Emulation heads know that The Simpsons Bowling, an arcade game from 2000, could never be properly played outside of an original arcade machine. The problem is that no emulation app could get it to run with the voice clips intact. So you could play it, but without voice clips it’s missing a major reason to even play through as all these characters.
Jumping to the present, Arcade1Up released an arcade reproduction cabinet with both The Simpsons Arcade and The Simpsons Bowling installed, including all voice clips! Players dug into the code recently and discovered that the game is running on a custom version of DuckStation, an emulator for PlayStation games, because the arcade hardware was apparently based on the original PlayStation. It’s kind of wild. You can see footage here of someone trying to emulate the game with the standard version of DuckStation. As it says in the video description, “As far as i can tell this is THE only version of this game that runs with the sound clips from the announcer and characters unlike MAME which can't even play them back.“
Something that I’ll throw out into the universe is if someone from Disney/Gracie Films wants to have a complete collection of every Simpsons video game ever made for a nice display case in the lobby, I can be persuaded to trade the complete set for tickets to a table read.
That includes not just each game, but every single port of every single game. Amstrad CPC players, eat your heart out.
Matt Selman, writer and executive producer on The Simpsons, and writer on The Simpsons: Road Rage: Wait, Mr. Burns bought up mass transit? That was the plot? I don’t remember any of this. I remember Hit & Run a lot better, but the way this kind of thing normally worked is that they’d come to the writers and say “Do you want some extra money?” Then we’d have to write like, 20 lines of Homer being happy and 20 lines of Homer being sad. I remember there being a joke about Moe landing on his hemorrhoids — that’s the most vibrant memory I have of this game.
Arcade1Up Announces The Simpsons Arcade... Sort Of
16 Jun 2021
Actual news about a new (old) thing!
Arcade reproduction maker Arcade1Up had several new games to announce at E3 2021, including a new release of The Simpsons Arcade with a very conspicuous trackball. There is an unknown game included and the trackball kinda gives away that it's going to be The Simpsons Bowling, a game that hasn't really been playable outside of the rare and aging hardware from twenty years ago. I'm more excited for that than anything else!
But then Arcade1Up pulled down the listing. I can only guess at some oopsy on their part in announcing this before they meant to, but unless something really goes awry we can expect it later this summer.
Bart vs. My Hopes & Dreams: Looking Back at Thirty Years of Video Games Based on The Simpsons
10 Apr 2021
Big day! The retrospective I wrote last year is now a none-selling ebook, but you can help change that. I'm offering the ebook on itch.io for a optional nominal fee, and it's been updated to heck and back. It's great to finally see it out in the world and here's hoping we see a physical edition someday.
18 Oct 2020
I finished a couple of big projects recently that are worth checking out if you want to know about every dang Simpsons video game.
For a short synopsis (under an hour), watch the Brief History of Every Simpsons Game Ever. It's a platform-by-platform look at every version of every game, which means you'll learn about both Simpsons games and all the wacky consoles and PCs that have been popular in the last thirty years.
If you're in the mood for a longer, more meandering journey, check out Bart vs. My Hopes & Dreams: A Retrospective, which is a novel-length exploration of the twenty-five video games in the series. It's part retrospective, part memoir, and full of details about the games from myself and the bunches of creator insights that I've pulled together. Click on Retrospective up in the nav bar to read it.
That's gonna be it for a while. I'll pay the bills, keep the lights on, and check email (noiselandco at gmail dot com) when I can. Stay safe out there!
The story of Virtual Springfield, the Simpsons walking simulator that spawned a tourist attraction
09 Oct 2020
Virtual Springfield always stood out as Fox's singular attempt to go it alone as publisher of a Simpsons video game. It was a big swing, and apparently a big enough project to bankrupt the original developer. As revealed in the excellent retrospective over at PC Gamer, we should be glad that it survived at all:
"We were downsized and downsized and then ultimately shut our doors," Viner remembers. "But Digital Evolution bought the contract for Virtual Springfield. Around that time, it was like the dot com boom and everybody was everything. They had a lot of projects. They were very legitimate; but they didn't have a gaming division."
Been a slow time around here. Truthfully, I've been feeling burned out on Simpsons stuff. The current state of the world doesn't inspire me to goof around with Simpsons video games. I reckon I'm going to finish writing my retrospective series by the end of the year and then decide whether I want to pitch to online publications. I may just post it here and at the Tumblr site so I can move on to other projects.
That sounds dour, doesn't it? It's probably just the summer heat. I can't do computery things when it's hot. But hey! I'm still posting semi-regular updates in my Brief History video series. We're finally getting out of the 8- and 16-bit doldrums and into the era of chunky polygons. Exciting!
In the meantime, I've also posted a couple of interviews I did for other sites a long time ago. The Internet is a fickle beast and I thought I should back them up here. You know, the sick fascination with one's past, in spite of the cringe.
For starters, I'm far more active on Twitter than here in the news section, so stop on by for the social media goods.
It's been a busy and eventful year between my day job and the work I've been doing as part this Simpsons video game project... thing. I've been releasing a (mostly) biweekly video series that briefly explores every platform on which a Simpsons video game has been released, and I've also been working on a book about Simpsons games. My goal is a chapter-by-chapter look at Simpsons video games from the series's 30-year history. It's still early, but promising!
Aside from that is the work on this website which will go on forever at the rate I've been adding tasks for myself. This site will be mobile-friendly someday, I swear it! At the very least, I renamed it (again) to simply call it NOISELAND.co and finally added the search bar I've wanted to get in here for years. I've got some content to add to the site, including details about the Simpsons slot machine that I was lucky enough to find during my time in Las Vegas back in August. That stuff may appear before the end of year, but it'll be bits here and there over time as usual.
The show may hit its 30th anniversary this year, but 2020 marks the 30th anniversary of the first Simpsons video games, with The Simpsons Arcade showing up in early tests at arcades in Chicago in December 1990. It's a big year for all this stuff I've been cultivating since 2002. We'll see how we can do it up.
The Simpsons @ E3 2019: Whole Lotta Nothin'
30 Jun 2019
Well that was an interesting chat with Matt Selman, Carolyn Omine, Jeff Westbrook, Rob LaZebnik, and Stewart Burns, especially if you like Tapped Out. In fact, the only announcement was that another update is on the way for the game:
But there were a few other interesting tidbits:
The developers of The Simpsons Hit & Run weren’t originally going to include the ability to get in and out of cars, but the Simpsons staff pushed for it to be added as a feature.
The Simpsons writers began writing content for a party game à la Mario Party consisting of mini games, but it wasn’t considered a good idea and EA dropped it.
Matt Selman is confounded by the fact that The Simpsons Hit & Run has a bigger following than The Simpsons Game.
“The essence of Tapped Out is how can we insult Tapped Out as much as we can.”
Watch the whole thing:
The Simpsons @ E3 2019
11 Jun 2019
Some staff from The Simpsons are going to host a talk about The Simpsons and video games at the E3 Coliseum on June 11th from 6 PM to 7 PM PST. This is a streamed event that you can find on any game website. It looks like they’ll dive both into the real world games we all loathe and love and some references to the video games in the show.
It’s The Simpsons x Video Games: Nerd Squared!
Big plans, small steps
03 Feb 2019
I slacked off a bit, but I've gotten back into planning things for this site (and beyond) in a major way. My notes of things to do is kind of bananas. However, my time remains limited and it'll be one small step at a time. For now, I've made many housekeeping improvements to improve usability and make way for the upcoming stuff I have in mind.
One significant change was to rename the site as Vic's Video Game Collection (VVGC) and redesign some of the art. I figured there's no need to hide the fact that I'm the nerd collecting this stuff (and best not to just lift a character from the show considering FOX's penchant for sending C&D notices).
Until next time!
13 Jun 2018
I've been making small updates here and there, including revamping the Game Info page to make it more visually interesting. So many games and art!
The big thing I've been doing is buying up a lot of old Simpsons games on eBay. Not just video games, but electronic board games and handheld games of all sorts. We're talking about some pretty wacky old games. I don't just want to collect this stuff and put it away on a shelf, but share them online as much as possible. Part of that is creating simple gameplay videos to show them off. The videos will be added to their individual Game Info pages, but you can view all the videos so far on YouTube. I release two videos a week and will keep up the pace for quite a while. Check them out here!
27 Mar 2018
Did you know websites are work? Because I was just reminded of how much time it takes to do this stuff.
Anyway! There's a whole bunch of new game info added to the aptly titled Game Info section. There are all kinds of electronic games and interactive experiences that I'm sure CBG would include in any worthwhile collection. That means game cover scans, manuals, screenshots, and plenty of cool tidbits to while away your evenings.
We're Back! Simpsons Games from 2007 to 2018
07 Mar 2018
It's been a decade since this place got an update. What's happened in the world of Simpsons video games?
2007 - The Simpsons Movie ramps up its hype machine in the first half of the year and releases in July.
2009 - EA releases their first Simpsons game on iOS by remaking The Simpsons Arcade, a modern take on the classic brawler.
2012 - Konami strikes a deal that allows them to re-release an updated version of the original The Simpsons Arcade game onto Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 platforms.
2012 - After a rocky start, EA releases a tap-happy take on monetization with The Simpsons Tapped Out on iOS and Android. The game rakes in all the money and EA decides it's going to sit on that cash cow for some time.
2017 - The Retronauts podcast begins releasing micro episodes in which the gang discusses various Simpsons games of yore. They also post a fascinating interview on Simpsons game history with former Acclaim and Fox Interactive producer Paul Provenzano at the Talking Simpsons Patreon.
And that's all the news I've got. I'll be expanding the site with new info and other goodies over time. Feel free to poke around in the meantime or check out a shotgun blast of content at this place's official social media presence: noiselandco.tumblr.com.
The Simpsons Game Guide
02 Feb 2008
The guide for The Simpsons Game has now been completed. You can check out version 0.9 of the guide at the game info page or game guides page.