For many of you who don't know, I am a huge South Park fan. I've seen every single season and the most f'ked up part about it is, Season 1 started when I was about 5 or 6 years old, that's right, I do remember the anal probe episode and the night it aired. Anyways the game to me since Game Informer posted it on the front ocver has always interest me due to the fact that there isn't a good South Park game out there, aside the fact that there is the N64 game, but that is pure shlock and shouldn't even come close to as a game. So in short, I bought this game out of pure excitement as a fan that just maybe; maybe...they did something at least decent with the game, and it wasn't even close to decent but INCREDIBLE.
For those not familar with the story of the game; you play as the new kid in South Park just moving in, the moment you arrive your parents feel obligated enough to let you explore the town and make new friends, to the point where they even lock you out the house if you try to stay indoors. There you meet Butters who introduces you to the game of the day being played in South Park which has a Dungeons & Dragons/LOTR/Game of Thrones type game where you are greeted with Cartman, Clyde and among other characters from the show. The story is very simplistic but adds a lot more depth to the fact that you are a new kid, sort of like how you are the rookie in Ghostbusters: The Video Game, you are engrossed by all the other characters to not have your portrayl become so important the story by not having voice, hell he is even mocked at for being silent, but customizing your character leads a lot open for you as a player to decide what type of character you are. For fans thinking you can be a girl, don't get your hopes up; you will be a boy due to the story and for anybody who watches the show, the boys do not like playing with the girls that much.
The game allows you to have a free roam experience of South Park, even giving you a detailed outlook of the whole game through map screen accessed through your phone via SELECT button. You can head to the local theater and catch a glimpse of Asses on Fire 2 in 3D, head to Toms Rhinoplasty where Stan's mom works, head to even the boys house to just screw around. The game is even more rewarding where you can break and interact with the objects and characters of the game with a simple button or just a regular punch attack with X or square. Through the game your goal is to make new friends, so you have a Twitter feed on your phone where you see what other friends write or just post statuses that are often range from funny to hilarious and give you a good giggle to hold.
Combat to say the least is where the fun of the character begins where it is Final Fantasy style RPG, in which I have to be honest, I HATE. I hate that style of combat, it is weak, it's lame and yes it is strategic but I'm more of a guy that won't wait for the other guy knowing damn well my player can evade if it wasn't for this stupid wait your turn rule...BUT this game makes that type of combat so much fun. The fact that the South Park characters are a touch to the added combat is a nice touch, but the combat is more in tune with hitting the characters at the right moment. Meaning you don't just choose an attack and expect your character to carry out the attack hoping he hits him the best to his ability. No, each time your characters weapon lights up, it's at that moment where timing is important to press each button that corresponds with the button that they ask you to hit it with. For example you have abilities where you can use a character's abilities like Butters for example who turns into Professor Chaos, you play a spin the wheel game to pick out which attack he will use that will inflict a harsh amount of damage. Your PP bar goes low though depending on which attack you choose. You also have magic, which is consisted of farts (not joking, FARTS) which happens to be my favorite thing to do in the game.
You can walk around and fart on people and their reaction (to me that is) is just always funny. You never run out of this while in free-roam, but in combat you do run out of mana and the only way to replenish your mana is through eating foods such as Chipolte, Chinese food, etc. You can use your magic during attacks as well to weaken the enemy and make them gross out which helps a lot out in combat. Overall the combat feels fresh and unique where the experience of taking turns is laughable but it redeems itself with the characters, settings and theme of the game that help it's boring gameplay become much more fun. I'm not the only one who pokes fun at this, even the characters do since they mock that you may take forever in your turn. You can also buy items and weapons and also sell valuables that you find through out the game. You can buy weapons from Kupa Keep in Cartmans Yard, to Jimbos Guns and even Canada. You can also sell the junk you have for quarters and dimes and even small amounts of dollars, I sold about $345 dollars worth of junk, it may seem like your paycheck or 2 days worth of your paycheck, but that's a lot of money for an 8 year old kid, especially a new kid.
There is flaws within the gameplay though. For instance at times when I am walking through South Park, the game might bug out a bit and get slow for a minute or a second but then revert back to normal. Other than that it's just a nitpick but not something that would ruin my experience.
As for sound the sound is damn near perfect, to swordfights, to farts to even having the voices be outright hilarious. Voice actors Trey Parker & Matt Stone voice the majority of the characters in the game, and do a great job as always writing and creating memorable voices. The sound is as crisp as ever which sounded to me like Dolby 7.1 type of quality, then again I was using a PS3 which South Park is on a Blu-Ray disc which heightens the sound quality a lot more. Other than the sound and enviroments make me feel like I am there or watching a South Park episode on TV. Overall I am sure on both consoles the game will have incredible sound that is hard to nitpick at.
Now this is probably the best part of the game due to the fact I did say, it is exactly like the show. I mean literally. It's like watching a special akin to Imaginationland or The Coon superhero special where it is elongated that everything is a game to the boys everything on the outside is having terrible reprecutions to the game that they are playing. Everything just looks exactly like the show where at times it doesn't even feel like you are playing a game but just watching the show. This was hard to say or have any type of criticism towards because the game designers literally had no flaw creating this, really not much else you can do but this was probably the best part of this where compare to other games graphics don't always look great in that department. Not to spoil much, but even Canada has good graphics (favorite part of the whole game, swear to god)
I feel this game is such a big experience, it falls short due to the story. As a fan, which I'm sure many gamers are fans of South Park, it runs short when it comes down to doing the main quests. The side quests add some longevity, but you can't help but continue the main quest to see what happens more. Leveling up goes along with the story along with getting new weapons, armor and such, but I can't say this is a huge problem with the game, it's just something as an RPG you never expect it to be this short when you are having so much fun. In all honesty though I respect it, this game hit all the right notes for being a video game and a South Park licensed video game. It's funny, nasty, repulsing, entertaining and very interactive with much to do in South Park. The occasional gamer might breeze through this, or be like me who pretty much is busy a lot with work in what not and may take a week or two to beat or going back and fourth through games (Also playing Kingdom Hearts 1.5) but I digress. For any South Park fan is a must buy or for any RPG fan wanting to get a good laugh at the genre, this game is right up your alley.
The game gets a solid 9/10.
Give a THUMBS UP, comments appreciated.