Nostalgia is a wonderful thing. One thing I’m sure of, however, is that The Simpsons: Hit & Run (2003) was a masterpiece. Rose-tinted perspective or not, that game was ahead of its time.
The family-friendly Grand Theft Auto III-inspired game was originally available on the PS2, Xbox, GameCube, and PC.
The narrative follows the Simpsons and their friend Apu, who witness many strange incidents that occur in Springfield; cameras, mysterious vans, crop circles, and a “new and improved” flavor of the popular soft drink Buzz Cola. Taking matters into their own hands, they discover numerous shocking secrets, and soon realize these incidents are part of a larger alien conspiracy. Dun dun dun.
Loving recreated by developed Radical Entertainment, the virtual world of Springfield featured seven expansive levels each with a sub-plot and a variety of collectibles. Each level featured a specific controllable character: Homer, Bart, Marge, Lisa, and Apu, with some of the characters appearing in multiple levels.
Many of the hilarious gags, quirky characters and infamous landmarks from the iconic 30-season animated sitcom made an appearance somewhere within the game; it was these ‘easter eggs’ that made the game so special. Even the narrative felt like it was fresh from the storyboards of the show and placed directly onto our screens for a more interactive Simpsons experience. It’s execution, for its time, seemed near-perfect in the eyes of the fans. It wasn’t without its flaws, of course, but who remembers those?
The real question is: where is the remaster?
When the likes of Spyro the Dragon (1998), Crash Bandicoot (1996) and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (2007) have all been successfully remastered, it makes you wonder why Hit & Run hasn’t been revived for the next generation.
There’s no doubt of its popularity: there’s not a day goes by where I don’t see a meme or even a mere mention of this iconic title, alongside a call for its remaster. I do spend a fair amount of time reading gaming-related articles and Reddit posts, but that’s a moot point. Clearly, love has endured for this great game. Many of these posts and comments feature the phrase (and subsequent meme) ‘take my money’, which illustrates all you need to know about its marketability.
I can only imagine, somewhere along the line, that copyrighting and ownership has led to a stall in what could potentially be one of the most highly anticipated remasters of all time. Only time will tell whether this iconic game will ever grace the latest generation of consoles as a shiny, polished remaster. Our patience and loyalty to this outdated game will hopefully, one day, be rewarded.
For those of you who haven’t yet experienced this virtual rendition of Hit & Run, or anyone who wants to relive it, here’s a link to Tamago2474’s The Simpson’s Hit & Run – An Unexpected Masterpiece.
Thank you for reading this nostalgia-filled appreciation post.