Review by creedster91

Reviewed: 03/11/14

South Park AU Review

South Park the Stick of Truth is an amazing South Park game and a decent RPG.

I've been a fan of South Park since the first season aired in Australia and I have seen every episode of it. I love it, the jokes are smart, the characters change over time, and the world continually gets bigger. The RPG format matches South Park and it is a wonder the game was not made earlier.

The game starts with the mute protagonist being ordered to leave the house and make friends in his new home town of South Park. Immediately you make friends with the local boy, Butters, and he gets you into the Human clan of a Dungeon & Dragons-esque group ruled by the Grand Wizard Cartman. For the first part of the game you spend your time recruiting factions and battling elves to reclaim the stick. In true South Park fashion the story escalates out of control leading to being abducted by aliens, shrank by underpants gnomes and travelling to 8-bit Canada to translate abortion documents written in French. The story makes sense in the context of South Park and it was genuinely a lot of fun to play through.

Aside from the 10+ hours of main story there are a load of side missions to complete as well. The quests can vary from finding collectibles to climbing The Tower of Peace and killing all the Mongorians along the way. The rewards for completing the side-quests are usually special equipment or a special summon that you can use once per day to kill all the enemies in a battle, but not bosses, they are too tough.

In the beginning you can only walk around South Park but through the course of the game you gain access to new abilities to access new areas. The battles are turn-based like Final Fantasy or Pokemon but requires some decent timing and button presses to execute attacks, abilities and defending, so the combat closely resembles the Mario & Luigi RPGs battles or even closer to the Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood also made by Obsidian. If you have the bard in your party one of his songs takes you into a Guitar Hero/DDR rhythm style minigame, for other attacks you might have to mash certain buttons. I like the battle style because you can't just mash A and still win. You need to combine tactics with precision to come out on top. That said, the battles are not too hard. If you have the right equipment and right abilities anything less than a boss will die easily enough.

The game looks exactly like the show. I don't know what else you could want from an adaptation from screen to game. The graphics in this game are timeless. Once upon a time Final Fantasy VII looked like an amazing game, it had the best graphics you could ask for at the time, if you played it today without mods it feels really dated. In contrast, Final Fantasy VI (or III) used Sprites, and although it doesn't look photorealistic, the style makes it so that you could still play the game today and it would still feel new. South Park the Stick of Truth is 2D and it would never look real, but it is stylish and looks like the show.

Though there were issues for me with the sound it was mostly good. You had epic middle-earthern music playing in the town, songs from the television show played in stores, the televisions sounded like they do in the show, with Terrance and Philip playing and Cooking shows. The voice acting was top-notch, and it needed to be. If it was anything less than stellar I believe the style of the game would have been diminished. The major issue I had with the sound was during battle, your partner in battle would hassle you to hurry up. Mate, it has been 4 seconds and I am trying to find a Speed potion, leave me alone. Seriously you would get pestered to hurry up after one second. If no commands were being inputted I would understand, but if you are scrolling through menus you are going to need more than one second.

A major thing that bugged me in this game was the use of censorship. I don't point my blame at Obsidian or Matt Stone and Trey Parker but at the Australian Classifications board. The game is rated R18+, I'm 22 or something, if I want to give Randy Marsh an anal probe I should be allowed to. If I want to perform an abortion, I should be allowed to. Now I'm not saying I want to do those things, but you know, all my friends overseas are doing it and it sounds like it might be good for a laugh. Man, we got images of a crying Koala telling us what we were missing out on. I do appreciate that the game is telling me it is censored, I appreciate that it is telling other people about it being censored, people who would not have given a second thought if there were just blurs or blacked out parts of the game. It gets the message out there, but I do feel like I missed out.

Between collecting everything, completing all the side quests and levelling up this game will take up close to 20 hours to complete. After completion you can start again and play as a different class and on a higher difficulty. I played as a Warrior and at the half-way point I had already decided that I would play through the game as a different class and make different decisions, though I'm not sure how the different decisions affect the rest of the game.

The game is great. It holds up as a good RPG, but more importantly it transported me to a world that I am all too familiar with. I got to spend a couple of days in South Park. The game was hilarious, funnier than Portal 2. The game oozed charm. It did have it's faults but they are mostly forgiveable. This is definitely my favourite licensed game, even moreso than Spider-man 2, maybe. This is definitely my second favourite licensed game. Well this game is definitely in my top 10 licensed games. I would highly recommend it to anyone who loves the show and would regularly recommend it to anyone who loves RPGs. Also I wouldn't recommend it to anyone under 15, the game goes further with crudeness than any episode does.

All in all I would rate this game a 9 out of 10.

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Product Release: South Park: The Stick of Truth (AU, 03/06/14)

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