In the beginning there were the Simpsons. In the early 90's parents were shocked by the terrible things that a little yellow guy named Bart Simpson said and did on TV. Kids wearing Bart Simpson T-Shirts at school in the US were considered as possible problem kids and troublemakers. But as in most cases in recent history hysterical American parents have been proven wrong, their kids have grown up and some of them might now read this review and I believe that most of them were not mentally corrupted by watching the Simpsons.
In March 1999 the man who brought us the Simpsons did it again. Matt Groening and his team created Futurama. Futurama tells the story of Phillip J. Fry, a pizza delivery boy and generic loser. The story starts on December 31, 1999, when Fry delivers pizza to a cryogenics lab. Clumsy as he is he accidentally gets cryogenically frozen and wakes up one thousand years into the future. Lost in the year 3000 he gets to know Leela, a one-eyed alien, and an egoistic, part-time-criminal robot named Bender. Hence Fry has no place to go he decides to find his great-great-great-great-great (and some more great) grand nephew, Professor Hubert Fansworth. He offers them a job - Leela lost hers because of Fry - working for “Planet Express,” his intergalactic delivery service and Fry once again becomes the one thing that he is not-that-bad-at: a delivery boy.
Futurama is witty and criticizes and makes fun of modern life in a very nice way. Personally I like Futurama better than the Simpsons, but sadly while The Simpsons are airing their 13th season in the USA, I believe Futurama was cancelled lately after “only” 5 seasons. Still I hope that Futurama is not dead yet, because I know that various petitions were started to make Fox, the TV station paying for Futurama, continue the adventure of Fry, Bender and Leela.
But for all those Futurama fans out there that can’t wait to see more of their favourite intergalactic delivery crew: gentlemen start your consoles, Futurama the game is here!
It’s Futurama the game!
Futurama begins when Professor Farnsworth sells his delivery ship Planet Express to the evil businesswoman Mom, giving her ownership of over fifty percent of the Earth, making her the supreme ruler. The planet Express crew now must prevent Mom from enslaving humanity and dominating the universe because she plans turning Earth itself into a gigantic warship.
Using cel-shading technology the game sticks very close to its cartoon model in a way quite pleasing to the eye. Experienced Futurama couch-potatoes will meet many characters from the series. Exploring the Planet Express building is a must-do for every fan of the series. Various locations and different enemies complete the graphical Futurama experience.
The story and the dialogues were developed by the original authors and even the whole voice crew was signed up for the game. The – sadly very rare – in-game movies not only advance the story, but sometimes provide variety during the game by means of cracking a hilarious joke.
... the main game itself is just a basic 3D jump’n’run game with no noticeable features. Playing as Fry, Leela, Bender or Dr. Zoidberg depending on the level at hand. Playing as Fry you wield one out of 4 different weapons, but the auto-aiming feature makes his levels fairly easy.
Bender and Leela are more of melee characters. Bender defends his shiny metal you-know-what with his rush attacks and whirling robot arms and Leela punches and kicks her enemies out of the way. Dr. Zoidberg finally is only playable on a hazard course riding an alien horse, and besides a little variation his appearance is of no importance to the game.
Not very futuristic
Futurama is only interesting for fans of the series because for everyone else it is just a very basic jump’n’run game with no distinguishing features. But even these might find the jokes and sketches funny, although as I've already noted the latter are rather seldom. For some people Futurama may be worth their money just to experience the unique new story line by the original authors.