Rumors have been kicking around about an XBLA/PSN release of Konami's sort of classic The Simpsons Arcade Game for a while now. Initially we all dismissed them given that EA most recently held The Simpsons license, and maybe wouldn't necessarily be so into that kind of thing, but the rumor persisted, and became more and more realistic. Once achievements started popping up, the rumor was all but sealed as truth.
Now Konami has finally gotten around to outright confirming the game's release, acknowledging that players will be able to download the arcade classic in the immediate future. How immediate? How about the day after tomorrow (February 3) for Xbox Live Arcade downloaders, and this coming Tuesday for PSN users?
Yes, Microsoft does have a bit of exclusivity on this one, but the bonus for PSN players is that if you happen to be a PlayStation Plus member, you'll get the game for free. Everyone else will have to pay $9.99, or 800 Microsoft Point Dollars.
For the uninitiated, The Simpsons Arcade Game was an early '90s beat-'em-up featuring up to four players taking on the roles of Homer, Marge, Bart, and Lisa as they tracked down the dastardly Smithers, who kidnapped Maggie for some reason. I think it involved a diamond of some kind. Anyway, the point is that you beat your way through the game's various levels, knocking around various grunts in suits, other grunts in suits that also had hammers for some reason, and the occasional bear. It was also really short and deeply repetitive, and existed more as an extension of the Simpsons merchandising blitz of the early '90s than anything else. It was still way better than Bart vs. The Space Mutants, at least.
Like most other four-player arcade games that have come to consoles as downloads, this port will feature online play. It also comes with a few pieces of extra content, including a Japanese version of the game that features some different scoring mechanics.
And also like most other four-player arcade games that have come to consoles as downloads, this port will undoubtedly seem like a really awesome idea until you and your friends beat it in less than an hour, and then immediately forget about it like those digital copies of X-Men Arcade, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Arcade Game, and Final Fight you still have on your hard drive, yet haven't touched since the week you bought them.
Look, I'm not judging you. I'm just saying, if there were such a thing as digital dust, downloadable ports of arcade beat-'em-ups would be the second best of all digital dust collectors, behind only all those Game Room games you remember only with scorn and disappointment. It's okay. You're not alone. We've all been there.