While today the show is considered long past its prime, seemingly begging for cancellation, back in the early 90’s the Simpsons was the greatest thing on TV, a phenomena that I think hasn’t been rivaled since. I recall very early on being a fan, watching the show every chance I got.
Of course, being the early 90’s it meant there were video games based on the show, and for the Simpsons, there were a ton of them – if you actually chart them out you will notice the games were almost released in batches, flooding the market in just a few short years with I believe somewhere around a dozen games based on the show!
In this episode of The Angry Video Game Nerd, James focuses on two particular titles on the NES that he has personal frustration with: Bart vs. The Space Mutants and Bart vs. The World.
I had Bart vs. The Space Mutants as a kid – in fact, I still have my childhood copy, and I recall rending Bart vs. The World, and not liking it. At all. Bart vs. The Space Mutants, however, I did enjoy – mainly due to it having aliens in it, but damn the game is hard. Hard, but oddly fun once you get used to it. I still can’t complete the game, but I do have enjoy giving it a play every once in a while.
As for the review, James pretty much nails this one. The things he points out in Bart vs. The Space Mutants are spot on – the rockets needing to be aimed perfectly, not being able to kill enemies, the insane controls, he pretty much nails it.
As for Bart vs. The World, I have faint memories of this game, but given how related it is to Bart vs. The World in design and controls, I can presume what James says is just as accurate here. The last time I tried to play it I couldn’t stand the first level, so, yeah… it’s a rough one, to be kind to the game.
James doesn’t even really try to be funny in this episode – the sheer fact of how frustrating the games can be to play makes it inherently funny to see and hear him get as upset as he does! It especially works for me on the fact that, well, I remember these games. I know one of them very well, so I feel every bit of frustration.
When he does throw in a joke, it’s just as crude as you expect it to be, but since this is The Simpsons we’re talking about, it’s funny due to sheer absurdity. His interaction with Maggie in Bart vs. The World is especially stupid, in the best of ways.
Final Rating – 4.5/5
I wish this episode would have been longer. These is a quality about these reviews that’s just right – it could have been two separate episodes had James played through all of Bart vs. The Space Mutants, but given the games difficulty, it’s understandable that he may have just said “fuck it” and moved on. Still, with spot-on commentary and sparse but perfect joke delivery, the episode is certainly a personal favorite.