STAFF REVIEW of The Simpsons: Hit and Run (Xbox)


Tuesday, October 28, 2003.
by Yellowlab

The Simpsons: Hit and Run Box art If you threw Grand Theft Auto III and the Simpson's Road Rage into a bowl, then added some Buzz Cola and a few zombies you'd have something that tasted real bad. But, luckily it would translate into the Best...Simpsons...Game...Ever!, AKA: The Simpson's Hit and Run. You get to run and drive around 3 different areas of Springfield in a total of 7 levels and 49 missions. Like GTA, you can take any car you see on the roadway, and can enter many of the buildings. Overall it's a very fun game with a funny story penned by the actual writers of the Simpson's TV show. This is a must have for any fan of the Simpson's.


Like GTA, you can run around Springfield and borrow any car that you see. You can also enter many of the buildings and interact with various items. Each level has a bonus mission, 3 street races, and other assorted side missions (collector cards, coin collection to buy extra items, level gags, etc...) so you are not locked into completing the story missions and have a lot of freedom. By the last level, things are getting very freaky in Springfield. There is plenty of Simpson's brand humor to be found everywhere which makes it very fun to explore each of the 3 areas. The 35 vehicles that you can earn can be accessed from any telephone booth and feature some of the standards from the TV show (the Canyonaro, Family Sedan, Car Built for Homer, Duff Beer truck, Mr. Burns Limo) along with several other unique ones (a Hover Bike and Zombie Car are two of my favs). Also you can earn other cars driven by the other side characters...Cletus's truck, Wiggum's Police Car, etc... The game does have a few minor flaws. First off, some of the missions can be repetitive and could have used a little more diversity. Secondly, a few later missions border on being a tad too frustrating (the final one with Grampa Simpson had me throwing my controller into the TV set). Lastly, it would have been very nice to tie all three areas together once you have beaten the game into one big playground. But, overall the game was extremely accessible and a lot of fun to play.


Overall, the game captured the look and feel of the Simpson's very well. The three areas of Springfield all look colorful and have lots of areas to explore. The Simpsons look a little different in 3D, but you get used to them pretty quickly. There are some funny FMV sequences, and you can unlock a funny Itchy and Scratchy cartoon near the end. I'm knocking a half point off for the camera which was fully adjustable, but did have problems. The camera controls were slightly awkward (to look up you had to use one of the triggers when walking), and the camera would act goofy if you were too close to a wall.


As with their last game (Road Rage), this one features all the actual voice actors from the show. There are some very hilarious lines delivered by the cast members. I particularly loved driving around as Cletus or Professor Frink as Hank Azaria is the voice behind those and is fall down funny. There is a lot of variations of the Simpson's Theme song to be played througout the game, and a GTA-style song that seems to get played any time your near Moe's Tavern. Overall the sound and music could not be better unless it offered custom soundtracks.


Suggestions:
A little more variety in the missions. The addiional clothing for each character (3 per level) should be more accessible as opposed to having to find a shop to change your clothes. Make all the camera controls on the right thumbstick as opposed to some of them on the trigger, and make it behave better when close to a wall.


Overall: 10.0 / 10
Gameplay: 10.0 / 10
Visuals: 9.0 / 10
Sound: 10.0 / 10

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