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I’ve had an up and down relationship with South Park. I watched it religiously at first, grew tired of it for a decade or so and now I’m a keen fan again so I was delighted by the idea of a South Park game.
Having escaped from the hole of being controversial for controversy’s sake and returned to being genuinely funny, I’m now officially hooked again.
Unfortunately, previous animated series game attempts have been nothing short of terrible with the original Simpsons Arcade being the only one that has been more than mediocre.
I didn’t have high hopes originally, which is why i needed to write a South Park: The Stick of Truth game review to encourage you guys.
Game review after game review started to pour out very impressive scores, however. With the actual South Park writers on board and an identical look to the low-tech series did they create something special?
The wonder of an animated show is the way it’s just so easy to make a perfect replica for a video game. With these shows being animated by computer now anyway sharing the assets should make this a breeze.
A lot of effort was put into the look of the game and it has definitely paid off.
TSoT looks exactly like an episode and will get no complaints from me.
The story was always going to be pivotal to the game experience in TSoT and it really doesn’t disappoint.
An epic war between the humans (Cartman and Kenny’s side) and the elves (Kyle and Stan’s side) was erupted in South Park over a stick. Whoever wields the stick controls the universe but with other strange goings on happening in the town the stick becomes more important than ever.
You play a new kid with a past hidden from even yourself and a magic ability to make Facebook friends quicker than anyone thought humanly possible.
Conspiracy theories, underhanded dealings and a nonsense storyline that feels so South Park it hurts make sure you’ll soon forget about the outside world as you try to save Princess Kenny, appease Al Gore and save the town from a bigger threat.
TSoT has one of the smallest open world setups I’ve ever seen but the freedom is still much appreciated. The game is a light RPG with heavy emphasis on the light part. In what was clearly a bid to make sure all their fans could enjoy the story at a sensible pace, the combat is extremely simple and the optional quests minimal.
Regular gamers should strongly consider switching the difficulty up to hard if they want a challenge, but if you just want to enjoy yourself and fly through normal will do you fine.
The only flaw in this hilarious adventure is its length. Shorter than I would have liked, South Park The Stick of Truth is fun from start to finish so you won’t want it to be over as quickly as it is. Hopefully this will only be the beginning of successful animation games and will lead to many more riveting joke-filled games soon.
One short advice: Make sure you check out every special move for every character – you do not want to miss out on some of these, especially Princess Kenny’s Unicorn move.
The game is packed with so many jokes it’s unfair.
To optimise your experience take your time to explore as you progress soaking up the countless jokes that are merely waiting to be discovered (hint: don’t just pick up junk items, actually look at what they are. Mrs Cartman’s junk is definitely worth a peek).
Fans will definitely feel rewarded as series in-jokes are found at every turn. Al Gore is back to talk about Manbearpig, the Underpants Gnomes and Jesus make appearances and even a casual glance at any of the main character’s rooms will reveal a selection of character specific items from over the years.
Even the achievements are full of nods to the show, my favourites being “Nonconformist – you befriended the Goths, just like everyone else playing this game” and “You b***ards!”. I think you can guess what that one entails.
South Park: The Stick of Truth is categorically the best animation game out there. I’ve played more than I care to admit and yet this is the first one to be genuinely a great game.
It probably goes without saying that the bigger the South Park fan you are the more you will get out of this game, but even those who dip in and out of the series will find plenty of South Park’s particular type of charm and plenty of fresh jokes to keep them entertained.
It’s a shame the game is so short but when every moment is this enjoyable we can’t really complain too loudly. Short and awesome wins out over lack-lustre filler any day of the week in my books.
Did it leave you giggling on the floor, or did it leave you cold?
Share your experiences in the comments below.