Review by p1r4t8r
"Oh my god! They killed the gameplay!"
'South Park' is one of those games that is just so bad that to even utter its name is to insult everything even remotely related to gaming. Considering the success of the hit TV show of the same name, it makes you wonder how the developer can butcher such a good licence. Well, they have, and what a dog of a game 'South Park' is to play. Read on!
A comet is on a collision course with the town of 'South Park' causing heaps of weird stuff to happen. Cows are going crazy, armies of clones are attacking innocent people, and the turkeys have become homicidal killers! Just a normal day in the life then. You take the role of four boys in the town of South Park; Kyle, Kenny, Stan and Cartman. It is up to these four foul-mouthed youths to save the town of South Park from certain demise at the hands of turkeys. Yes, turkeys.
It could almost be an episode straight out of the TV series.
To describe the graphics in 'South Park' a few simple words can be used; bland, flat, uninspiring and boring.
The game is viewed through the first person perspective, from the views of one of four of the boys.
The developer’s choice to render the game in 3D even though the TV show is a cartoon was both a brave and stupid one. Stupid because the transition to 3D has not been a good one. The environments are blocky; the textures can't even be called textures, as each 'texture' is just one single colour. The snow on the ground for example is just the colour white. No variation or detail whatsoever. The character and environments are blocky, the buildings are little more than just simple cubes, and the characters only barely resemble their TV counterparts. A cell-shaded approach would have suited the game so much better, but then that would have required EFFORT on the developer's part, SHOCK HORROR!
The levels are simplistic, and usually extremely straightforward. There are no alternate paths, and little variation. The first episode is little more than trudging through the town and then through repetitious snowfields that all look the same.
As for the town sections, these cannot be explored, you cannot go inside the houses or even peek in the windows, and there are no people on the streets to talk to. A real disappointment for any fan of the TV series.
The enemy designs are repetitious, and I swear if I see another turkey I will go crazy. Within the first few levels you see only three different types of enemies; Turkeys, bigger turkeys and cows. Almost all of which looked the same, with the exception of the cows, which had three different colour variations.
The bosses are lame to say the least, one of the bosses was little more than a pink glob of goo with an eye stuck in there somewhere, while another was a giant turkey.
You do end up fighting clones, aliens and even killer robots and remote control cars, but they still become very repetitive very quickly.
The voice acting is probably the high point of 'South Park.' The TV actors voice each of the characters in the game, which is a nice touch. The four characters each say out their own 'one-liners' every now and then throughout gameplay, but these were played so often they started to wear very thin on my nerves.
The sound effects were annoying to say the least. The sound the turkeys make when they run at you just becomes extremely annoying, to the point where I ended just turning off the sound altogether, which is not a good thing! The music was entirely forgettable, although there was a version of the theme song played during the intro.
To be short about it, 'South Park' is one of the worst shooters I have ever had the misfortune of playing.
The weapons are imaginative although their use is rather repetitious. For your standard weapon you have an unlimited supply of snowballs. This can be thrown at range, and in alternate mode are urinated on before being thrown, creating 'splash' damage (no pun intended). Jokes like this are purely childish, and completely un-needed. You also have dodge balls, toilet plunger launchers, Terrance and Phillip dolls, Sponge Dart launchers, a warp ray, sniper chicken and even a cow launcher. While these weapons may seem rather unique they are really just your standard rocker launcher, machine guns and whatnot only with a different appearance and effect when fired. They still serve the same purpose.
Sadly there is a lack of ammo in the game, and as a result your primary weapon ends up becoming the snowballs. Most enemies can only attack you at close range, so the best idea is just to pick them off from a distance, eventually becoming repetitious and boring. Where's the fun in throwing snowballs?
As mentioned earlier you play as each of the four boys, but this is little more than a simple gimmick. A different character will hold each weapon, with the only difference in gameplay being that you get a different coloured glove holding the gun, and some different one-liners. It would have been nice if each character had a different play style, but again, this is not the case.
The game is split up into a few different 'episodes' where you must fight a different enemy.
The enemies are made up into three categories, 'standard' which you fight the most, 'tanks;' bigger and stronger enemies and lastly 'bosses'. If you fail to kill a 'tank' enemy during each level, you must then fight in a penalty round against however many 'tanks' got past. This level is set in a very small segment of the town, and if you fail to kill the 'tank/s' before the town is destroyed you must play the level all over again.
Because the enemies are split up into the three groups you will find yourself fighting the 'standard' enemies the most. For the first episode all the 'standard' enemies are turkeys. To call the first episode 'repetitious' would be an understatement! Basic gameplay consists of throwing snowballs at turkeys over and over again.
As for the other episodes, they are only marginally better, involving evil clones and robots.
The map design is bland and boring, and levels such as the supermarket car park are little more than a maze to negotiate.
Almost all the characters are absent in the single player mode, although luckily Chef is in there. Sadly they are only featured in the video clips, so you never actually get to see any other characters.
The episodes are short and fairly easy to complete, that is if you can stand the repetition.
Life Span: 2
+ Original Voice actors
+ Imaginative Weapons
+ Bundled mouse pad
- Wasted potential
To put it simply, 'South Park' is a sad excuse for a game, and an utter waste of time and money. There was the potential there for an excellent game, but the licence has been butchered and I will no longer be able to look at another 'South Park' game the same way again. How Acclaim thought they could make a game like this is beyond me, and shows that the company really only cares for money, rushing out an under-featured and repetitious shooter in the name of a few dollars.
The bottom line, 'South Park' comes bundled with a mouse pad that I got far more use and entertainment from. That says something for the game, and it is not a positive message either.
Reviewer's Score: 3/10 | Originally Posted: 12/12/02, Updated 12/12/02
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