Archive

Archive for the ‘Feature Review’ Category

South Park: The Stick of Truth – PlayStation 3 Review

March 12, 2014 Leave a comment

SouthPark ST Box

Publisher: Ubisoft
Developer: Obsidian Entertainment
Platform: PlayStation 3 (also available on Xbox 360)
Genre: Role-playing Game
MSRP: $59.99
ESRB: M (Mature)
Release Date: March 4, 2014

Review By: Angelina Sandoval

After having played a number of games that make use of the South Park license, I had officially given up on that one game that would be true to the characters created by Trey Parker and Matt Stone. Then South Park: The Stick of Truth was announced and everything surrounding this role-playing game, including the fact that the Comedy Central show’s two creative forces would be directly involved, made this title well worth the wait. As it turns out, The Stick of Truth not only turns out to be one of the best South Park games available thus far but it is also one of the funniest games you will play this year.

MEET SOME FRIENDS OF MINE

As Eric Cartman explains in the beginning of the game, a make-believe world (that somewhat resembles a bastardized version of Tolkien’s Middle Earth) is tossed in a war between the forces of good and those that want to claim the ultimate treasure of them all … the Stick of Truth. So, as you can see, it is a good day for you – the new kid in town – to be forced to go out and make friends with fellow fourth graders that are playing this massive citywide child’s game.

SouthPark ST Screen1

After designing your own voiceless character, you come to meet your first real friend by saving a boy everyone knows as Butters. From there, your new friend introduces you to Cartman and, of course, the game. From there you are given the choice between being called a douche or a douche as well get to pick your character class whether you’d like to be a fighter, a thief, a mage or maybe a Jew. Strangely enough, choosing the Jew class doesn’t really add much except that Cartman won’t like you as much as he would if you were a mage or a fighter.

The town of South Park is then open to you as you are given quests by not only Cartman but also by the various resident of the Colorado town whether it’s Mister Lu Kim who runs City Wok or other familiar faces scattered throughout. In fact, one of the things that make The Stick of Truth the ultimate South Park game is the fact that it incorporates not only the main characters but also the entire town.

SouthPark ST Screen2

As a matter of fact, South Park itself is a character in itself and if you’re a fan of the show you will be happy to see all the familiar haunts such as the City Wok, Jimbo’s Guns, the Bijou Theater, Stark’s Pond and South Park Elementary just to name a few key locales. Better yet, thanks to the in-game map, we finally get a better idea of where things are geographically speaking. For example, did you know that Stan, Kyle and Cartman are actually neighbors?

RESPECT MY AUTHORITAH!

Like most role-playing games, you start the game at Level 1 as you level up by completing quests and surviving various battles that occur the minute you accept to take a part in the game. Of course, you are given a crash course in combat, learning not only about the strengths of your opponents as well as their different attacks but also learn the intricacies of turn-based combat that everyone within the game finds quite lame.

SouthPark ST Screen3

In fact, combat is The Stick of Truth’s biggest disappointment as it is not only bogged down by its repetitive old-school nature but also by the turn-wheel mechanics that make selecting your attacks and special abilities somewhat of a nuisance. Sure, you can upgrade your equipment, armor and your choice of weapons but in the end you will find that you’d much rather avoid combat than get locked into battle with the “elves” or even those damn Mongolian kids.

Still it’s something of a rare treat to be siding with a number of South Park’s recognizable characters in combat. Having Butters by your side swinging his little hammer or gently patting you on your back to heal you is downright adorable but it’s also a blast to summon the likes of Mister Lui Kim (in his Chinese battle garb he wore when he tried to fight off the Mongolian horde in that one episode) or Stan’s hilarious father who teaches you the mystical art of – well – farting. Think of flatulence as a special spell much like the Shouts in Skyrim.

HOWDY-HO, EVERYONE!

The game is filled to the brim with Easter eggs that will have you busy whether it is trying to locate every Chinpokomon as well as a variety of side quests … many of which are available at specific times. The story is well written and what began as an elaborate child’s game turns into something even bigger that threatens the town itself whether it is battling against Crab People, alien visitors or a conspiracy involving tacos. Oh yeah, even Mr. Hanky makes an appearance. Thankfully you will have a number of companions that will aid you in saving the town and the world that includes everyone from Tweek to Kenny (who really is the fairest Princess) even if you have to go through (or inside) Mister Slave.

SouthPark ST Screen5

Delightfully enough, The Stick of Truth looks exactly like you’re playing an episode from the show itself – which, in itself, is not a difficult task to accomplish considering the fact that the show was purposely made to look crappy. It’s also great to see numerous nods to episodes from the show that pop up throughout your exploration of the town itself. There are sight gags aplenty as well, many of them of the mature variety that are true to many of the characters themselves. For example, if you happen to be in Eric’s house take a quick side trip to Mrs. Cartman’s room and you’ll get what I’m saying.

Even better, though, is the fact that the voice acting found throughout the game come directly from the talents of the voice actors themselves and I’m not talking the usual sound clips found in other South Park games. Matt Stone and Trey Parker provide some truly hilarious dialogue that won’t fail to crack you up or put a smile on you face all throughout the game. Then there’s the music that is classic South Park as well as some memorable tunes that can be heard over the radio such as “Taco-Flavored Kisses,” Finger Bang” and a song about too many minorities in the water park just to name a few songs heard.

SouthPark ST Screen4

South Park: The Stick of Truth will be remembered for not only making brilliant use of the show’s license but also bringing us one truly hilarious role-playing game that would fit nicely with the show’s current season. Sure, combat is not as satisfying as eating a bag of Cheesy Poofs but the story and the ability to explore one of the best little town’s in Colorado definitely makes it worth the price of admission alone. South Park fans, you do not want to miss out on this game … I am super cereal.

GAME FRONTLINE RATING

Gameplay: 8.0
Graphics: 8.5
Sound: 9.0
Appeal: 9.0
Overall: 9.0

Review copy provided by Ubisoft

Advertisements
Categories: Feature Review, PS3 Review