Friday, November 16, 2012

"Bart's Nightmare", 1993.

Ho hum... another day, another Simpsons licensee. This might have been a better fit for my spree of scary Hallowe'en games, but Hallowe'en is about fun and Simpsons games... not always.
IN YOUR DREAMS... An SNES Dream Come True! - Game Players
One of our staff's favorite games was Bart's Nightmare! - VG&CE
Imaginative twists and turns of the TV show are everywhere in this game... - Nintendo Power
Battle the mighty Homer Kong in the game Game Players called "An SNES Dream Come True!" Enter the world of Itchy and Scratch in Entertainment Weekly's #1 rated SNES video game! Vanquish vile villains as Bartman in one of Video Games and Computer Entertainment staff's "favorite games!" Check out the amazing eye-popping graphics, Bart's real digitized voice, dazzling action and game play that'll keep you up all night!
I'll just start by saying that it doesn't look great for you to use a specific endorsement multiple times in a given ad. That's pretty much all this ad is: we asked around until we found three people in the games journalism industry who had something positive to say about some aspect of this game, and then we paraded those pronouncements around while grimly tabulating our assortment of mini-games. It belies a certain lack of faith in one's own product to have to fall back on the testimonial so extensively. But when the biggest gun in your arsenal otherwise is boasting the digitized voice of Nancy Cartwright, I can see why it might be an approach you'd want to take. A game has never improved my play experience via the fidelity of its exhortations for me to consume my undergarments.

Because the Simpsons has been around for so long and gone through so many postmodern permutations over the course of its rounds, a game-maker today would have a lot to work with, but in these early days, "Bartman" wasn't enough to hang even a mini-game on, so here the game devs have to confabulate new mash-ups like Bartzilla... generally throwing all their ideas at the wall and hoping something sticks.