OH MY GOD, THEY MADE A GOOD GAME!
With a shaky development history, publisher drama, and numerous delays, it is a wonder how South Park: The Stick of Truth actually found its way onto store shelves. But boy am I glad it did. Not only does this title recreate the look and feel of the show in video game format, it retains the same quality of high humor and level of writing that fans expect. Outside of Conker’s Bad Fur Day, this is probably the funniest game I have ever played which says a lot as humor is often neglected in games as it is so difficult to properly pull off.
The player takes on the role of Douchebag, a silent new kid stuck between the make believe fantasy battle of Cartman’s Humans and Kyle’s Elves. Without giving away too many spoilers, players will perform an abortion, travel through a gay man’s rectum, fight nazi fetuses, and use farts and alien ass probes to navigate the environment all while adding friends to a Facebook account. Yup, this is South Park alright. The constant Skyrim-like sound effects are also a nice touch.
The Stick of Truth stays true to its source material and is presented exactly like the show. With a simple 2D construction paper presentation, this game is basically like playing out an extended episode of the show and fans would not have it any other way. At its heart, it is an RPG with a battle system similar to the Mario & Luigi/Paper Mario series as combat is initialized with bonuses or negative effects depending on how enemies are approached from the main screen. During combat, timed button presses will reward players with offensive or defensive perks. Being restricted to a two-man team might seem limiting but the game is designed around shorter and more humorous battles. Exploration is also encouraged as the player must complete light puzzle solving by breaking through obstacles or shooting down targets.
This interactive version of South Park has constant immature humor that made me laugh out loud ever few minutes. Not for the faint of heart, there is some subject matter in this game that I am sure the ESRB had a hard time dealing with. In fact, one scene even makes mention of this and the quest often breaks down the fourth wall and knows you are playing a game. From collecting Chinpokomon figures, to fighting in the hallways of the school, to the 8-bit style Canada level, The Stick of Truth has more references to the TV show that can be counted. Fans of the show will appreciate every detail that went into this title whereas casual fans will still laugh up a storm. The Nazi German sound effects in particular make me laugh every time and never got old.
Although there have been several other South Park titles released since the N64 era, The Stick of Truth is a true representation to the show and doesn’t sell out in any way. The battle system is entertaining even though some fights spike in difficulty, the collectables and side missions offer plenty of fun distractions, and even the Achievements/Trophies add to the humor. The Stick of Truth is a rare gem as it combines humor with gameplay in a way that feels so right for its source material.
Complaints with this title are few but highly noteworthy. On occasion, the player might get a little lost or confused on how the game wants you to progress. Usually this involves using your farts or probe ability in some unique way but having characters speak clues a little more or some type of hint system would have alleviated some of these short but frustrating moments. Obsidian also continues their trend of releasing glitchy games as my console froze up during gameplay a couple of times, sometime animations would get stuck, the game hiccups often and the background blurs heavily when just walking at normal speed which is rather disappointing and annoying considering this game is not exact a graphical power house. The load times are rather irritating too. But thanks to the high humor content, these misgivings could be overlooked.
South Park The Stick of Truth is detailed fan service that so few licensed games achieve. With jokes at every turn and gameplay to match, The Stick of Truth is a must play riot that is well paced and feels like a natural extension of the show.
Play Along With: a bag of cheesy poofs
Better Than: South Park Rally
Also Check Out: the South Park Studios Website
By: Zachary Gasiorowski, Editor in Chief myGamer.com