Review by DiosaDeJuegos
"Great potential, mediocre game."
Ah, South Park. If you haven't heard of Comedy Central's loveable little foul-mouthed scamps, you've been under a rock for the last 5 years. If you've never played this particular South Park videogame, then you aren't missing a whole lot. Its kind of like the other games in the South Park series: funny, seemingly interesting, but ultimately short and not really worth it.
The citizens of South Park are racing Go-Karts. There's really no reason for it, they just are. As you progress through the levels, you will get different ''scenarios'' which resemble stories in small ways (such as rescuing chickens from the infamous Chicken Lover, getting rid of your Mad Cow Disease, etc). But there isn't really anything going on besides the racing itself. True, most racing games don't have very good stories (if any at all), but this game was based on a TV show. That alone should have provided enough of a background for something like a storyline.
All of the characters, from Kenny to Starvin' Marvin are recreated in all their brightly colored glory. Some people have actually said that the characters look better in this game than in the actual show. The backgrounds are nicely detailed even though you never really park your car to stare at them. Obstructions on the road, from bulldozers to cows are very well animated. One of the best perks of the game are the objects that you can throw to thwart other players. The Anal Probe beam animation is guaranteed to provoke laughter, while the Prostitute is appropriately trashy. But even better than that is a certain former dictator whose picture may pop up every now and then to block your view...
There are a lot of times when the polygons show too much, or you get too close to an object and it seems to break apart. When you win a race, your character often looks like he or she has the top of their head missing, as you can see right through it. Also, an FMV here or there would have been greatly appreciated. The one clip of any length that we get to see is at the very beginning, and is disgustingly jaggy.
Multiplayer brings in a slew of other problems. Most of the time, things look all right when you're playing alone. But, the more people who play with you, the jaggier the game gets. Since the screen is split for each player, a 4 player game can look really ugly sometimes.
Glitchy glitchy ya ya, dada. There are certainly a few interesting... quirks in the animation that can't be gone into with much detail here. Suffice it to say that the ''disappearing scalp'' trick when your character wins a race isn't the only graphical slip in the game. True graphic gaffes happen infrequently, but they are irritating enough to make a person question if this game was maybe released without much testing.
With very few exceptions, the sound is amazing. Cheery melodies greet you with each track, each character has numerous one-liners reserved for specific actions, and the sound effects themselves couldn't be better. Your motor revs, you hear a splash when you get pelted with a water balloon, and when someone uses the Anal Probe on you... I won't ruin that part, but its definitely one thing you'll have to show your friends
One disappointment is that there isn't any sound when you're navigating the menus to start up. Sure, it may seem picky, but something better than ''buzz'' when you select a new thing would have been appreciated.
This isn't your typical racing game. There's a lot of ''comic mischief'', fart jokes, poo references, and cheeky humor to make it a heck of a lot of fun whether alone or with a couple of friends. There are a lot of different tracks to experience, from downtown South Park, to the Sewers, to Big *** Al's House.
Unlike other racing games, the goal isn't always to get to the end of the track before the other guy. Sometimes you're out looking for pairs of underwear that you may have to steal from other players. Sometimes you're trying to shoot other players with Cupid's Arrow. And other times you have to take an object past random checkpoints before the other players. This feature was a very nice touch that certainly saved some of the game's weaker moments.
Another saving point was the plethora of unlockables, like more playable characters. Just winning the race isn't enough to unlock everything. You may need to get 5 of a certain object on one stage, or avoid doing certain things on other stages.
Although there are a few different tracks, it would have been better if there were maybe 2 or 3 more. Also, the game can either be irritatingly short or irritatingly difficult, depending on how good of a player you are.
What's ugly about this game will likely depend on your skill level. If you beat it, you'll be ticked by how short it was. If you don't beat it, you'll be ticked by how hard it was at some points.
Good Lord, we've got some Ugly over here! There's nothing really wrong with steering your car, backing up, throwing objects, etc. All of that is comparable to other racing games both in manner and difficulty. The big problem with this game is how the in game elements react with one another.
You hit your button to throw an item. Nothing happens. You have the item and you hit the right button, but nothing is happening. Try hitting it again. Hey, maybe hit it three or four times. Eventually, the game will respond.
You're driving down the road, thisclose to nabbing Cartman who stole your trophy. A bulldozer passes pretty far away to your left. Uh oh! Suddenly your kart careens out of control. You didn't touch the bulldozer, but the game still thinks you did.
You just fell into a ditch. Actually, it was 30 seconds ago. About 3 or 4 other karts passed by before the game realized what happened and put you back on the road.
And those are just a few examples.
REPLAYABILITY/ADDICTION FACTOR 5/10
Championship mode is very short. But, there are quite a few things to unlock in the game which oughta take you awhile. Also, there is an arcade mode where you can mix and match different tracks and objectives which is a very nice touch.
You may or may not get the standard 20 hours out of this game. If you do, it will most likely be after you've unlocked everything. Still, despite the shortness and the irritation that accompanies this game, I often find myself getting it out every once and awhile to play my favorite tracks. You may get sick of it after awhile, but it pays off to keep it around.
Frustration is an objective thing. A skilled player won't get extremely annoyed by the objectives until late in the game. Someone who's not very good (like me) will get tired of playing a track more than 3 times to beat it (and sometimes a great deal more than that). A patient person won't mind the variable control, and someone who hates South Park will look entirely at the bad and at none of the good.
RENT OR BUY?
I still regret paying $40 for this, but you can get it on ebay for less than 10 bucks (most of the time brand new) nowadays. I would suggest renting first, especially if you need it for a night where your friends are coming over. But, if you like South Park and/or the other South Park games, it shouldn't set you back much to add this game to your collection.
TRY THIS GAME IF YOU LIKED...
*The South Park TV show or movie.
*The other South Park games.
*Silly games you can play for cheap laughs.
*Games to play with a buddy.
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW BEFORE YOU BUY
*You WILL need a memory card to save.
*Ebay first ebay first ebay first! A lot of places still charge over 20 bucks for this. Always check ebay first.
*A gameshark makes this game a lot better.
*For 1-4 players.
*Some mild swearing and references to hookers, poo, and other things parents don't like.
South Park fans beware. Just because the show is great doesn't always mean a game is going to be. This game is pretty fun and a good way to kill an hour, but its nowhere near as good as it could have been. Like all South Park games, it relies solely on the strength of the series rather on any sort of technical merit of its own. Its worth a shot, but doubtful it'll become one of your favorites.
Reviewer's Score: 5/10 | Originally Posted: 04/24/04
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