Review by Jaksiel
Reviewed: 08/08/00 | Updated: 01/07/02
Don't even bother.
South Park has been one of my favorite TV shows for a while now, and when I first heard that Acclaim was making a South Park game, how could I not be excited? I could actually control the characters and hopefully hear some funny one-liners! Unfortunately, I didn’t stop to think that Acclaim is known for screwing up games that are based on TV/movie licenses that they acquire...and South Park is no exception (sigh).
The characters themselves are rendered in lavish 3D, which is definitely a treat. You can see how fat Cartman is from the front, back, side, etc.! Some people have complained that South Park is a 2D TV show, so the game should have been in 2D. I disagree, because I’ve always wanted to see the characters in 3D anyway. Anyway, the characters look great...but then there’s a problem that has plagued many Nintendo 64 games. Fog. The fog in South Park is especially thick, making you wonder if the boys can see any more than a foot in front of their face. DEVELOPERS NEED TO KNOW THAT FOG IS UNACCEPTABLE!! I understand that sometimes they need to cut corners to make release dates, but...bleh. After all, in the TV show the town of South Park doesn’t look foggy!
Show creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone voice most of the characters on the TV show, and they do the same on the video game. Hearing the boys complain about getting hit is funny for a while, an example being Cartman’s trademark line “Screw you guys, I’m going home!” when he gets defeated in a multiplayer battle. After just a couple of games though, you begin to hear the same few lines repeated. ALL THE TIME. Let’s face it...the lines are funny the first few times, but hearing them over and over again starts to irritate you. The music...well, the music is best kept turned off.
South Park’s default control is GoldenEye-style, and there’s also an option for Turok-style controls. Sounds good, but the execution is extremely sloppy. The analog is slippery, and I’ve experienced actions on screen failing to respond to the button assigned to that action. This sort of thing is simply a no-no in first-person shooters, but South Park has it in spades.
I’ll start this section by explaining the story. A comet is approaching South Park, and for some reason, it has mutated all of South Park’s animals and citizens...except for Stan, Kyle, Cartman, Kenny, and Chef. The boys decide it’s up to them to save the town, and Chef is always there to deliver the mission briefings. Um...right. Well, the story in an FPS doesn’t really matter if it plays well...but South Park doesn’t. It’s plays like a typical FPS: you control one of the four boys, and you must use your weapons to mow down anything that moves. The weapons are the only real innovative feature of South Park. They are all kiddie-themed, so you won’t be finding any shotguns here. These weapons include snowballs, dodgeballs, and the always amusing Cow Launcher, which does exactly what it sounds like it does. The weapons also have secondary fires. An example is the snowball’s secondary fire. You hear the sound of a zipper, and then a liquid sound, and then you’re throwing yellow snow. I’ll leave you to draw your own conclusions on that one. The levels are simply boring and repetitive though. In the first level alone, you’ll be mowing down well over 100 mutant turkeys with your snowballs, all while they gobble in a most headache-inducing fashion. None of the other levels are any better either. Plus, other then the one-liners, there’s no real sense that you’re in South Park. Sure, you can see buildings such as the school and Jimbo and Ned’s hunting shop, but for the most part, you can’t go in. There’s just nothing to DO, and you won’t be getting that South Park atmosphere you were probably hoping for.
This score comes solely from the game’s adequate multiplayer. You won’t be playing single-player more than once, and THAT’S for sure. In multiplayer, you can select from many of South Park’s most prominent citizens, including Mr. Mackey and Officer Barbrady. And it can be fun playing against your friends with the kiddie-themed weapons and the South Park personalities, but sometimes all the characters can be trying to talk at once, and the sound becomes a jumbled mess. Also, the characters are horribly unbalanced. The short ones (the boys, for example) and the skinny ones (the Alien, for example) have a definite advantage over the adults, and to make it a fair match you’d have to agree whether to use all “tall” people or all “short” people. In addition, the controls are still horrible in multiplayer, so you’ll get frustrated.
PROS: South Park looks good in 3D, the characters’ comments are funny for a while.
CONS: Fog, the comments quickly get old, single-player just plain sucks, multiplayer isn’t much better.
ROUNDED TO FIT GAMEFAQS SCORE: 3
Recently, Trey Parker and Matt Stone put it best when they said, “Comedy Central owns South Park, we don’t. Comedy Central can do whatever the **** they want with these characters. And they’ve made all this **** and these video games that we ******* hate, and that’s been another thorn in our side.” I’ll just leave you with that quote and this advice: Don’t buy South Park for N64.
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