South Park: The Stick of Truth has had quite the troubled history. Delayed several times and moving publishers have caused a fair amount of apprehension about the final quality of the game, but clocking in at just under 30 hours and featuring almost every major character from South Park, I can say beyond a shadow of a doubt that South Park: The Stick of Truth IS. TOTALLY. TITS!
From start to glorious end this game is a joy. A little backstory, as the game was supposed to be released back in November, the characters all coincide with ones from the Black Friday episodes where the kids were playing Game of Thrones in the middle of the Great Console Wars of 2013. Stan is the warrior, with trusty dog Sparky as his “wolf”, Cartman as the Grand Wizard, Kyle as the Grand (Jew) Elf, Paladin Butters, Jimmy “The Bard”, and of course the beautiful and lovely Princess Kenny.
You are the new kid and it’s up to you to save the day with your magical sphincter control, and cloudy (gassy?) past. During your quest you encounter friendly faces and foes alike as you fight through hordes of Gingers, Aliens, Hobos, and Nazi Zombie Cows (yeah, they explode too, ’cause why the hell not). Using a slew of fart based abilities, paired with only the most badass of weaponry, armor, and upgrades, you must fight the challenges and save the world!
It all sounds fun and that’s because it is. If you’re a fan of the show then you are going to love this game. You are basically playing a very long episode and it is absolutely hilarious all the way through. That being said, if you are just a casual fan of South Park, you might find the game lacking in depth. There is no item creation, something that would have been great, you level up your 4 abilities, no spell/skill trees, and you go around completing tasks, sometimes tediously. Thankfully, as I said, the game is completely hilarious and “finding Jesus” was one of the most hilariously repetitive side quests I’ve ever encountered. The game isn’t shy about covering up with hilarious moments, there are a few cutscenes where I had thought something was wrong, only to realize they just wanted it to go on, and not be skipped. As a fan of the show, I completely embrace these moments, and having finished the game as a Jew, I’m looking forward to starting over as a different class. This is both a positive and a negative. On the plus side the game was fun enough, and there were enough things I want to see again, that I want to play it again. On the downside, the game was shallow enough that I want to see what the other classes offer in terms of diversity. We’ll see if I make it through a second go, my guess is I’ll want to try all 4 classes. Warrior, Mage, Thief, and Jew. Jew down, 3 to go.
One of the biggest concerns was that the story would fall short and end up being just another money grab using the franchise’s popularity to push games. That is not the case here. From start to finish the game is absolutely hilarious. From the first moments when your parents beg you to speak, obviously as an RPG character you don’t say a word, to helping the underpants gnomes and Mr. Hankey’s family, and finally to fulfilling your destiny, everything is aimed towards making fans of the series laugh their goddamn asses off. Characters you pass will make you laugh out loud out of nowhere, the cut scenes are obviously priceless, and the lines that each characters says in battle will have you smiling for the entire game.
That being said, and in an effort to maintain some level of neutrality, I will say that if you don’t care for South Park, you obviously won’t like South Park: The Stick of Truth, but what the hell were you expecting anyway? Shut up. Go play Hello Kitty! Island Adventure or something with the Harry Potter nerds.
Great, it’s funny, but is it fun or is it just fighting through a shit game to get to fun cutscenes? Why am I asking myself questions when I’m just going to answer them in the following sentence? Don’t worry about it, and don’t worry about if this game is fun, because it is one of the most entertaining and downright fun to play games I’ve had the pleasure of going through in a long time. The combat plays very similarly to Mario RPG, namely there are engaging actions to make attacks crit and timed blocking. Having said that I do wish there were more abilities to choose from and more skill trees, but considering how great it is without those, and how bad the game could have been, I’m fine just fine without it.
Outside of combat there are tons of collectibles and little things to get, they even made a bunch of new Chinpokomon including Velocirapstar (above). Other than that there is a bunch of “junk” you can collect, Terrance and Philip Dolls, The Tale of Scrotty McBoogerballs, Mrs. Cartman’s crackpipe, the list goes on, but the fact that all these are good for is to sell back for money, is slightly disappointing. Some kind of item creation using random stuff from the South Park universe would have been amazing, and it was the game’s biggest missed opportunity, but maybe if the game is successful it’ll spawn a much more in-depth RPG experience in the form of a sequel.
AESTHETICS ( Graphics/Sound)
Fancy 3D models? Photorealistic character models? Dynamic lighting?
FUCK THAT. THIS. IS. SOUTH PARK.
But really, this IS South Park and the game fully embraces that. No crappy N64 polygons here, nope. The game looks like an episode, or extended movie I guess. Every little movement looks like it was made for the show and it is amazing. The music and sound design is the same, so when you’re walking through town, or hanging with Mr. Hankey, it sounds just like it does in the show. Seriously, if you put video of the show next to the game in action there is no difference. Say what you will about South Park, but it’s a universal medium, and that’s hellah tits.
If you enjoy the antics of the boys and girls of South Park, then you will love this game. I went through the whole game as a “Jew” and fully intend to go through as each of the other three classes. If you are a casual fan of the show and looking for a solid old-school style RPG, check it out, you’ll probably get a kick out if it. If you don’t like South Park, or video games, or funny things, or being happy, then go be mad somewhere else, and maybe try and smile or something.