Review by DragonShadow

"A refreshing amount of variety isn't enough to make it the best"

South Park Rally

Graphics: 5

The original PlayStation version had a very cheap look to it. It didn't look smooth in the slightest, the character models were blocky, and the pictures they used to represent the characters were downright terrible. Enter the N64 version, which removed the pictures in the Character Select screen and replaced them with the actual character models, which in themselves looked smoother than the PlayStation version. Enter the DreamCast version, the best version. The character models are smooth (if not marvels of intricate detail) the frame rate is perfect and the levels are better lit and easier to maneuver in. Some places that were too dark to see the road in have been lightened, while the whole look is generally more polished. Why a five then if they improved it so much? Compared to the majority of DreamCast games, they still suck royally. Simplistic characters racing on a mostly flat track with simple looking vehicles and maniacs trying to run you off the road.

Sound: 7

Character voices are done by Matt Stone, Trey Parker, Mary Kay Bergman, and Isaac Hayes, the actual voice cast from the show. And as such, the voice acting is naturally quite good. The phrases the character shout are varied depending on the circumstances, and the phrases they shout suit each character perfectly. The music is pretty good for the game and blends in fairly well. On a sad note though, it seems like sometimes character voices can fluctuate in volume from ringing in your ears to barely audible, including the voice of the character you're controlling. There were even a few instances where I heard Kyle shouting Stans lines, but it's nothing that will really hurt the game.

Gameplay: 6

A refreshing change in an entry into the overpopulated ''Licensed cart racing game'' genre. Instead of racing around a track trying to beat everyone else to the finish line, there are various kinds of games you can play in. From a game of keepaway with the cure to Mad Cow Disease to a mixed up game of Tag with cupids bow and arrow, the variety in the game is a refreshing change from the majority of cart racers. Unfortunately, some of the games are too easy while some tend to drag on too long as the other racers are very persistent. It's far too easy to cheat your way through the Halloween and Read-A-Book-Day events by camping next to the goal and waiting for the other racers to bring the race items to you, and the actual race events seem a little too easily to get more than an entire lap ahead of the competition. And Pink-Lemonade day is random in difficulty. You can camp near three of the goals while everyone else races to the fourth, giving you all the time in the world to drop your lemonades off. Nice variety for what it is, but only certain people will find the events enjoyable. The weapons are nice in variety as well, though only a few are truly useful.

Controls: 7

Many complain about them, but I've had little trouble. Once you get used to the floatiness, you can use the handbrake to pull off stunts that would make Mario Kart jealous. Tight turns are a breeze and staying ahead of the pack is even more so. If there's one complaint I agree with, it's that the drivers get knocked flying way too easily. Even the hefty Chef can be tossed like a rag doll after being hit by a flying Chocolate Salty Ball. Other than that, the game is kind of a breeze to control and they never get in the way if you take the time to acclimate yourself to them (something that's required with most games)

Features: 4

In the PlayStation version, there were a whole lot of characters to choose from. Almost everybody in the show at the time was accounted for and they all had their own lines. For one reason or another, a lot of the characters were cut from the N64 version, including Mrs. Broflofski, Scuzzlebut, and the Halloween outfits for Stan, Kyle, Cartman, Kenny, and Chef. Unlocking all these characters once took a long time, and a lot of know how. In this version however just beat the game once without continuing to unlock virtually everything in the game. The characters return in the DreamCast version however, and even some levels have a few new layout additions. A street in the first level has been replaced by a hill, among other minor topographical changes. Also included in the DreamCast version alone are the Mini-Championship mode, which is just a race through the levels without any weapons at all, and the Carnival level, which was obviously created specifically for the Mini-championship mode.

Story: 5

Seviceable. South Park is holding its annual holiday races, so throughout the year you will find yourself racing in various holidays, both real and in the minds of South Parks creators. From Easter and Thankgiving to Cow Day and Pink-Lemonade Day, there are a while lot of stages to get through. The story isn't much, but since when do games of this kind require stories anyway?

Overall: 6

An original entry into the realm of licensed kart racers with a lot of variety to it, but overall the game just isn't as entertaining as some others. The difficulty is too unbalanced, cheaters usually prevail, and there's little incentive to explore the levels instead of just racing head on through the game.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.0 - Fair

Originally Posted: 08/26/02, Updated 08/26/02

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