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Bart vs. the World: Did Critics Love this Sequel in 1991?
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on August 27, 2014   |   Episode 87 (Show Archive)  

   

The Simpsons: Bart vs. the World (NES)
Ever wonder what Electronic Gaming Monthly, GamePro and other popular magazines thought of your favorite 8-, 16- and 32-bit games? Now you can find out, thanks to Review Crew! This is the only show on the internet that is willing to go back in time to find out what old school critics thought of retro games at the time. Did they pan your favorite game? Did they love something terrible? Find out every Monday, Wednesday and Friday as Defunct Games presents Review Crew!

Bart is back, and this time around he'll be taking on THE WORLD! After defeating the space mutants, the beloved Simpsons character is off to face off against people around the globe in The Simpsons: Bart vs. the World. Did critics like this NES sequel even more than the original, or was Bart Simpson nothing but a fad? We dig through old issues of GamePro, N-Force, Nintendo Power and Electronic Gaming Monthly for the answers.

(NOTE: Although we occasionally cut for length, no other edits are made to the review. Defunct Games does not change any of the wording, grammar or punctuation use. Also keep in mind that our score is the average of all critics at the time, not just the sample that is reprinted on this page. If you still have more questions, I recommend you check out the Review Crew FAQ, where we address the review guidelines, converting scores, magazine covers and more.)

The Simpsons: Bart vs. the World
[ Company: Acclaim | Console: NES | More Info: DGC Review ]

GAMEPRO (December 1991)
4 out of 5

"While Acclaim's latest Nintendo episode doesn't afford the scathing satire of the television show, it contains a lot of crowd-pleasing, true-to-TV Simpsons window dressing (like the trivia contest) and the solid hop-a-lot action. After running through the rigors of a zany-but-strenuous Nintendo workout, the conclusion of this review became obvious: If ya' loved Bart vs. the Space Mutants you're gonna' like him in Bart vs. the World." -Slasher Quan

N-FORCE #1
72% out of 100%

"With loads of levels and a variety of sub-games, this keeps you occupied for many a merry hour. It's a typical platform-based arcade adventure. Graphics are excellent and, as we have come to expect, there are plenty of funky grooves to get down to. Maybe it's cos I'm the best games player in the universe but BSVTW just wasn't a stern enough test for my skills. Definitely for the younger generation!" -Ace

NINTENDO POWER (February 1992)
3.2 out of 5

"Only Bart Simpson could have a game titled Bart vs. the World. That's right in line with Bart, so that makes it fun right there. I thought that the plot was intriguing but you do lose a lot of focus with all the puzzle games, like that one where you have to slide all of the pieces of the picture to make it whole. I gave up after about five minutes of that." -Rob

ELECTRONIC GAMING MONTHLY #30
5 out of 10

"The first game had some very good spots where you had to think about how to proceed. This version is more of a straight action game, and may appeal to some, but the majority of players will blow through this quickly. Too easy of a game and at best only average." -Ed

NINTENDO MAGAZINE SYSTEM #10
35% out of 100%

"The real downfall of Bart vs. the World is the really bad programming. The responsiveness is terrible, the collision detection, especially when platforms are concerned, is likewise pants and the level layout are so simplistic it takes all the challenge out of play - apart from trying to get the controls to work, that is. A very disappointing title indeed."

ELECTRONIC GAMING MONTHLY #30
3 out of 10

"The first Simpson's game wasn't that great and I expected some improvement from the second one. As you can tell I was I [sic] let down. The graphics are choppy, the music is substandard and the play control is frustrating like the first. The only reason this one will sell is the name." -Martin
REVIEW CREW AVERAGE: 48% - Not even a year after giving high marks to Bart vs. the Space Mutants, the critics seem to have finally come to their senses. Here we see a number of scathing reviews, such as EGM's Martin complaining about the choppy graphics and substandard music. Nintendo Magazine System chimed in with complaints of their own, including unresponsive gameplay and poor collision detection.

Of all the reviews, it's Slasher Quan who ends up giving the worst advice. "If ya' loved Bart vs. the Space Mutants you're gonna' like him in Bart vs. the World." I think not. Many other critics complained that Acclaim changed too much of the format, turning it into a straight forward action game. Sure, Bart may star in both games, but there's no guarantee players who liked one game will enjoy the other.

GamePro's relative high score wasn't enough to raise Bart vs. the World above 50%. There were simply too many negative reviews (many coming from EGM), and this hastily assembled sequel averages a disappointing 48%. That's significantly lower than Bart vs. the Space Mutants, which averaged a so-so 77%.

ON FRIDAY'S EPISODE: Between battling space mutants and the world, Bart has had a full schedule. But don't think he's getting a three-day weekend, because this Friday the Review Crew tackles The Simpsons: Bart's Nightmare. Is the first 16-bit adventure just as bad as Bart vs. the World, or is it possible that it's scary good? Find out as we wrap up our week of Bart Simpson games. Make sure and check out the Review Crew archive for more old school reviews, and don't forget to tweet me @DefunctGames to let me know what games you want to see next!

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