South Park hasn't had a great history with video games. There have been a total of 6 games now and only one is worth your time. The first was just simply titled South Park, this was released in 1998. This is the worst of all the games, and it could be due to it being extremely rushed. The next was Chef’s Luv Shack released in 1999, it was an “OK” trivia game where Chef gave uncomfortably sexualized questions to the 4 boys. The 3rd was South Park Rally released in 2000. This is a cart combat racer similar to Mario Kart, except that it controlled nothing like it. The 4th came out in 2009, 9 whole years after the last game because I imagine Acclaim was finished with low sales and reviews. This was titled South Park Let’s Go Tower Defense Play! This was a very bare-bones tower defense game that happen to have south park characters in it. And the 5th was South Park: Tenorman’s Revenge released in 2012. I was actually looking forward to this one because i'm a big fan of side scrollers but it was just another disappointment.
The reason I wanted to let you know about those games was that they all had a very common factor, Matt Stone and Trey Parker had little to no influence on the game. With South Park: The Stick of Truth, they wrote the script and voiced all the characters that they normally voice on the show. This gave the game the same kind of humor you expect from the show with all the familiar nuances. Not to mention it comes off as a labor of love due to there being a tonne of references from the shows 17 year run. A lot of these references are major components to the story such as the aliens and the goth kids.
The gameplay is a standard turn-based RPG with action commands similar to the Mario RPG games. The map will have enemies that you can walk up to and hit which will give you a small advantage going into battle. Once in battle, you will have a turn to do whatever you think is best strategically. Once all the enemies are defeated, you will gain XP to level your character. You will have a familiar in the form of one the kids from South Park, the first you get is Butters. The weapons and equipment is very much like any other RPG you’ve played before. As this all sounds like any decent RPG, it comes with the humor and charm of South Park which makes all of it worth playing.
I absolutely adored this game, I’ve been a south park since I was 14 and it’s always been a constant source of comedy for me. The game knows what it is and never tries to be something else. It’s a standard RPG, and it does a great job at that. The story plays like a questing game most of the time but is so funny and charming along the way, you feel like a fresh 21 year old girl at the bar who's had one too many. Most of the story elements are derivative of places or characters from the show’s illustrious history. Nostalgia is a strong element throughout the games run as you will laugh at the stuff you remember.
My gripes with the game are very few. One being that there are reference pieces that just seem to be thrown in to appease the fans. For example, in certain store or closets and garages are things that are relics from the shows past and these aren’t fun because it doesn’t have substance. The other thing that bothered me was that the first act of the game wasn't very funny, this could have been due to them setting up the plot and getting things in order but I wasn’t laughing till act 2. Maybe I have I higher standard for south park than others or maybe i'm spoiled, either way it’s a small critique because the rest of the game makes up for any non-humorous parts.
Overall the game is worth your time whether you're a seasoned South Park fan as myself or a casual fan. I know a lot of people were very weary on checking this out, but I promise you, between the writing being very much like the show, the animation being very much like the show and the gameplay being a great RPG, you can’t go wrong. I give South Park: The Stick of Truth a 9.5 out of 10.
What did you think of South Park: The Stick of Truth? What is your favorite South Park moment? Let us know in the comments below, on our Facebook Fan Page, or tweet us @MissionStartP
Thanks for reading
-Gregg Dietz (@ChubRockGeek)