Review by KasketDarkfyre

Reviewed: 07/15/03 | Updated: 07/15/03

Not my cup of tea...

I’ll be straight and honest when I say that I’m not much of a Simpson’s fan and the over-abundance of the product line as well as constant Simpson’s video games throughout the nineties really turned me off. In this little outing, you have a game in which you do your usual run and jump while trying to keep Bart from getting himself killed. You’ll find that the run and jump platform is easily emulated in any sense of the word and you might find that while the puzzle portion of Space Mutants is fun, it doesn’t last for more than a couple of hours. Aside from that, you might see that this formula has been done better in other titles.

The story that you have at your disposal is one that boils down to space mutants looking to take over the world by taking over the bodies of the Springfield population. The nefarious plot doesn’t stop with just the mutants taking over the population, but also finding any items with the color purple and turning them into a super weapon capable of mass destruction. Okay, we’ve heard this story before and we’ve played through the same scenario, but it’s been done with more interesting characters. Needless to say, Bart finds out about this plot and puts it upon himself to save the world from certain destruction.

Most of the game consists of you collecting items and coins as well as spray painting various items that will keep the aliens from completing their quest for world domination. As you traverse the streets of Springfield, there are several different creatures that will try to stop you from making your rounds and covering the purple items with paint or other objects. While this might seem like a daunting task, much of the game is timing and learning how to guess the patterns of the enemies that you face as well as figuring out some of the puzzles. The platform portion of the game really doesn’t do much but frustrate you, especially when you have to start over.

As you progress through the stages, you can collect icons of other Simpson’s characters names and complete a name that unlocks something that you can use. Coins are also useful and can be found throughout the town in different places to help you buy different items that will complete your quest. As you traverse the town and hit the platforms, you’ll have to work with the spray paint cans in order to hit the purple items that can’t be covered by other items. You’ll run into other people in your town, but you’ll have to use the X-Ray specs in order to find out if they’re human or not. If you take too many hits, then you’ll find that the stage starts all over again.

Control is the biggest issue that you have working against you and it’s apparent if you can’t get the timing of the game down in order to get around the various alien enemies. To top this off, some of the key points in the game come from having to walk tight areas that don’t really seem as though you can make it all the way across. Compound this with the fact that Bart really doesn’t jump or move all that fast and you have a frustrating game that doesn’t have much going for it in terms of fun. Veterans to this style of gaming should be able to pick up the game and move on without having too much difficulty, but beginners might be stumped for the first ten minutes or so.

Visually, Space Mutants has all the attraction of a silent film with grainy film presentation and dull detail. The characters all seem as though they have the typical Matt Groening style, but the sharpness of the show seems to have little or no baring on the way that the game looks. The enemies are generally the same, but with a different color scheme and the locations that you venture through have the feel of Springfield, but little interaction with the town itself. While this might not be a problem for the average gamer, I want a little more variety with the way that the game looks and even more variety with the enemies that I’m supposed to fight off at every step of the way.

The audio has all the charm of fingernails being drawn across a blackboard with the constant rambling of the Simpson’s theme song being played over and over again. If there was ever a time that I hit the mute button until the remote broke, then this was the time. Occasionally, Bart had some one-liner that was thrown in when he got hit, but I wasn’t interested in hearing the same four lines over and over again. The problem with the game as it sits is that the Simpson’s were a big thing back then, but to blatantly abuse the license in such a fashion makes me wonder what I was thinking picking this title up.

Bart vs. The Space Mutants is a show of what you can do to squeeze more money out of something that just isn’t all that cool. With several different games that spanned across the Nintendo and the Super Nintendo as well as other systems, you would think that the basic problems that this series has would have gotten fixed. Shoddy control as well as lackluster game play and a below average presentation make me long for the days of Atari and my copy of Pong. Simpson’s fans will love and anyone with have a brain cell will run away from this waste of money.

Rating:   2.5 - Playable

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