Friday, June 15, 2012

"The Itchy and Scratchy Game", 1994

The Simpsons was just a license in the right place at the right time to be subjected to endless horrifyingly tepid video game adaptations -- barring Konami's 1992 arcade brawler, just a re-skinned approach to the success they'd enjoyed there two years earlier with TMNT, a similarly hot-and-cold franchise. (The TMNT arcade game, to further a tangent, marked my debut as a popular writer, penning a walkthrough in the elementary school C64 lab. Truly how far we have come!) Developers Acclaim cast a similar pall over virtually every product associated with them -- thus when the Simpsons' license fell into their hands, prolific mediocrity was to be expected. They went to great lengths to deliver the appropriate flavour -- I always appreciated their 8-bit rendition of Matt Groening's cartoon typography -- but the games ended up uniformly unexceptional except in their mediocrity. And of course the superfecta of "buy it now on SNES, Genesis, Game Boy and Game Gear" was always a bad sign of a certain lowest common denominator. I never played this one. Who knows - it might be the exception to prove the rule. But the review scores suggest otherwise.
Kitty Litter!


They fight, and bite, they fight and bite and fight! Get ready as Itchy & Scratchy slice, dice, crash and bash their way into your home. This cat's gonna need more than nine lives to survive bazookas, grenades, chain saws and flame throwers. There's more than one way to skin a cat... So, are you mouse enough!!!???

The most interesting thing about this ad to me is that upon seeing it, I recognized its central image from a piece of artwork released in the computer art group MiSTiGRiS I ran back in 1995. That's right, kids, in the pre-scanner, pre-digital-camera era, for kicks, people would try to reproduce, freehand, images they saw in other sources. This one advertises a BBS I was co-sysop of, The Screaming Tomato. Ehh... you had to be there. Side by side like this for the first time I get to see where the computer artist took some liberties interpreting the original image.