The Simpsons might not be quite as popular as it once was, but there's still plenty of demand for the famous American family's retro video games.
One title fans of the long-running cartoon would love to see make a return is The Simpsons Hit & Run - a Grand Theft Auto-like game set in the fictional town of Springfield. It got a release on the Nintendo GameCube back in 2003 and since then there's been growing support for a remaster or remake.
Speaking to IGN recently, Matt Selman, who has worked on the animation since 1997, has mentioned how he would also "love" to see this particular Simpsons game make a return but admits it would be "complicated" to revive:
“I would love to see a remastered version of [Simpsons Hit & Run], I would, [but] it's a complicated corporate octopus to try to make that happen.”
In the same interview, Selman also reflected on how the team had to fight for it to be like Rockstar's popular series at the time:
"We were all playing Grand Theft Auto at the time and [the] publisher, they just wanted another driving game. And we were like, everyone's playing whatever version of Grand Theft Auto, people need to get out of the cars. That was a huge creative battle over whether it was just a ‘driving around doing missions’ game or a ‘getting out of the car and doing missions’ game. But I do think the battle was worth fighting."
Matt isn't the only one who worked on the game who would like to see it return in some way or form. Back in 2019, Hit & Run producer, Vlad Ceraldi, mentioned how "wonderful" a remake could potentially be, but also noted how it would take a lot of cooperation from the parties in charge:
"I could see it on multiple different types of platforms as a remake or remaster. It would have to take the parties who are in charge of the property to want that to happen and someone out there to decide that they were going to go out and do it. But absolutely, it would be fun to explore those characters and that universe again, that work again."
Do you have any fond memories of this game? Would you like to see this title remastered if possible? Leave a comment below.
[source ign.com, via purexbox.com]
Never played the game, but I love the show.
There’s far too much online call for it, for the powers that be to ignore it.
This was one of the few GC games we still returned to on the Wii!
So the corporate octopuses (Konami, Sega, and Rockstar) prevented all three good Simpsons (the Arcade Games, Road Rage, and Hit & Run) games from becoming fruition. I mean I know Konami use to make the Arcade Game but it's not like they own the license now, I know Road Rage plays similar to Crazy Taxi but Sega doesn't own Simpsons and I know Hit & Run is like GTA but there's hardly any blood and gore violence in the game.
Hit & Run is currently owned by ActiBlizz, right? Controversies aside, Toys for Bob or Beenox would be absolutely perfect for "Hit & Rerun".
Not such a huge fan of GTA, but something like this I might enjoy.
The more Gamecube gems, the better
I am in fact beating this game for the first time now. It holds up remarkably well.
I would love to see this remastered and released on Switch. Hope the "corporate octopus" gets its act together and gives the fans what we want!
Disney likes money. I assume Fox likes money too. Wonder what the issue would be...
So Disney. I’ll just emulate
Bring it back! Bring it back! Bring it back!
As much as even barebones ports of this and Road Rage would be most welcome, I would rather leave anything pertaining to The Simpsons (moving forward) to rest as the recent recasts of characters who have been on the show for over three decades will also be reflected in any other media pertaining to the franchise, be that games, a new movie, or merchandise.
While the show has been mostly garbage for the better part of two decades, I hate to see it descend even further into the abyss, especially when the finish line appears to be so close, with the last season repeatedly breaking all-time low ratings in wake of the recasts, likely due to decisions from execs further alienating disillusioned long-time fans.
I had been meaning to get back into the show (likely through iTunes downloads in the absence of Blu-rays of seasons 21+), however, some of the more recent decisions concerning the direction of the show have put me off completely. I will still consider grabbing Blu-rays should they be released at some point in the future, but I do not wish to further support Disney otherwise (and Fox by association), especially as they are imposing upon virtually all of their properties.
Incidentally, Julie Kavner's voice is sounding heartbreakingly worse for wear in more recent seasons (she is nearly 71) and while Harry Shearer sounds mostly the same (and seems as sharp and perky as ever in person), he is the eldest of the main cast at 77. I hope that the producers have some sort of finale pre-recorded in case the unthinkable happens, especially for a show that has had 32 years to plan for it (a head-start that virtually no other scripted show in history has had).
Fortunately, I still have the PC version of The Simpsons: Hit & Run (though I haven't tested it to see if it runs on Windows 10, though I assume that it would). Unfortunately, they never did make a PC version of Road Rage (though I have been able to play it on PC thanks to my Smash Wii U adapter/GameCube controller).
I’d hope Disney would be willing to let up on it, considering they outsource properties like Star Wars to a number of game developers. It could surely turn into a Battle for Bikini Bottom Rehydrated-type deal with enough demand (though hopefully with a better outcome than that one).
Its a great game, but it seems 20th Century wants to stray away from Apu and he has his own entire level in the game. Can’t see it ever happening, for this reason alongside a few others.
I’m actually playing through it on Dolphin for Android at present. Its cel-shaded graphics still hold up, and the gameplay is still great fun.
Hit and run is at least as good as the SNES games. I truly loved the arcade games though. But I think the PS3 game remains my all time favorite. I'd love to see that come back.
@Silly_G I haven't watched in a decade. What have they done to unsurprisingly trash it since then?
We must slay the Corporate Octopus!
I wish they would just put this dying dog to rest already. It should have ended back in 1999 when it was still edgy and fresh. A talent that seems to be lost is knowing how to end things. We keep things going on and on and on instead of letting them end in a way where we're satisfied. Bill Watterson ended Calvin and Hobbes after ten years, and that's why it's still regarded as one of the best comic strips of all time. However, certain TV shows and movie series (Marvel Comics, Star Wars, Fast and the Furious and this show) don't know when to call it quits, dragging along a lifeless, soulless shell of itself.
@NEStalgia : General quality issues aside, as of the most recent season, Disney has imposed upon their properties (including those obtained via the Fox buyout) that non-white actors are no longer to play non-white characters. Apu was already retired (and if he returns, will be recast), but characters such as Dr. Hibbert (and by extension, his rarely-seen wife Bernice), Carl (Homer's friend and colleague), Bumblebee Man, Judge Snyder, Bart and Lisa's school-friends (such as Janey and Lewis) among other characters not immediately springing to mind have been recast (all the above were previously portrayed by existing series regulars).
As the beginning of season 32 was comprised of season 31 production holdovers, lines of dialogue pertaining to the above characters in those episodes were (mostly) retroactively re-recorded.
Such impositions also apply to other Fox shows, such as Family Guy, American Dad etc.
It wouldn't surprise me if Disney take things a step further and demand that all lines of dialogue from such characters are retroactively re-recorded for all past episodes. I suspect that it's only a matter of time. They've already ruined the classic episodes by cropping them to 16:9 for streaming/broadcast. What's a few lines of dialogue?
The problem I have with these kind of shows, The Simpsons, Family Guy, South Park, American Dad and the like is that, while they can be funny and they can have good satire...
They're so often just jammed full of vulgar for the sake of vulgarity humor. And cruel just for the sake of being cruel humor.
The whole "Let's laugh at how irredeemably stupid this guy is, or let's laugh at how utterly miserable this guy is" humor that is so popular here in the west is just not appealing to me.
I actually didn’t enjoy it as much as Road Rage. It was fine though
@Heavyarms55 : I would wholeheartedly agree with respect to South Park, which I think can make its point without being unnecessary vulgar (while still having that satirical bite).
Family Guy/American Dad I think are lowest common denominator viewing and aren't clever at all, though die-hard fans would probably want to burn me at the stake for such heresy.
To be fair though, I don't recall The Simpsons being particularly crude in its heyday (Itchy & Scratchy segments aside), but I cannot attest to any uptick in crude humour in the last 10 years as I stopped watching at around season 23.
Even King of the Hill, as mature as it was compared to its contemporaries, had some instances of crude humour, though it (ironically) was done in good taste. The first season dealt with the issue of constipation, and I never thought that such a storyline could be simultaneously sentimental and hilarious, but by gum, they did it!
Beavis and Butt-Head, however, I think is a very clever and observant character-driven show that just happens to have two very crude and stupid protagonists, but I wouldn't describe the show in and of itself as being vulgar for the sake of vulgar (though it does have some very gross moments at times). It could also perhaps be the case that stupidity runs so rampant that it resonates differently as I get older.
And we all know what Ecco taught us about getting by corporate octopuses..
@Goat_FromBOTW : Who are the arbiters that suddenly decided that after three decades that these depictions are "racist"? By that logic, the fact that virtually all of the young boys on the show are portrayed by elderly women and not "authentic" 10 year old boys is "sexist" AND "ageist".
It's voice acting. The performance is what matters, not the colour of the actor's skin or that of the characters for that matter. And what of males portraying female characters in animation? Should that be banned too? Sometimes such casting takes place for comic effect (as is the case with Bob's Burgers) and not some insidious attempt to parrot sexist rhetoric.
Apu, for example, is one of the most beloved characters in the show and was not merely depicted as a one-dimensional caricature (though virtually ALL of the regular characters on the show have been used for cheap laughs at one point or another). If anything, the worst thing that they have ever done with Apu was have him cheat on his wife, which I think is far more egregious than any other context in which he was depicted prior.
I produced an animated series in my mid-teens, and because I found it difficult to cast other people, I ended up playing most of the characters, which included characters of both sexes, multiple ages, and ethnicities. By that logic, does that make me a sexist/ageist/racist barbarian? I just recalled that one of the other cast members was of African background and from memory, his characters were either white or Asian. Does that make him racist too? What preposterous logic.
@Goat_FromBOTW : Oh, it's garbage. (and it was made well over 15 years ago now and is no longer available, though I had a lot of fun working on it) It was made with The Sims 2, and I provided voiceovers (of varying ethnicities/nationalities/sexes) for many other such productions in the late 2000s. I do miss it, though there are only very few productions that I could say that I was proud of.
I can understand the issue of white actors playing black characters on screen (and vice versa), but I don't understand the issue with voiceovers, especially when voiceovers have, until only recently, been cast blindly, whereby one's sex, age, ethnicity, complexion etc. played virtually no part in the casting process except where contextually justified (such as the casting of actual children for Charlie Brown shorts/films or the casting of adult women to play prepubescent boys for television shows in which the characters do not age etc.). People play characters that do not match their real-life attributes all the time. My question is, why is one's complexion relevant to the exclusion of all other attributes?
But what about situations where casting talent with very specific attributes are otherwise virtually impossible to come by? Linda Hunt did a brilliant job of playing a Chinese/Australian man in The Year of Living Dangerously, and surprise, surprise, she is neither Chinese, nor Australian, nor male, and I imagine that it would have been exceptionally difficult to find a male dwarf of that description, who also just happens to be an actor, hence the unorthodox casting. Her talent is what got her the job, not her superficial attributes, and she was praised for it, but had such casting taken place today, she would have been laughed out of town (frankly, I'm a little surprised that her award hasn't been revoked yet).
At the end of the day, there was no malicious intent in the casting. Ideally, somebody who fit the bill would be preferable, but considering how specific the requirements were, it's also understandable that a concession was made (and likewise when able-bodied people are cast as disabled people, as directing people with disabilities can be extraordinarily difficult, if not virtually impossible, and also potentially dangerous to such people). As a brother to a disabled sister, I thought The Black Balloon (featuring a disabled character played by able-bodied/minded Luke Ford) did a brilliant job (the film was also written and directed, I believe, by a woman with such a disabled sibling, and so it hit very close to home as so much of it was based on her upbringing).
The indignant will always find something to complain about. I see no reason why we ought to kowtow to those who complain endlessly in a way that is completely divorced from reality and reason, especially when their reasoning only applies with respect to their selective indignation and not to due to principles that are applied more broadly (hence the examples I had mentioned above, that if scrutinised in the same manner, would therefore be "ageist" and "sexist").
Yes. I'd love a remaster/port of Simpsons Hit & Run. Although, the missions outside of the car are brief & kinda janky. It probably could use some work. Anyway, I'd buy it. My nieces and I play it ever year on holidays. The driving missions and the simpsons theming/voice acting are great.
I never understood how there was controversy for Hank, after years of him talking for Abu, was force to stop because is was culturally inappropriate? But women can still talk for young boys. Main reason I can't, and will not watch boruto dubbed
@Heavyarms55 I think Bob's Burgers is a wonderful animated series without much vulgarity in it.
How about the Simpsons game, the 360/ps3 version ported over. That game was pretty fun and very on brand.
It's too late for this now that they're changing the voice actors left and right, it's not the Simpson's anymore, it's just a PC compliance victim behind your screen.
The hours and hours and hours me & my sister spent playing and fighting over taking turns as playing Hit & Run as children is insane. Holds a special place ing heart, would likely buy it again.
loved this game, please bring it back
@Silly_G You know what's even more sad. American studios not only they are going to no longer want talented white men and women voicing indignant characters in cartoons and anime to pleas the faceless ill temper SJWs and Wokes then that means they have stop allowing talented black men and women and other minorities voicing animated characters that have white skin in cartoons and anime.
@Silly_G a question I have is, were the writers changed too? Voice actors more or less only read the script right?
So I would assume the writing team was changed considerably to have an effect on the decrease of quality as you describe it.
Or have the existing writers been put under pressure to comply to this race filter? I have not watched the show in a decade, and I'm not sure if Google will give me the answer.
Thanks in advance for answering.
@LaytonPuzzle27 : Sure. But what is also frustrating is the shameless hostility toward people of white complexion merely for the sins of generations gone by.
I have always wanted to produce an animated series, and I don’t know if that day will ever come, but I would not turn an actor away based on their sex or complexion merely because their superficial attributes may not match the character.
I paid no attention whatsoever to the ethnicity/background of my actors when producing my web series all those years ago, and I have no intention of giving myself a pat on the back for “inclusivity” while discriminating against others for attributes that are completely out of their control when they are otherwise the best person for the job.
The performance is what matters. Merit matters.
Very surprising we haven't seen this re-release yet or any Simpsons game since 2007.
@Clarice : This is hardly the forum to discuss the decline of The Simpsons in great detail, but it entails a wide range of things. Writers come and go, but the executive producer(s) are the bosses, so to speak, and The Simpsons has had the same executive producer (Al Jean) since season 13, while earlier seasons would usually switch things up every year or two (and sometimes even between episodes) with different executive producers, which would also perhaps explain the shift in tone and style during the show’s golden years.
It also lead to more varied storytelling and perspectives, while The Simpsons has remained consistently mediocre to outright bad under Jean’s control.
But regarding the “race filter”, it’s not so much reflected in the writing (that I am aware of), but more so in the imposition of how the show is now cast (at Disney’s behest), though the show has addressed issues of “race” (a term I strongly dislike) more so in recent years (such as an episode from a few years ago where it was revealed that The Simpsons were part black).
How, why, and when the show’s paradigm shift occurred, we can only speculate, but the general character of the show has shifted drastically since its prime.
Have the Simpsons ever appeared in a game that wasn't resoundingly average? Don't tell the me the arcade game - that was the very definition of.
Do fear they did with sunshine, widescreen GameCube game on the switch
you would think a HD port should be doable
Good man. This is probably the most requested remaster other than Goldeneye.
I bought it recently for Gamecube (for way too high a price, I’m sad to say).
It really doesn’t make any sense as a game. It’s clear that GTA was popular, and that they tried to make it a family friendly version. But the world of The Simpsons just doesn’t fit with that style of play. Why is Homer yelling psychopathic catch phrases while running people over? Why is there even an option to kick people repeatedly as they bounce down the street? Bad behaviour is a huge part of the fun of GTA, but in the Simpsons it feels weird and ill-conceived. A shoe that never fit in the first place.
lol I just started playing Hit&Run on my GC...it is a really good game!
I never played it but would definitely enjoy a remake of it, provided it's handled well. Yeah, bring it on, I'd say!
Has more chance of hitting the Switch than GTA does anyway.
Comment #28 is just a hundred percent accurate, very well said.
@Silly_G Well said. You ever watched the anime or read the manga series Shimoneta? I feel like the series predicted the future and now now living in it, but unlike anime/managa it is more depressing and horrifying. Also I wish that Ayame Kajou a.k.a. Blue Snow and her group S.O.X. were real because we need people like them to stand up and speak out against these faceless Marxist PC (SJWs and Wokes) mobs and their cancel culture ideology. Also I consider Ayame Kajou the symbol of anti-Woke, anti-SJW, and anti-Cancal Culture
"What's the point of dirty jokes anyway if they aren't 'wrong'? They're appealing because they are wrong. They excite us because we have to be secretive. Because they're devilish, they shine. Because they're twisted, they entice us. That is why I vowed to become the 'devil' to crush this boring world where the concept of dirty jokes does not exist!" – Kajou Ayame
Good old Corporate Octopus, the very thing that prevented Goldeneye 007 from returning.
@LaytonPuzzle27 : I've heard of Shimoneta, but it didn't seem like something that would interest me, though I may give it a look. The Blu-ray is unfortunately out of print in Australia though.
@Specter_of-the_OLED Are you sure it's not Fox/Disney's fault too?
Sounds like fun, what’s the hold up corporate people? “Just DO IT!!!”
@SpringDivorce It was a brainless button masher that got boring after five minutes. All those Konami games from the early 90s were like that. They were the very definition of overrated.
It won't happen.
How many Simpsons games have there been? For such a huge, popular and influential show, that's been around not only for decades but the exact same decades as the videogames industry growing from strength to strength... the lack of content or even mild interest in videogames from the Simpsons really should tell you all you need to know...
Simpsons already prints enough money, clearly.
I'd love for The Simpsons arcade beat-’em-up to be re-released. They wouldn't have to do anything to the game except for changing the aspect ratio from 4:3 to 16:9
@Silly_G : Didn't Fox/Disney shut down bluray and/or DVD releases a few years ago? I've had trouble finding the X Files on physical format because of this too. Disney will use this franchise forever, even if the voice actors pass on. They don't care about quality. It's all about branding.
Best GTA clone and best Simpson's game ever. Would love to see a remaster. Also release 2008 Simpsons from PS3 on current consoles and other older Simpsons games.
@stipey Simpsons on TV targets adults and teens. The game targeted those same teens and adults, not children. It was perfect
They should Port the original to the switch along with other older games like bully & GTA San Andreas
Fox is now owned by Disney so there’s a good chance. They allow Lion King and Aladdin 16 bit games and Disney Afternoon Collection to be re-released.
@EmmatheBest Disney now
@Cyberbotv2 : Perhaps, but with the last season repeatedly achieving all time low ratings, I am not confident that The Simpsons will live to see the next two seasons (which Fox/Disney ironically commissioned AFTER their lowest rated episode of all time went to air, and that record has since been broken FOUR TIMES, dropping to a pitiful 1.02 million live viewers for the season finale.
Disney is still releasing Blu-rays/DVDs, but they have scaled back a ton since streaming gained momentum with the masses, and the demand for physical media continues to shrink except perhaps among collectors, hardcore enthusiasts (who also desire the best A/V quality money can buy), and for those in regional areas with poor internet access.
Unfortunately, the home video releases of The Simpsons have been an afterthought for several years now, with Fox unceremoniously dumping the home video releases after Season 17, only to return with an almost barebones DVD-only release three years later (and no head shaped edition for those collecting them either), and they inexplicably (and seemingly randomly) used Homer as the cover character of the Season 19 DVD set rather than a supporting character (to match seasons 11-18).
I would still like to see the rest of the series (should it hit Blu-ray), but I won’t lose sleep over it either as I already own the best seasons. The only way they could really one-up the classics is if they were to restore the old seasons (by rescanning the original cells/camera negatives) and present them in native HD/UHD, which would make the old seem new again (even with its simplistic aesthetic), but who knows if such an effort will ever materialise.
@Silly_G That's good info. I didn't know the show hit such a low. The best seasons for me are 1-6 or 7. After that there was a definitely a loss in quality. You're likely right about Disney attempting to restore the older episodes for UHD.
@Cyberbotv2 : I feel that the best seasons are 2-7, but especially from 3-6. Season 4 is when the series peaked, I think, though it still hit a lot of highs later on. Season 1, while not bad by any stretch, felt too much like an extended pilot, as the writers/producers were still figuring out what they wanted The Simpsons to be.
I still love season 8 for its silly one-off character storylines (which seemed a common theme for this season). Season 9 had its gems, but was mostly forgettable. Season 10 was generally mediocre by the standards of the day with few classics. Season 11 is when the cracks were well and truly showing, with ridiculous out-of-character storylines and gratuitous guest appearances. Season 12 felt like a return to form, being my favourite season since season 8, but from Season 13, I almost immediately noticed a very sharp decline in quality, and it only got worse with the borderline unwatchable seasons 14-16. It improved a bit in the years that followed, and the early HD seasons were mostly enjoyable, however, the show’s best years were well and truly behind it, and I stopped watching regularly from about season 22 or 23 (and to think that there are 10 whole seasons that I haven’t watched yet!).
I don’t think I’m “right” about Disney restoring the older episodes (or if it would be possible to do so, as the producers may not have kept the original assets), but that would be my dream come true for the classic years (and provided that they remain uncut).
@Silly_G : I don't expect much from Disney. They've already erased the Michael Jackson episode. If they see no real way to expand the brand, they will bury it.
I thought it would have been nice to have finished the show 25 years ago with a season set in the future.
@Heavyarms55 I would say that, at least at its heyday in the '90s, The Simpsons certainly had a higher standard than the other shows I've seen (but I can't say it didn't degrade, especially as Family Guy rose in popularity and began to lower the bar).
I thought King of the Hill was still fairly respectable in content.
South Park, though... I only watched it a few times in its first couple seasons when I was a teenager and even then I thought it had a low quality standard, like it little better written that just spouting as many expletives as they could fit.
Though my friend watched the series later on, and told me that they moved beyond that "kill Kenny every episode somehow" bit.
@Cyberbotv2 25 years ago? That's 1996, that'd have been a little too soon. It wasn't until at least the millennium before the time when I'd have agreed with cutting it.
@Cyberbotv2 : I think Season 12 would have been just the right time to end it. As I mentioned earlier, having Al Jean as the sole executive producer for nearly two decades would explain (at least in part) the show's consistently poor quality since.
@KingMike : King of the Hill was excellent for a similar length of time as The Simpsons was, and I think Season 3 was when the series peaked. I'd say that the show was declining in quality at around seasons 7 and 8 (though it was still quite good), but the laughs almost completely dried up during the double-digit seasons. The new writers had no idea of what made the show so funny and relatable, and the show had become everything that naysayers accused it of being (bland, boring etc.).
Unlike The Simpsons, however, I would not describe King of the Hill as being outright bad, even in its poorer seasons, but it was unfortunate that it languished in its latter years, especially as it is perhaps my favourite television series ever. I'm glad it ended when it did and that it got a proper send-off. I can't even imagine what an ending for The Simpsons would look like at this point.
@KingMike I don't hate them or anything but it's just not my taste. I occasionally can watch them and get a good laugh. It's just that I often get put off by some of their choices.
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