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American Dad! on TBS, and a Comparison of Freemium Games ‘Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff’ and ‘The Simpsons: Tapped Out’

8 Jan

Stan Smith and Peter GriffinI’m not totally sure what to think about this last season of American Dad! — the show’s first season on TBS– and its first without former producer Mike Barker.

It was okay, I guess. There were some kinda cool episodes. But nothing that felt really EXCELLENT.

There were a few laughs. But something felt… missing sometimes. I’m not sure what it was, and I can’t even pin it on any one thing. I’m not sure if it’s Barker’s departure, or the move from FOX to TBS, whatever it is, I just hope that when the show returns in February for yet another season (on TBS) that it’s a little better, and maybe more like its old self.

Regardless, I still love the hell out of American Dad! and was thrilled to see the inclusion of the AD! characters in the freemium game Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff (also known as TQFS, and made by TinyCo) as a marketing event from TBS!

Hell, the Smith family was the only reason I started playing the game.

I managed to get all the main Smith family characters (including Klaus!) the Smith’s house, the CIA building, and more (such as their vehicles, Roger’s spaceship, etc) before the event ended.

Now, those little idiots just mill around in Quahog with the Griffins and company in their strange, Sims-like manner.

That brings me to the other point of this post. I wanted to compare and contrast aspects of The Quest for Stuff to the other cartoon-related freemium game out there right now– The Simpsons: Tapped Out (also known as TSTO, made by EA).

I had played Tapped Out on my old phone, which could barely handle its load time and size. However, with a recent phone upgrade, the wife and I have been enjoying both this game and The Quest for Stuff. So, this led us to an idea– this blog post, to serve as a brief contrast/comparison of both freemium games.

Tapped Out was released first, in 2012, so they’ve had longer to develop and tweak their stuff. The Quest for Stuff came out in 2014, and definitely took what the Simpsons had created (as usual) and improved it in a couple ways- better, quicker money acquisition and better closeups on the characters. In addition, TQFS is now in the Windows store– we were able to put it on our Surface tablet!

The towns in both games (Springfield and Quahog) started off as ravaged by disasters, after which you need to rebuild. There are a lot of similarities in the games. BOTH take up a good amount of room on your phone, need a good processor to run properly, and can get super glitchy with new features from updates or too many animated items out at the same time. However, with a good processor, the games run relatively smoothly. Both have the ability to link to the towns of your friends, via Origin in Tapped Out and Facebook for TQFS.The Simpsons Tapped Out

In general, the Family Guy characters seem to level up faster, and you are able to poke around a little further in the town faster. You also seem to get characters a little faster than in Tapped Out sometimes, although there are certain characters it seem like it takes FOREVER to get (also similar to Tapped Out). The unlocking aspect of the Quest for Stuff characters can be a long process.

For the most part, TQFS is laggier during gameplay and navigation, although I feel like Tapped Out takes longer to load when it first starts up. I personally prefer the Simpsons money (actual green cash dollars pop out after you click the yellow dollar signs, as opposed to little gray circles with $ on them in TQFS)– although Family Guy nails the experience points icons — they are little TVs like their logo! Tapped Out simply has “XP” icons.

Both games have updates for Halloween, Christmas, and other holidays. These updates can sometimes get annoying or overwhelming when mixed in with the other tasks/quests of the games. Hell, the Tapped Out ‘Whacking Day’ update was when I first stopped playing the game, although I eventually came back. The Family Guy Christmas stuff was just awful this year, I felt. I had to give it a break until it was all over. Mall Santas, snowmen, horses, pirates, just everything was out walking around. Insanity. The Simpsons Happy Little Elf cannon that continues well past the new year is a welcome addition, however. Really fun and funny. This kind of thing is probably each to his own.

The writing/jokes in TQFS are awesome. The dialog was actually written by the Family Guy writers, so the things the characters say are HILARIOUS, and seem much less repetitive than in Tapped Out– the character interactions are a little better, and there are a LOT of different things each character says. Tapped Out has a lot of repetition in the characters’ sayings (for example, Lisa just saying “Bart” over and over again sometimes-ugh), and some of the voices don’t always sound right (both Bart’s and Lisa’s, etc.)

Francine in Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff

I’ve always loved The Simpsons more than Family Guy, and I always will. But I just LOVE the inclusion of the American Dad! characters in The Quest for Stuff!

I love it so much that I wish that there was a separate game just for Langley Falls and the Smith family!

Recently, the creators of South Park made fun of the concept of freemium games — they were asked to do one a while back, but they put time and money into making The Stick of Truth instead, for gaming consoles. So I don’t see really see a freemium game coming from them in the future.

I guess we will see how the future of freemium games goes down. And we’ll see how the next season of American Dad! is too.

Until next time!

Reflections On South Park Season 18, and the Possibility of a Second South Park Movie Someday

22 Dec

1801-cartman_redskinsWith this recent 18th season of South Park wrapped up, I figured it would be a good time to briefly reflect on the series.

This last season contained some truly crazy episodes, with one of the season’s themes clearly based around the increased insanity of modern celebrity and technology (even more than they usually parody!) There was also a lot of continuity in a lot of the episodes, something the guys hadn’t really done throughout an entire season (although they had previously done small story arcs with some continuity, Imaginationland, The Coon, etc). The boys did everything this season from starting a company, using drones, and tangling with holograms. Pretty great stuff.

I recently learned that last year (2013), Warner Bros. Entertainment relinquished to Paramount Pictures its rights to co-finance a potential future South Park film during their negotiations to co-finance the Christopher Nolan science fiction film Interstellar. Previous efforts to create a second South Park film were complicated due to both studios retaining certain rights to the property.

Trey Parker and Matt Stone said in a 2008 interview that a theatrically released sequel would most likely be what concludes the series. However, South Park has been confirmed to continue airing on Comedy Central at least up until season 20 in 2016. In 2011, when asked on the official South Park website whether a sequel would be made, they said “the first South Park movie was so potent, we’re all still recovering from the blow. Unfortunately, at the current moment, there are no plans for a second South Park movie. But you never know what the future may bring, crazier things have happened…” — and that was almost four years ago.

In 2011, Time called South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut the sixth greatest animated feature of all time.

We may see that second South Park movie after all, but it probably won’t be for at least two more seasons of the show, (if they still want to make it the thing that ends the series) — since the show still rakes in a ton of money from viewership and merchandise for Comedy Central.

Excelsior!

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