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The Simpsons Wrestling

Developer: Big Ape Productions Publisher: Electronic Arts
22 March 2001
The Simpsons Wrestling - cover art
Glitchwave rating
1.66 / 5.0
0.5
5.0
 
 
99 Ratings / 1 Reviews
#255 for 2001
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Releases 2
Filter by: All 2 PS1 2
2001 Big Ape EA  
CD-ROM
XEU 5 030930 025021 SLES-03401
2001 Big Ape Activision  
CD-ROM
XNA 0 86162 00190 1 SLUS-01227
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Ok everyone has one of these and by that I mean their definitive, their absolutely personal worst game of all time but before I get into why The Simpsons Wrestling (TSW) is that for me I would like to explain why I find certain games to be shit as I think a title befitting of the worst game of all time has to overlap on two general key areas.

1. The first and most obvious way a game can be bad is that it fails to be functional in any conceivable way or and possibly congruent with this failing, it might not live up to the obvious concept it was trying to achieve with it's design. I would say either one of these would be a pretty damning criticism of a game. I mean if you cant even really play it or the game conceptually is a failure in what it's obviously trying to achieve I don't think most people would call either of those a success no matter how much you bend taste and subjectivity. Games are a piece of technology as well as a piece of art/media, we expect them to "work" in a way that say we don't necessarily have to worry about with films and music. Interactivity places an importance on functionality that seems foreign to most other things we would consider Art/Media. Now some games might by intention seek to for a time to subvert these expectations by their own design and it might be a way of getting people to notice these obvious truths about the art in the same way that other arts/medias seek to subvert or bring attention to themselves by bucking conventions, but there is a line between intentionally trying to do this and just plain fucking up. It's not always easy to point out, but I think we all have a rough feeling or idea of when this happens.

2. The second biggest way a game can fail outside of just not be functional in some major way or by not living up to it own design/potential is that a game can fail to live up to it's own series or common intellectual properties potential. Even though I think most people when asked rationally which one is worse a non-functioning game or a game that fails to live up to the material of it's license or predecessor would say the former rather than the latter. I think emotionally a game failing to live up to it's predecessor or it's title feels much worse. This is a broader topic than just one review about just one shitty title, but I point this out to say not every game I consider the worst game of all time is merely bad for the reasons stated in this review but also because on a personal level they feel like deep disappointments considering the games that came out before it. Or in this specific games case the license that came before it.

Well long story short, TSW is pretty much awful in by either definition in every conceivable way. I'm kind of surprised I've never seen any joke reviews of it on Youtube or really any talk about it at all. It's easily worse than Superman 64 (SM64, on a side note isn't strange that it has the same or close to the same initials as Super Mario 64 [スーパーマリオ64]?), I mean not by much they both would pass either definition of a bad game as listed above but it's still markedly worse than SM64 in my opinion. This is especially puzzling because other Simpsons games have been critiqued and made fun of. My favorite review by the AVGN is his Silver Surfer review as I think it offers the most critical analysis of game design and what the game was trying to achieve rather than just laughing at how bad it was. I think hating on a random game isn't all that interesting and this review is a review of bad media in general as much as it is a review of one bad game. I think the question of why certain things become the worst of all time to the general population is worth exploring and why this game did not before I just go into why on an individual level I think this game failed.

So why is a game like Superman considered the worst game of all time, but the Simpsons Wrestling is a forgotten petrified turd in the geographic crust of gaming? The first reason I believe this is the case is the games had different levels of overall expectation given their respective goals and how people think they can be applied to overall game design. The Simpsons has had a series of bad games made about it, but most people even me as a child didn't expect them to be great because The Simpsons is a show about an American family and the city they live in, that material does not necessarily lend itself well to traditional popular video game genres like platformers, beatem'ups and wrestling games. On the other hand Superman seems perfectly conducive to action games and nebulous open world exploration with his powers and abilities from his original media applied here. Long story short it's easy for even the dumbest person on earth to imagine an ideally better Superman game in their mind as compared to the finished product than they can with a game like Simpsons Wrestling. People thought you would jump into Superman 64 and immediately start punching people, flying just for the the fuck of it and saving people with the ease of Superman. They didn't expect to be gated through rings for four to five levels and have to fight the controls more than "the bad guys." Assumptions are built into the product is what I'm getting at and It was easy to have these assumptions for one game and not the other especially given the absurd premise about a game like the Simpsons Wrestling. The second reason as to why I think the two games had very different fates is that The Simpsons came out on the Playstation 1 which had many classic games for it but also was the system of choice for shovel-ware in that generation due to it's CD format, by contrast the Nintendo 64 had one of the shortest gaming libraries in the history of consoles that managed to be successful to some degree in their respective generation. To illustrate just how few games the N64 had the Dreamcast had a bigger library (638) than it (388) and the Dreamcast ended up tanking Sega financially after two years of it being on the shelf. The point of bringing all this up is to say that it was relatively easy for people to see a bad game on the Playstation and forget about it amidst the sea of bad games on the system and not so easy on the Nintendo 64. People were clamoring for Nintendo to get more third party releases for the system and one of the few games people were hyped about at the time was Superman 64. Which leads well into my third point people were hyped about Superman 64, I'm not sure anyone was hyped for the Simpsons Wrestling. Hype can be the greatest thing for a companies game or a poison that kills a game faster than it can come out, I'm writing this review a few months after "The No Mans Sky fiasco" I don't think a better example can illustrate how peoples hyped perception of a game killed it on release any faster than that. A similar thing occurred with superman 64 hype along, with the expectations I talked about at the start of the paragraph killed Superman 64 on impact faster than most other games of it's generation because people had real hopes for it that can be traced back to the desperation I talked about with the N64's relatively small game library. All of this led to Superman 64 being seen as one of the worst games of all time. It's actual quality is secondary to these factors as I see it, as quality alone cannot account for why it's such a hated game and random games like the Simpsons Wrestling that are just as bad in that regard are not seen as being as bad. People often think they hate a game because it's quality is inferior to that of other games, but the real things that make a game an absolute critical masterpiece or something that considered the worst of all time are emotional factors that are related but not necessarily inherent in the game itself. So this long and probably pointless tangent aside can we get back to hating on a game for no reason? Yes, yes we can.

Ask yourself what is the worst thing a game can screw up to immediately ruin the experience for anyone who tries to play it? If you said the controls, you're correct. TSW is rendered almost completely unplayable by this factor alone. Now in other games considered the worst games of all time like SM64 or Bubsy 3D the controls are usually listed as a key factor of what makes those games awful in both cases slow, unresponsive commands make movement hard in their respective 3D worlds. I'd like to say the problem with TSW's controls is that it was just merely slow and unresponsive, but it's a little worse than just that. They also happen to be mapped to the controller pretty awkwardly and the wrestling moves on screen never seem to connect with your inputs. It just feels slow, awkward and moves awful.

The graphics are easily the worst aspect of the game. I have played a lot of games more specifically a lot of PS1 titles and I can say unequivocally it has the worst graphics of any PS1 title I have seen. Really bad looking games on the PS1 had this tendency to be really jaggy, hell some good games even had this problem. TSW also suffers from this problem everything looks either jagged or extremely blurry. Blurry being a big problem as a lot of the games background and the characters of the shows distinctly yellow skin kept blurring together. Everything looks bad in it, I get the feeling this game might have fared better at least in this way in the next gen with the cell graphics most Simpsons games went with. A lot of the characters and background areas look disjointed, as in the textures don't seem to completely cover up whatever wireframe or animation cell they're grafted onto. Limbs clip and body parts clip against each other and all over the environment. There isn't a single way you can imagine that the graphics don't seem to fail. I guess if I squint my eyes and turn my head to unnatural angles hitherto unbeknownst to man I can kind of see the characters as their beloved cartoon counterparts, but yeah... no. This game really stretches the definitions of "license" and "representation."

I guess you can say the sound and the soundtrack was the best aspect of the game because the soundtrack was only mildly annoying and it's hard to criticize the one barely mediocre part of the game when everything else is just so awful. I mean I would never ever want to hear any of this again, but I guess if it's a choice between contorting my hands and jabbing my fingers violently or stabbing my eyes with jaggies not even a super computer could anti-alias correctly I guess my ears being mildly annoyed is a nice trade off between the other two unacceptable options. I think I remember, though I may have tried to block it out to protect my own sanity that the game had some voice over work. Like most games that attempt to haphazardly do this the repetitive phrases and sounds start to annoy you fast. I guess the silver lining is it was the same voice actors from the show, so I can only dislike this so much, as compared with other bad aspects of the game. A lot of games don't even bother getting the same voice actors or cant get previous recordings of such things. I guess it would seem pretty lazy given that second option exists and the fact that this show probably has more recorded lengths of everything from it than most shows can ever conceive of having. So I guess a very, very minor somewhat negated positive point for it's inclusion of the VA work.

Well as someone once said about the book War and Peace in the most succinct book report of all time "It's about War and Peace." I guess you can say the same about The Simpsons Wrestling it's about the Simpsons and Wrestling. I think their aim when developing this game was to combine the two. I mean it seems like the natural progression of the game given the title. The thing is the two never really meet to combine in any kind of comprehensible way as explained in detail above. It doesn't really represent the Simpsons which had just barely passed it's golden age at this point and it very much missed the mark on being a competent wrestling game which were also in their heyday in this particular generation of gaming. It also had a few advantages that were alluded to in my comparison of it and Superman 64's fates. People had zero expectations for the game coming in and there was no hype to kill it. It was a game made for and had the greatest chance of succeeding at the time it came out. So in that sense it's failure seems all the more daunting and laughable. It had every handicap a title could ask for, an in built audience, a thriving sub-genre, the most commercially viable platform of it's time and maybe the fourth or fifth in gaming history and a somewhat competent game developer that managed to make a few "good" titles other than this. So what happened and why did it all go so horribly wrong? Could it be dear readers that this awful bit of coding ascribed to a 1 cent piece of manufactured plastic was merely a cash grab, I dare say a ploy to rob kids, their parents and possibly a confused friend or other relative into buying it based on it's popular license? Well you might be inclined to believe such conspiracy theories, but I happen to be more optimistic in life. Hedge funds just want to offer median income people nice homes at a "discount" price, the government curbs freedoms for safety and the corporate owned press reports things as if they had no monetary influence on their reporting at all. Life could be and is a dream sweetheart... Ok, so in the grand scheme of life I realize hating on and even caring about a shitty game made to rob kids decades ago doesn't really matter and well I guess the moral of the story is that it just doesn't matter. I mean I don't feel offended by this game, it didn't traumatize me but after all these years I remember and sometimes I laugh. Maybe you can laugh a bit with me if you played it too. I humbly present to you the worst game I ever played. Thanks and goodnight.
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Catalog

worstcaseontario The Simpsons Wrestling 2024-03-26T23:12:35Z
PS1 • XNA
2024-03-26T23:12:35Z
1.5 /10
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Giann96 The Simpsons Wrestling 2024-02-20T21:45:00Z
PS1 • XNA
2024-02-20T21:45:00Z
3.0 /10
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
DJVCardMaster The Simpsons Wrestling 2024-01-30T06:27:44Z
2024-01-30T06:27:44Z
3.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
llamajuice The Simpsons Wrestling 2024-01-29T02:45:21Z
2024-01-29T02:45:21Z
3.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Moonlight_Shiori The Simpsons Wrestling 2024-01-03T00:57:33Z
2024-01-03T00:57:33Z
F
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
badreputation86 The Simpsons Wrestling 2023-12-26T05:36:34Z
2023-12-26T05:36:34Z
1.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Amigable The Simpsons Wrestling 2023-12-17T03:50:26Z
2023-12-17T03:50:26Z
1.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
pingu87 The Simpsons Wrestling 2023-11-24T21:02:54Z
2023-11-24T21:02:54Z
2.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
MainManMoon The Simpsons Wrestling 2023-11-16T00:48:01Z
2023-11-16T00:48:01Z
2.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
MicrophoneFiend The Simpsons Wrestling 2023-09-25T03:08:24Z
PS1 • XEU
2023-09-25T03:08:24Z
2.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Tinysalmon4 The Simpsons Wrestling 2023-09-17T22:36:50Z
2023-09-17T22:36:50Z
1.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
holograms The Simpsons Wrestling 2023-09-10T10:37:23Z
PS1 • XEU
2023-09-10T10:37:23Z
2.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Player modes
1-2 players
Media
1x CD-ROM
Multiplayer options
Local
Franchises

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  • slib 2020-08-30 19:21:34.147947+00
    Braindead Flanders drones. Try that on my Apu bitch.
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  • CurbstompChronicles 2020-11-20 01:01:32.99483+00
    What is so good about Apu in this game? I remember Flanders being overpowered as hell but don't remember anything particular that Apu could abuse
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  • chikin 2021-11-22 03:02:33.664156+00
    this is actually probably the best game ever
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  • Miry 2022-11-06 01:08:42.161548+00
    hide Removed by mod
    This post was removed by a site moderator.
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  • Moonlight_Shiori 2024-01-03 00:58:40.791627+00
    There is nothing remotely redeeming about this game.
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