The Simpsons Wrestling

a game by Activision
Platforms: Playstation, PSX
Editor Rating: 6.2/10, based on 3 reviews
User Rating: 7.3/10 - 3 votes
Rate this game:
See also: The Simpsons Games

The title says it all. This winter release from Fox pits a variety of characters from The Simpsons against each other in the squared circle. Hey, why not? Put Homer up against Flanders against Lisa. Bart against Scratchy. The list goes on and on. It features over 20 characters (13 playable from the beginning, with plenty more to open up) and a variety of arenas inspired by the show, including the Nuclear Plant, Moe's Tavern and others.

It also has a variety of wrestling moves, and hilarious character-specific specials (like Barney's Duff Cloud Burp). The 240 lines of verbal taunts is the game's most winning feature though--it guarantees lots of laughs during play. It was a little rough around the edges at E3, but as big Simpsons fans we'll hope for the best.

Download The Simpsons Wrestling

Playstation

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

PSX

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

Game Reviews

Overview

Aliens from another planet have challenged Springfield to a wrestling match! As unbelievable as it sounds, it is not another story from I. P. Freely or one of his friends. It’s assumed that the aliens spied upon Jebediah Springfield years ago when he wrestled that bear but because their planet is light years away they haven’t been able to get here until now to present the challenge. Now it’s up to the townspeople to find someone that can wrestle like Jebediah to take that challenge.

The Simpsons Wrestling is really nothing like a traditional wrestling match other than the 3-count pin to finish the round. Like other aspects of The Simpsons, this game is totally wacky and promises to be a lot of fun for fans of TV show. Join up with the whole Simpson family as well as other characters to duke, rake, Chihuahua, Skateboard, Belch, and Squishee it out to see who will take on Kang and Kodos and save Springfield.

Gameplay, Controls, Interface

Simply put, this is a fighting game with simple controls that will make your fingers very tired. Although it is called The Simpsons Wrestling, it’s not really too much like wrestling at all since it seems any sort of objects are legally allowed in the ring and anything goes. For instance, Groundskeeper Willie will use his rake to "garden" you up whereas Bart can ride his skateboard and Mr. Burns will even throw in some explosive radioactive material while Smithers takes you on. Although each character has different and unique attacks, they are all controlled pretty much the same and seem to have the same amount of toughness (I guess it would be a bit too easy for Bumblebee Man to take on Lisa otherwise, don’tcha think?).

When you start the game, you have Homer, Marge (with Maggie), Bart, Lisa, Groundskeeper Willie, Apu, Krusty the Clown, and Barney to choose from. Each character can jump and has three main attacks: low, medium, and high power. You have an energy bar that determines which attacks you can execute and as you attack more the bar will deplete. You can also grapple your opponent and use one of the attack buttons to do a different style attack and bouncing against the ropes and hitting a button at the right time will execute a third set of attacks. There really are no actual combos aside from one that will knock over your opponent with four quick low power attacks in a row. In addition, you will receive one letter in the word "Taunt" which shows up by your energy and health bars. When "Taunt" is full you can execute a taunt which makes you invincible for a short amount of time. There are power-ups that appear in the ring from time to time that can restore partial or a big chunk of energy or health or give you a "Taunt" letter or speed you up. Each match consists of three rounds (this can be set in the options menu for more or fewer, though). The best of the three wins the match. Like normal wrestling matches, the round is won when you pin and hold your opponent for a count of three. Since there are no referees the character him/herself will do the count.

Like the gameplay, the controls are also fairly simple. There are three attack buttons (one for each attack), a jump button, grapple button, and pin button. There aren’t any button combinations aside from jumping and using an attack button and no secret special moves to figure out, which really makes this game quite accessible to beginner players as well as the more seasoned wrestler. The controls are reasonably responsive and easy to manipulate which is a huge plus in my book as so many of these types of games require super fast reflexes and well timed button presses to pull off particular moves.

Don’t get me wrong, though -- just because the controls are fairly simple for this style of game, it doesn’t mean the game is easy. There are three difficulty levels: New Challenger, Defender, and Champion Circuits. The Defender Circuit is locked out until you defeat the Challenger one. Likewise the Champion will be unlocked after defeating the Defender Circuit. The differences between these can more or less be rated as easy, medium, and hard by an average gamer’s standards. As you work your way through these circuits you will fight and unlock some hidden characters such as Bumblebee Man or Moe who can be used in later matches.

Although the game supports the vibration function if you have a Dual Shock controller, it is off by default and when I turned it on, I rarely felt anything at all which was disappointing. In fact, I even went back to the in-game options and main menu options a couple times to confirm if it was on at all. There is an interesting feature related to this, however, which is that you can turn the vibration on, off, or on for only player one or on for only player two. The other options include setting the number of rounds, loading up unlocked features, checking out the credits and adjusting the game’s various volumes for effects, voices, and music.

Please note that due to the characters available and the nature of this game, there are some potential matches that may seem to promote domestic violence (Homer vs. Marge for example).

Multiplayer

The Simpsons Wrestling has two-player support as long as you have a second controller. It will not allow you to even set up a two-player game unless the controller is attached.

Graphics

This game looks very true to form for a Simpsons title -- it is very cartoon-like in nature and the graphics reflect this. The characters themselves are fairly large at all times and are rendered with great detail (which may be a little too much to ask when looking at Groundskeeper Willie without his shirt on!!). One of the big plusses about the characters is that they do not look very blocky or polygon-like at all. The animation is nice and smooth. As you move around in the ring the camera will follow in a strafing fashion and will zoom in or out as necessary to keep you both on screen at all times.

There are several different rings and backgrounds that you can fight in, from Evergreen Terrace to Moe’s to the nuclear power plant to the Kwik-E-Mart and several others. Unfortunately you don’t always get to see the background as the camera is focused more on the action in the ring, but when you do you will see well done renderings of various parts of Springfield. The characters standing in the background are more two-dimensional than those wrestling.

Audio

This is one of the best parts of The Simpsons Wrestling. The sound effects are pretty average for a PlayStation game. Some of the music sounds just like that from the TV show (and probably is taken straight from it, to boot). It’s the voices that are king in this department, though. All of the voices in the game are from the original voice talents on the TV show, which is a huge plus in my book. Nothing is worse than getting a game based on some of your favorite cartoon characters and having the voices sound nothing like the TV show. Each wrestler has his or her own phrases and taunts and some are even tailored to their opponent. In addition, some of the characters in the background will say something now and then as you get somewhat close to them.

Documentation

Standard issue stuff here, you may want to take a look over it to get the gist of the controls and get an explanation of the various power-ups. This is also the only place where you’ll find the story behind the game.

Originality / Cool Features

I don’t know that I can say that The Simpsons Wrestling is so much original because if you strip out all the great graphics and sounds all you have a simple fighting game with no timer. Fortunately since the great graphics and sounds ARE there, you do have a fairly original theme slapped on a genre of games that has countless clones. Like many other fighting games, each player has his or her own pseudo-special moves but I liked the general simplicity of the controls and that you don’t need to execute some difficult controller combination to execute a cool looking maneuver.

Bottom Line

Overall I found this to be a fun game. If you are a fan of The Simpsons and of fighting or wrestling games then you’ll very likely want to check this out. There’s a good chance that people who don’t like fighting games much but that DO like The Simpsons may find some enjoyment with this game too if for nothing else than the funny taunts and such. Just don’t touch it at all if you can’t stand The Simpsons (but if that’s the case, why are you still reading this anyway?). It’s fairly simplistic controls and great artwork, sounds, comments, taunts, and varied attacks between characters contributed a lot to my desire to go back for more and made the game accessible to a wide variety of skill levels which is why I give this game a score of 85.

Overview

Aliens from another planet have challenged Springfield to a wrestling match! As unbelievable as it sounds, it is not another story from I. P. Freely or one of his friends. It's assumed that the aliens spied upon Jebediah Springfield years ago when he wrestled that bear but because their planet is light years away they haven't been able to get here until now to present the challenge. Now it's up to the townspeople to find someone that can wrestle like Jebediah to take that challenge.

The Simpsons Wrestling is really nothing like a traditional wrestling match other than the 3-count pin to finish the round. Like other aspects of The Simpsons, this game is totally wacky and promises to be a lot of fun for fans of TV show. Join up with the whole Simpson family as well as other characters to duke, rake, Chihuahua, Skateboard, Belch, and Squishee it out to see who will take on Kang and Kodos and save Springfield.

Gameplay, Controls, Interface

Simply put, this is a fighting game with simple controls that will make your fingers very tired. Although it is called The Simpsons Wrestling, it's not really too much like wrestling at all since it seems any sort of objects are legally allowed in the ring and anything goes. For instance, Groundskeeper Willie will use his rake to 'garden'? you up whereas Bart can ride his skateboard and Mr. Burns will even throw in some explosive radioactive material while Smithers takes you on. Although each character has different and unique attacks, they are all controlled pretty much the same and seem to have the same amount of toughness (I guess it would be a bit too easy for Bumblebee Man to take on Lisa otherwise, don'tcha think?).

When you start the game, you have Homer, Marge (with Maggie), Bart, Lisa, Groundskeeper Willie, Apu, Krusty the Clown, and Barney to choose from. Each character can jump and has three main attacks: low, medium, and high power. You have an energy bar that determines which attacks you can execute and as you attack more the bar will deplete. You can also grapple your opponent and use one of the attack buttons to do a different style attack and bouncing against the ropes and hitting a button at the right time will execute a third set of attacks. There really are no actual combos aside from one that will knock over your opponent with four quick low power attacks in a row. In addition, you will receive one letter in the word 'Taunt' which shows up by your energy and health bars. When 'Taunt'? is full you can execute a taunt which makes you invincible for a short amount of time. There are power-ups that appear in the ring from time to time that can restore partial or a big chunk of energy or health or give you a 'Taunt'? letter or speed you up. Each match consists of three rounds (this can be set in the options menu for more or fewer, though). The best of the three wins the match. Like normal wrestling matches, the round is won when you pin and hold your opponent for a count of three. Since there are no referees the character him/herself will do the count.

Like the gameplay, the controls are also fairly simple. There are three attack buttons (one for each attack), a jump button, grapple button, and pin button. There aren't any button combinations aside from jumping and using an attack button and no secret special moves to figure out, which really makes this game quite accessible to beginner players as well as the more seasoned wrestler. The controls are reasonably responsive and easy to manipulate which is a huge plus in my book as so many of these types of games require super fast reflexes and well timed button presses to pull off particular moves.

Don't get me wrong, though -- just because the controls are fairly simple for this style of game, it doesn't mean the game is easy. There are three difficulty levels: New Challenger, Defender, and Champion Circuits. The Defender Circuit is locked out until you defeat the Challenger one. Likewise the Champion will be unlocked after defeating the Defender Circuit. The differences between these can more or less be rated as easy, medium, and hard by an average gamer's standards. As you work your way through these circuits you will fight and unlock some hidden characters such as Bumblebee Man or Moe who can be used in later matches.

Although the game supports the vibration function if you have a Dual Shock controller, it is off by default and when I turned it on, I rarely felt anything at all which was disappointing. In fact, I even went back to the in-game options and main menu options a couple times to confirm if it was on at all. There is an interesting feature related to this, however, which is that you can turn the vibration on, off, or on for only player one or on for only player two. The other options include setting the number of rounds, loading up unlocked features, checking out the credits and adjusting the game's various volumes for effects, voices, and music.

Please note that due to the characters available and the nature of this game, there are some potential matches that may seem to promote domestic violence (Homer vs. Marge for example).

Multiplayer

The Simpsons Wrestling has two-player support as long as you have a second controller. It will not allow you to even set up a two-player game unless the controller is attached.

Graphics

This game looks very true to form for a Simpsons title -- it is very cartoon-like in nature and the graphics reflect this. The characters themselves are fairly large at all times and are rendered with great detail (which may be a little too much to ask when looking at Groundskeeper Willie without his shirt on!!). One of the big plusses about the characters is that they do not look very blocky or polygon-like at all. The animation is nice and smooth. As you move around in the ring the camera will follow in a strafing fashion and will zoom in or out as necessary to keep you both on screen at all times.

There are several different rings and backgrounds that you can fight in, from Evergreen Terrace to Moe's to the nuclear power plant to the Kwik-E-Mart and several others. Unfortunately you don't always get to see the background as the camera is focused more on the action in the ring, but when you do you will see well done renderings of various parts of Springfield. The characters standing in the background are more two-dimensional than those wrestling.

Audio

This is one of the best parts of The Simpsons Wrestling. The sound effects are pretty average for a PlayStation game. Some of the music sounds just like that from the TV show (and probably is taken straight from it, to boot). It's the voices that are king in this department, though. All of the voices in the game are from the original voice talents on the TV show, which is a huge plus in my book. Nothing is worse than getting a game based on some of your favorite cartoon characters and having the voices sound nothing like the TV show. Each wrestler has his or her own phrases and taunts and some are even tailored to their opponent. In addition, some of the characters in the background will say something now and then as you get somewhat close to them.

Documentation

Standard issue stuff here, you may want to take a look over it to get the gist of the controls and get an explanation of the various power-ups. This is also the only place where you'll find the story behind the game.

Originality / Cool Features

I don't know that I can say that The Simpsons Wrestling is so much original because if you strip out all the great graphics and sounds all you have a simple fighting game with no timer. Fortunately since the great graphics and sounds ARE there, you do have a fairly original theme slapped on a genre of games that has countless clones. Like many other fighting games, each player has his or her own pseudo-special moves but I liked the general simplicity of the controls and that you don't need to execute some difficult controller combination to execute a cool looking maneuver.

Bottom Line

Overall I found this to be a fun game. If you are a fan of The Simpsons and of fighting or wrestling games then you'll very likely want to check this out. There's a good chance that people who don't like fighting games much but that DO like The Simpsons may find some enjoyment with this game too if for nothing else than the funny taunts and such. Just don't touch it at all if you can't stand The Simpsons (but if that's the case, why are you still reading this anyway?). Its fairly simplistic controls and great artwork, sounds, comments, taunts, and varied attacks between characters contributed a lot to my desire to go back for more and made the game accessible to a wide variety of skill levels which is why I give this game a score of 85.

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