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unt1tled

South Park: The Stick of Truth Review

by unt1tled

posted March 10, 2014 @ 12:14AM
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filed under ReviewGames

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After numerous delays and the bankruptcy of original publisher THQ, the status of South Park: The Stick of Truth was unknown for quite awhile. When it was announced that Ubisoft would gain the publishing rights of the game, many wondered if the game would actually be any good due to all the issues. Adding to these issues were the fact that developer Obsidian is known for producing great games marred by bugs and glitches, and that we really haven't seen a decent South Park game since the show's inception. The truth about South Park: The Stick of Truth is that Obsidian and Ubisoft have delivered a love letter to fans of the show.

At its core, South Park: The Stick of Truth feels like one giant 15 to 20 hour long episode of the show. Every voice actor from the show reprises their role in the game with both of the series creators, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, penning the game's script. Much like South Park pokes fun at societal issues, Stick of Truth pokes fun at role-playing game tropes among other issues. The majority of the jokes are spot on and the game includes callbacks to nearly every one of South Park's 247 episodes. The show's raunchy humor is in full effect in the game; in fact, it seems like Parker and Stone takes things further than they ever could within the confines of the show. We won't spoil anything here but let's just say abortions and anal activities are the norm in Stick of Truth.

It wouldn't matter how good the story is if the game was a chore to play, which has been the case with almost every other South Park game. Obsidian has wisely moved away from complicated role-playing game mechanics and went for simplicity, creating a system akin to Paper Mario. Battles are more rhythm based, with players able to press buttons at the right time to either deal more damage or negate it while status effects play a large role in the game. Nearly every enemy and a handful of bosses are able to be afflicted with status elements, making battles end quickly once you master the system. For some gamers, however, battles may be over too quickly, as it's possible to overpower yourself to a point where even the last boss only takes a few minutes to beat. Some hardcore role-playing game fans may feel that Obsidian simplified the gameplay too much just so everyone can see the game through to the end.

The gameplay is decent and the show has a plot on par with one of the best episodes of South Park, but how does it look and sound? Exactly like an episode of the show. To someone who isn't aware that the game exists, it is entirely possible they could mistake sections of the game for an episode of the television show: The game looks that good.

As mentioned at the beginning of this review, Obsidian is known for producing products that have a large helping of bugs and glitches; however, Stick of Truth is virtually bug free. While a few bugs and glitches may exist, the type seems to differ from player to player with many people experiencing a flawless performance with the game.

South Park: The Stick of Truth is available on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC and out of those three systems, the game runs slightly better on the PC but not by a large margin. Regardless of what system you have, if you're a fan of the show or raunchy comedy, this game should be your next purchase.

It's difficult to talk about South Park: The Stick of Truth in a way that doesn't spoil any of the game's hilarious moments. If you're a fan of the show, you've probably already bought the game. If you're looking for a role-playing game on par with Obsidian's other works, you won't find anything here that has the depth of Fallout: New Vegas or Alpha Protocol but what is here works in the context of the property. If you're not a fan of South Park, this game isn't going to change your mind about the series.

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