Reading Digest: Arcade Game Edition

Bart Star3

“I’ve got lots of quarters.” – Homer Simpson
“This thing only takes dollars.” – Bart Simpson

From multiple sources this week comes the news that the venerable Simpsons Arcade Game is being developed for a re-release on Xbox Live.  I don’t think there’s much to say about the game.  It was kinda fun, but if it hadn’t been a “Simpsons” game I don’t think people would care much.  The irony is that it actually wasn’t a Simpsons game, at least not exclusively.  Jake dropped this helpful nugget in a comment thread a while back:


12 January 2011 at 5:50 pm

Little known fact…the Simpsons Arcade Game and TMNT IV: Turtles in time were the both Konami games and they were (programming wise) the same game, but one had Simpsons Graphics and the other TMNT graphics.

Ha!  Wikipedia on the plot of Turtles IV:

The introductory cut scene of the game details the game’s plot. It begins with the Turtles watching a TV newscast on a Sunday evening, with April O’Neil reporting from Liberty Island. Suddenly, Krang flies in using a giant exosuit (seen occasionally in the animated series[8][9][10]) and steals the Statue of Liberty, moments before Shredder hijacks the airwaves to laugh at the Turtles.

Which certainly mirrors the opening of the Simpsons game wherein Burns and Smithers make off with Maggie after she somehow gets hold of a diamond they were stealing.

Anyway, this news has prompted quite a few links about the game, and there are a couple below.  There’s also a Marge costume, a very old Bart doll, a very cloudy cloud computing article, an Argentine band named after Bart’s well dwelling alter-ego, and a bunch of people who agree with us, including a spot on rendition of many of the things we talk about here.


The Simpsons Arcade Game is Making a Comeback – There’s a picture of the arcade game here.  I’d forgotten that the console only had two buttons.  Oh how many times my friends and I struggled to do that cool looking but quite lame combo attack where one of you sits on the other’s shoulders.

The Simpsons Arcade Game Coming to XBLA – A bit more about the game:

The ports we’ve seen of this style of arcade game have varied in quality, so it’ll be interesting to see how this one stands up.  The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Arcade Game port was as good as everyone remembered but X-Men in particular didn’t age well.  The controls were a little clumsy and there just wasn’t much to the game besides repetitive gameplay.

If they’re doing a straight port I don’t think there’s a way around the repetitive gameplay.  I like that game, but there were only the two buttons, and mashing the attack one was pretty much a constant.

gwendolynfaker – This is the shiver inducing video of Bart and Homer talking about running the show into the ground that made the rounds a little while ago.  It got linked on Reddit earlier this week and has been bouncing around again, I just wanted to agree with this:

I hadn’t watched the Simpsons in about three years, not an episode made past 2003 anyway. I watched on a few days ago… and it was just fucking sad.

Very fucking sad.

The 5 Best ‘Simpsons’ Guest Roles Played by Gay Actors – Our friend Lenny brings us roles played by gay actors, not necessarily gay roles.  John Waters is gay in real life?  Surely not.

Amazon.com: Simpsons Bart Simpson Valentine’s Doll: Toys & Games – A vintage Bart Simpson Valentine’s Day doll.  It can be yours for $25, but I’ll just post the picture:

1990 Valentines Bart

Is that supposed to be a sweater?  Eww, Granny’s kissing you! 

A word in the Life: Hapax Legomena in Translation – Not only did I learn a new term from this post, but it’s got a great Simpsons story in it as well:

My personal hapax legomenon

Although I would like to think the contrary, I am convinced that it is highly implausible that I will have to translate “Yoink!” again anytime soon.

Being the long time fan of The Simpsons I am –well, I guess that after they replaced the Mexican Spanish dubbers and ran out of ideas a couple of years ago my love for the series has waned considerably– tears were almost running down my face as I typed “¡Matanga!” in the computer and simultaneously told everyone about it.

True story.


How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Citizen Kane – An appreciation of the movie with a little Family Guy disparagement thrown in:

That said, it’s also a film that you kid yourself you know better than you do. It’s been often parodied to the extent that the shorthand of Kane=Rosebud is known to those who have never seen the film (if Family Guy were less relentlessly shallow and anti-art, it might realise that its maelstrom of reference and inserts is at least in part in debt to Kane. As in all areas, the more recent Fox animation pales in comparison with the original and best’s take on Kane).

Tee hee.

You Will Give 110% – Occupy Softball.  Heh.

Feel like posting my Halloween costume!! I was… – Phenomenal fan made Marge costume.  Here’s a closer picture, where you can see the little Milhouse charm and marvel at a hairdo that is wrapped around a five hour energy bottle.  Bravo.

Larry Doyle | TALKING TO… – An interview with Larry Doyle, who wrote for the show from Seasons 9-11.  He talks quite a bit about being on the show, and while there isn’t anything that’s going to surprise too many people reading this site, it’s always nice to know that Meyer and Swartzwelder really were that good.

The Eight Things the Simpsons Can Teach You About Cloud Computing – @rubbercatsimp nailed this one Twitter:

this is the most tenuously-simpsons-related article I’ve seen in a long time

Click through if you don’t believe me, but my favorite “I guess that makes sense” quote is:

Understand your corporate culture. One of the reasons why the Simpsons works so well is that it makes fun of our culture from many different angles. Keep your own corporate culture in mind when you are putting together your own cloud deployment so you can match your risk levels and understanding of data models with the technology that you are selecting.

Other than being in English, I don’t think those sentences have anything to do with one another.

Daily Photograph – Sky Van With Lisa Simpson On The Side – There are a lot of ladders on that van, also Lisa.

Marge Becomes a Food Blogger on this Sunday’s Simpsons [Yawn] – Food bloggers think Zombie Simpsons is behind the times and lament that “too predictably” they just name check a bunch of super stars.

Kid Media Monitor: A look at the latest ‘Treehouse of Horror’ – I finally found something I like about “Treehouse of Horror XXII”, it aggravates a guy who freelances for ClearPlay.  Since he’s got his head far enough up his ass to want to watch movies that automatically skip the good parts, he’s also well behind the times on Zombie Simpsons:

Fans of the show likely found this an excellent addition to the series, keeping pace with the intelligent comedy and political satire viewers have grown to love.

No, we didn’t.

Andy Rooney’s Death…In 10 Words – Andy Rooney once beat Thomas Edison in a footrace for the right to ask Alice Paul to the Pumpkin Harvest Dance.  She turned him down. 

Animator’s work draws top award and highest praise – Groening gave a guy in his 50s retraining to be an animator an award and some words of encouragement.

Meet Argentine Power Trio Timmy O’Tool, Named After a Simpsons Episode – That’s fantastic.  And they’ve been together since 1997!  (via @Simpsonology)

Pop spoofs no longer the main draw – Someone at the Sydney Morning Herald agrees with us:

IT CAME as something of a mixed blessing when the recent dispute between the actors and producers of The Simpsons was finally resolved. The upside was that the show would continue for at least two more years instead of being cancelled. The downside was that the show would continue for at least two more years instead of being cancelled.

Very mixed.

TV.com Commenter Shout-Outs: Your Recent Thoughts on The Simpsons, Grimm, and Revenge – TV.com commenters agree with us:

jaynashvil is almost ready to give up:

I’m one of those die-hard Simpsons fans who refuses to give up hope, despite the show’s best efforts to run me off. Having said that, this year’s "Treehouse" was a snore from start to finish. I’m not sure there was a single joke, much less an actual laugh, in the whole episode. It’s as if they hired a staff of drama writers to crank out this year’s script—now THAT would be funny.

AamesDaniels made a great point about the show’s Dexter “parody”:

I found the parody of the Dexter opening amusing and frustrating. I loved seeing the show given a nod, but just when it looked like Ned was doing something terrifying it was revealed he was just going about a daily routine. That’s not parody, that’s basically what the opening to Dexter is. Parody would be for it to look like he was doing something normal but turn out to be gruesome. Oh well, maybe nitpicky, but to me it was sloppy.

It’s not nitpicky.  It’s just Zombie Simpsons.

A Problem Embiggened: The Simpsons Quandary – And finally, I’m going to take the unusual step of putting Smooth Charlie’s Link of the Week down here at the bottom, because this guy pretty much nails it.  He’s glad that the show was as good as it was.  Heartbroken over wanting to quit on it.  Saddened that there are a lot of people too young to know what it was.  Afraid that its continuation is hurting its legacy.  He hits everything we hit here.

3 Responses to “Reading Digest: Arcade Game Edition”

  1. 12 November 2011 at 4:15 am

    As a recovering video game addict, I can say with confidence that the Simpsons arcade game and Turtles in Time are not the same game with different graphics. (Though yeah, they’re obviously built from the same engine and play almost identically.)

    • 2 Bea Simmons' rotting corpse
      13 November 2011 at 6:25 am

      That’s true. I’m pretty sure the engine used is from the original Turtles arcade game, which plays much more similar. Turtles in Time had a number of special gameplays stages that are not in the Simpsons Arcade Game.

    • 3 SharoKham
      13 November 2011 at 6:41 pm

      Yeah, this is a pretty shocking failure of research, guys. To make up for it, you should do an LP video of the Simpsons Arcade Game (or at least a Crazy Noises of someone else’s LP).

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