield where you will be able to explore. Each area has its own set of missions for you to complete. The first area you will be in is the Simpson house, and where the power plant is, and you will be playing as Homer. You will have to do a series of missions, like beat Principal Skinner to the school because Lisa forgot her Science project, and other things like damage Smitherss car so you can free your scorpion farm. Pretty fun really, there are other missions also that you can do like mini missions. You can do a mission for Cleatus, and help him collect these potatoes that he lost, and then if you do it, you get his car. Most of the mini missions allow you to win cars; you can do races, challenges, and mini missions. Then when you have done first area, you will go to the second, and you will be playing as Bart. Bart also has his own set of vehicles that he will be able to play around with. Also you will be able to use the cars that you already had / brought / won from the previous area which is cool. Then the area after that is Lisa, then after that is Marge, the Homer again, and then Bart again, and then you can be Apu, which is very cool. The game also has the Hit and Run, which means if you cause too much havok around the town, you will have the cops come after you for a certain amount of time, depending within that time if you do any bad stuff, like running over people, beating them up, then you will have the cops on your tail for longer.
There are other things in this game that some of you might be unaware of, like you can find coins around the town of Springfield, so you can get money, to buy vehicles and buy different sets of clothes. Each character has their own sets of clothes that you can buy that they have worn within the TV series. You can find coins either just lying around, inside vending machines, ventilation systems, and sometimes on the roofs of buildings. The more coins you get, the better, because some missions might need you to buy a certain car, like the Mr Plow mission when youre Homer for the first time, you will need to buy the Plow King vehicle off of Barney (the classic drunk), so you can run down Smithers. The games driving controls are the same as Grand Theft Auto, the streets in this game are sometimes pretty straight forward, not much like an actual town. Thats one of the disadvantages of this game, but it does have advantages, like the comedy to the game, the originality all put into the missions, its own uniqueness. This game is definitely not one to be missed.
This games environment is excellent, it is a very bright game, and there are no changes to the weather (disadvantage to the game), it is always sunny, or a bit dismal sometimes (depending on which area you are at). The game has many secret areas for you to go to, which makes the game more exciting to play. Also this game has jumping points, like if you see a Krusty the Clown (the comical clown) window, then if you drive directly at it, you will smash through it, and get a few coins, and also do a decent jump into the opposing road. You might see some other items that you can collect in this game, there are spanners hanging around at some places of the town that means that if you drive over one of them, your car will be fixed. You can also collect cards in this game, they are a rare thing to find, but they can be found. You will find them in secret areas, and behind big buildings that are pretty concealed. Collecting cards in the game does not really do anything, it just makes your final game percentage go higher if you want to try and get 100% complete, you will want to get these cards. There are 100 cards altogether to be collected; there are cards in all of the 7 areas. This game is multiplayer also, but I have not played Multiplayer of this as I dont use the Internet adapter (I just think it could be a waste of money).
This game is very playable, it is a great game to play, has all the fun in it as Grand Theft Auto games would have, and also have the comedy to it also. Very enjoyable game. The game is quite addictive, it keeps you wanting to play more, but can get boring if you are stuck on a mission, and get bored just roaming around Springfield, then it will loose its addiction to you, but if you are good at those type of games, then you will love this. The game is pretty original, it has taken a similar story to the Grand Theft Auto games in a way, but you do missions to get a new mission instead of money, you dont get to be able to roam around as much as you do on Grand Theft Auto, and the missions are completely original, which is a great thing about this game. The games graphics are very good; they look even better then the TV series animation, and have its own uniqueness to it, which is very good. The detail in the environment is really good also. The background music to the game is great, it is original, and has a ring to it, so you will like listening to it, it is not hardcore rock or anything like that, it is pretty soothing music.
There are voices in this game, and also subtitles, just encase you want it in a different language as they dont change the voice. The tutorials of this game are in English speaking with subtitles (the tutorial is done by Bart, he will tell Homer what to do and that); the tutorials are easy to get the hang of also. The sound effects in this game is good, with all the revving of the vehicle engines, and the footsteps of people walking, and the punching noises and kicking noises when you ask your character to beat someone up, very good. The game is not difficult at all at the beginning, which is very good, so you get to do a few missions without much of a challenge, which makes you like the game even more. The game does get more difficult when you go further into the game as most games do, so dont think that this game is a push over. This game is great value for money, it is not in the Playstation 2 Platinum section, which is good, so buying it brand new it will cost at the dearest of £19.99, but you will be able to get it cheaper pre-owned and also off the internet. I shall give this game 4 star * * * * as I have played better games, and yet this game is not as good as the Grand Theft Auto games, yet it is certainly one to consider purchasing.
THIS GAME IS:
A Grand Theft Auto Styled Game
Extremely Original Missions
THIS GAME IS NOT:
As Comical As The TV Series
A Good Multiplayer
Like The Other Simpsons Games
Thanks For Reading
If like me, you are completely rubbish at video games and driving games in particular, this is the game for you!
The levels are easy enough that you dont give up after 10 minutes and some are difficult enough that you feel a real sense of achievement after completing them.
Based on the hit TV cartoon series the Simpsons, you will see all your favourite characters such as Apu, Barney and Lenny, as well as the infamous Simpsons themselves.
Something very strange is going on in Springfield! Locals have noticed numerous black vans with satellite receivers and giant bee-shaped cameras lurking around town, which coincide with the release of a strange, mind-controlling drink called Buzz cola and a new video game that everyone is obsessed with. This, along with other weird happenings, alert the dysfunctional Simpson family to the fact that something is not quite right and it is up to them to discover what!
To start with you control Homer Simpson, beer swilling layabout patriarch of the Simpson family. You are given various missions to complete to bring you ever closer to uncovering the mystery of the surveillance cameras and who is behind them.
The game begins with a tutorial level where you are given a basic task to complete, enabling you to get a feel for the controls and what the character can do before taking on the real missions. You can enable or disable the voice over tutorial (the voice of Bart Simpson giving you an overview of what you need to do and how to do it). For the first time you play I would have it on then after that it isnt really important. The game itself reminds you of some of the controls (ie when you stand near a vehicle for a few seconds a green triangle flashes up indicating you press this button to enter the vehicle). Another useful tip is the arrows on the road showing which way you are meant to be driving if you dont already know the layout of Springfield.
Although this is mainly a driving game, there are many instances where you will be required to leave your current vehicle and proceed on foot.
This is kind of essential to be honest as if you crash your car too many times, it will be wrecked and you will be chucked out on to the street to walk! This is not a terrible thing however, as one of the great things about the game is it is totally interactive. If some other hapless driver has stopped at traffic lights or been forced to stop by your car crash, you simply walk up to it and steal their car! In the words of Mr Burns Excellent! Alternatively, you can go to one of the many phone boxes dotted about and call for your car to be repaired if you have enough funds.
Anyway back to the game. You are given your mission which may involve something directly connected to the plot, such as following one of the surveillance vans on a mad cap car chase, or something more generally Simpson-ish such as going to the Kwik-E-Mart to buy supplies for Marge.
Along the way you encounter many of the popular characters who give you help on your missions or provide you with sub-games, which we will come to next.
The main aim of the game is to uncover the mystery of the cameras but the game has many sub-games and plots.
As you drive around Springfield in Homers pink Cadillac, you will notice various floating symbols like dice or racing flags, which indicate a sub-game. These can take the form of a time trial where you have to drive a certain route within a specified time, or completing a task such as harvesting a field full of tomacoes (tomatoes crossed with tobacco for those non-Simpson fans).
As rewards you can earn money or access better vehicles which are faster and can take more damage. With your money (which can also be obtained by collecting the gold coins littered about the place) you can also buy and repair vehicles and purchase outfits for Homer at the Kwik-E-Mart.
Some missions also require you to control other Simpsons characters which makes for a nice change, even though these are restricted to Marge, Lisa, Bart and Apu.
As I have said, the game is fully interactive so you can choose to ignore all the missions if you like (though this will restrict access to certain vehicles and scenarios) and wander aimlessly through Springfield causing havoc. You can run over people with your car (running over mail boxes and hydrants earns you money) and beat people up when on foot. If you run over too many people though youd better be quick as Springfields finest will be after you with sirens blazing and youll get a fine!
All of the buildings you enter will have little gizmos you can tinker with just for fun, such as the fire alarm at the school or BBQ in one of the gardens. All through the game you are also entertained by Homers little quips.
This is a great, fun game which doesnt take itself too seriously. I have heard it is basically a light-hearted version of Grand Theft Auto, which I dont think is a bad thing as GTA is a very popular and successful game. It is not one that I have played myself, but my dad, brother, boyfriend etc all seem to love it.
The controls are very easy to grasp and the game itself is fairly simple, except for me when it involves racing someone in a car as I am the most rubbish video game driver EVER.
Although not essential, I would definitely say you need a memory card for this as once you have switched the machine off you dont want to have to go back to the beginning to complete all the missions all over again.
Experienced gamers would probably complete this game very quickly but for those like me who have 2 left thumbs when it comes to video games, this is perfect! If you find the missions too hard just say to Hell with it and go and have some fun.
Some parents may object to their children playing this due to the gratuitous violence throughout much of it, but Im sure those parents wouldnt let their children watch the Simpsons anyway and the game is aimed at children aged 7+ rather than 3+ as many of these cartoony games are.
All in all, I would say this is a great game for those less confident players so give it a go
I think it is fair to say that previous computer and console games carrying the Simpsons name have been something of a let down. The Simpsons Wrestling was little more than tedious rounds of punching, kicking and hoping, while The Simpsons Road Rage was a display of inept graphics and gameplay at there very worst. No doubt like many others I held my breath when I heard that a new game in The Simpsons stable was coming out called The Simpsons Hit & Run. But what was I worrying about? At last the people who licence The Simpsons brand name had got it right and finally put the name to a decent, funny and playable game. A game of such immense enjoyment it will surely go down as one of the classic console games of recent years.
So what is the game all about then?
Well, in its crudest form it is a sort of Grand Theft Auto for cartoon fans. Taking turns as Homer, Bart, Lisa, Marge and Apu it is the players quest to work out the riddle of the black vans, dark sedans and spy cameras that have started popping up throughout Springfield. Is it all linked to the new cola drink on the block, the imaginatively named Buzz Cola? Something is afoot thats for sure and through a clever succession of car chases and tasks in which you help the other members of Springfield in return for clues or the use of their cars the mystery is slowly revealed. Along the way you must avoid too many hit and run accidents on the poor innocents that happen across your path as you drive like a maniac, and should you hit too many of these people Chief Wiggum will be sure to chase you and try to fine you for your misdemeanours. Throughout the game there are also Collectors cards to find that unlock a bonus race on each level, as well as money which is needed to buy vehicles or clothing which is sometimes required for specific tasks.
Homer Level 1
The player starts off as Homer on the first level which is a mix of tutorials and fairly simple tasks to let the player get a feel for the game and the controls needed to play it. In this level Homer has to drive to the kwik-E-Mart to collect ice cream and Cola as well as race Principle Skinner to Springfield elementary to give Lisa her forgotten science project. After that a quick mission to find Ned Flanders borrowed household items is followed by a race in which Homer must destroy Mr Smithers car before he can reach the power plant and carry out Homers evaluation. Once done Homer has little time to rest on his laurels as he must destroy the spy cameras at the power plant to stop them spying on him and then follow the suspicious black vans that are driving around Springfield to see where they are coming from. Finally a destructive mission to get rid of all the copies of a new video game called Bonestorm 2 needs to be carried out by ramming the delivery van and collecting the copies that fall off the back, and then a race with Mr Smithers yet again as you try to reach Mr Burns to confront him about the spy cameras. Most of these tasks and races must be carried out against the clock with failure to complete them resulting in the option to try again or move on. Providing all of these tasks are completed successfully and the collectors cards are located then a bonus game in which you must help Cletus the slack jawed yokel harvest his tomato crop is unlocked. There are also four races that can be entered at the players discretion three of the races are for a piece of equipment called the electaurus while the fourth is for a financial prize, but it does cost to enter so be sure you have half a chance of winning or it is money down the drain. Once all of these tasks are completed the player progresses to level two, where the guise of Bart is taken.
Bart Level 2
Of course this being level two the game moves up a gear in the complexity stakes. Being the rascal he is Bart must avoid Principle Skinner at all costs in a road race. Providing this is done successfully Bart must then drive around Springfield talking to various people and collecting illegal fireworks before taking the comic book guy to the Java centre to complain before another nerd can do it first. A quick race with the master criminal that is Snake is followed by and interesting drive in which you must collect road-kill for the Krusty burger franchise before Apu gets his hands on it. No time to rest and admire your handiwork however as you must help Dr Nick round up his monkeys and then crash into and destroy any cars that are using cell phones so that Professor Frinks Truckosaurus can work unhindered. The bonus mission on this level is to get some blood for Grandpa Simpson as he has given his away, should you complete it the reward is the use of Grandpa Simpsons World War II jeep. Again there are four street races as well in which you can win money or a sedan if completed successfully.
Lisa Level 3
At the end of level two Bart is mysteriously abducted by forces unknown, and it falls to Lisa to try and find her brother. A nerd race to get an Itchy & Scratchy comic is quickly followed by a series of discussions and missions featuring Barts` best friend Milhouse. Some more road-kill collecting is followed by the acquisition of the school bus to ram three dark mysterious looking sedans, the drivers of which just might know where Bart is. Some stealthy criminal chasing on behalf of the inept Chief Wiggum is followed by the surreal task of collecting fish that are positioned around the nearby streets. Finally, with all these tasks completed the sea captain tells you that he saw Bart in a black stretch limousine which is just speeding away from the harbour. Chasing and crashing into the limo repeatedly until it is rendered useless concludes the level and releases Bart form his captors. This levels bonus mission involves helping Principle Skinner run errands in return for a sedan while the four races reward the winning participant with a book burning van or some money.
Marge Level 4
Onto level four and the game is getting very hard by now; Firstly Marge must get some doughnuts for Chief Wiggum before chasing and talking to Cletus the slack jawed yokel. Before he helps you Cletus asks you to help him pick up sachets of tomato ketchup scattered around the neighbourhood, once done he tells you to talk to grandpa who needs his medication rescued from those damn thieving wolves! Sensing that she must take the law into her own hands Marge dons her police officer outfit and runs around collecting coke tins against the clock. Sadly for Marge and the inhabitants of Springfield there are plenty more shipments of Buzz cola on route so with the use of the Canyonaro four wheel drive vehicle three cola delivery trucks in different parts of the town must be rammed and destroyed. Providing you can complete all these tasks and collect the relevant collectors card the bonus game involves getting back the comic store guys love gifts that are being intercepted by Principle Skinner. Also dotted about the streets are the four races (usually accessed by talking to a character with a chequered flag above his/her head) in which money and a clown car are the prizes.
Apu Level 5
Level five sees matters take a turn for the weird as you leave the immediate members of the Simpsons` to take a turn as Apu. Apu needs to pick up stray cola crates that fall from the delivery truck, a difficult task made all the worse by the fact that the threat of being turned into a sea cucumber hangs on the success or failure of the mission. After a race to pick up his octuplets another task sees our intrepid Hindu hero trying to knock diapers from another truck. After some doughnut collecting and helping Snake pick up litter as part of his community work Apu has to rob a security van with the criminal and then go to the museum to find important info on the Cola business. The bonus mission in level five involves tracking down and destroying Professor Frink`s hover machine with the reward of your very own hover car to do with as you wish. Four more street races offer yet more cash or another car.
Levels 6 & 7
Levels 6 & 7 are incredibly hard and see the player again taking on the roles of first Bart and then Homer. More time trials and tasks need to be completed for progression in the game with escapades such as picking up and delivering school children safely in the school bus, ramming and destroying Duff beer delivery vans and tracking down nuclear waste to dispose of aliens! Bonus games give the use of Mr Burns Limo and a race car if successfully completed.
As The Simpsons` Hit & Run is a car based game it is little surprise that the various vehicles take a key role in all of the levels. In all there are forty-two vehicles to buy, win or simply borrow and they should be chosen carefully. On some tasks the player has to buy a certain type of vehicle in order to complete the task successfully. Also if the player wants to enter a race it is advisable to borrow a fast car that stands half a chance of winning when was the last time you saw a tractor like grounds keeper willies or a school bus borrowed from Otto win a speed trial? Each character in their level also has specific vehicles pertinent to them; Marge gets to cruise the streets in her Canyonero while Lisa can shoot from task to task in her nippy Malibu Stacey sports car. As in real life these vehicles are not indestructible, repeated ramming or crashing into other road users or buildings will damage the vehicle until eventually it will blow up having thrown the character clear. A damaged but still functioning vehicle can be repaired by driving into the rotating spanners that are dotted hither and dither while a blown up vehicle can be fixed by going to a phone box and paying for a fix up.
Of course all these vehicles cost money to buy or repair which is where the money comes into play. There are numerous coins rotating on the streets and buildings and it is a simple matter of driving through them or walking up to them to claim them as your own. Additional money can be made in races although it also costs to enter them so be sure you have a realistic chance of winning. It is also possible to collect money simply by driving into inanimate objects and destroying them phone boxes, vending machines, traffic signs and lampposts are just four of the items that can be hit for financial gain, just be careful not to damage your vehicle too much with an overindulgence in fiscal vandalism. Finally, too much running over and maiming of the innocent residents of Springfield will result in your hit and run meter reaching red when this happens the police will chase you with a view to fining you for your careless driving, so drive carefully - or fast, either will do.
Graphics wise this game really shines, with nice crisp colours and edges complimenting each other perfectly. It is a little strange to see the people and places of Springfield depicted in 3D rather than the flat 2D of the TV show but once you get used to it it offers an amazing look and feel. When racing at high speed the scenery and buildings scroll faultlessly and the constantly moving sun provides shade in all of the places it should. The vehicles are detailed enough without being overdone and obstacles remain solid if they have to be. One slight niggle would be that the game is dark in colour as a whole but not to such an extent as to detract from the overall enjoyment. All in all the graphics depict the cartoon ancestry of the game to perfection.
Again this is an area where the game really comes to life with the actors that voice the characters on TV also providing the voices for the game. Some of the sayings that erupt in the heat of a chase are priceless with my favourites coming from Bart - Ow, my ovaries and Homer - Im a lean, mean, speed thingy. Music is fast paced and jaunty during a race / task and more sedate during spells of calm. The vehicle engines sound as they should and the wheels screech when corning too excitedly. Pedestrians can be heard moaning and shouting as they go beneath your wheels while driving into a lamp post or traffic sign sounds as it should.
Gameplay & Longevity
The game is immensely playable with fun on so many levels. If you enjoy racing games this has all that you could want with a multitude of vehicles and a plethora of streets to practice your art. The game also has a touch of The Sims about it as you carry out tasks for the betterment of the Simpson family. For those who like a more sedate game you can simply cruise the streets of Springfield either by car or on foot and familiarise yourself with the surroundings at your leisure. Money is scattered all about the game to be collected while the infamous Bee cameras are always looking to sting and take back some cash. The gags are plentiful and delivered with trade mark Simpsons aplomb while the many hidden collectors cards and races will keep the player busy for many hours. The controls are simplicity itself with the left control stick used for direction and the four  O X ^ buttons used to walk/accelerate, jump/brake, get into and out of a vehicle and kick/pull the handbrake depending on whether you are on foot or on a vehicle. The levels get harder as they progress with me personally struggling on level four at the time of writing.
Is the game child friendly?
Those nice people at www.pegi.info have categorised The Simpsons Hit & Run as suitable for those aged 7+ with the warning that it does contain some violence and I think that is just about right. It does contain cartoon style violence and the idea of the game is sometimes to run people off the road and to pick up cash for hitting objects in your vehicle but there is no gratuitous blood letting or bad language involved. Of course those that have bought the game for a child should sit with them when they first play the game just to ensure they are happy with the content and theme therein.
A cracking game that will give many hours of entertainment for young and old alike. The idea is hardly new with games like Grand theft Auto and Midtown Madness similar is style but this version is very much seen and written with a sense of humour. The game is crisp, fresh and a good introduction to the world of gaming for those who are still thinking of buying a console. It can very occasionally seem repetitive but the diversity of the vehicles, characters and gags mean there is always something new to experience. The Simpsons Hit & Run has recently been released as part of the budget Platinum collection which means you can pick up a copy for £11.97 on Amazon.co.uk a good price Im sure you will agree! Four stars out of five then from me with the recommendation that if you like the Simpsons on TV you will love The Simpsons on the PS2.
Grand Theft Auto for kids!
This game is similar in ways to the Grand Theft Auto games without the guns an violence.
There are seven levels in the game and seven Missions to complete in each level as well as bonus missions, street races collectables and things to smash!
You start off with one car connected with each character eg The pink Family Sedan for Homer and the Canyanero for Marge but all vechicles you aquire throughout the game remain availale to you in all levels even if you go back to previous levels (This is helpfull in some races that require faster cars)
As well as the car you start with there are four others to collect which either need to be bought or earned. One car is Earned by winning all three Street races the other by completing a Bonus Mission, for example, in Level one you help Cleetus the Yokel collect cardboard tubes and harvest the 'Tommaco' plants to get his Pick up truck.
There are Seven Cards to collect around each Level once you have all seven you unlock a track in the bonus game and once you have colected all 49 you unlock a Bonus Itchy and Scratchy Movie
There are also 20 Wasp cameras to destroy on each level which will give you coins you can also earn coins by smashing crates vending machines and other objects
Use these coins to buy Vehicles and character clothes
And watch out for items with sparkles around them the are 'Gags' the work in various funny ways
Play as Homer, Bart, Lisa, Marge and Apu and interact with many more of The Simpsons characters and locations such as Principal Skinner, Comic Book guy and Professer Frink. With the voice talents of the Simpsons Cast this is a great game for the whole family.
The basis of the game is that Springfield is being spied on by secret cameras and vans and there is an evil Cola drink contolling the minds of the town! Your mission is to dicover who is making and distributing the drink. With a wide array of vehicles to help you on your way including Homers Mr Plow truck Barneys Plow King and Lisa's Malibu Stacey Car there is lots to do and discover
One disadvantage is that there is no map facility but there is a radar and arrows on the road to assist your direction in each Mission
I think this game is great for kids as the characters are known to most kids and they just love to see the mayhem they can cause when driving around Springfield