South Park: The Stick of Truth (Xbox 360) Review
Posted by Adam Larck on 03.11.2014
The latest South Park game may easily be the best. See our full review inside.
Title: South Park: The Stick of Truth
Developer: Obsidian Entertainment, South Park Digital Studios
Rated: M for Mature
When THQ first announced an RPG based on South Park, I was instantly intrigued.
While the downloadable games were hit or miss, I figured a full game based on the universe could be great.
However, as time went on, THQ went under. The rights to South Park: The Stick of Truth were bought by Ubisoft and the game was hit with more delays. I was losing hope on the game being good, and becoming more leery as new information became available.
Now that itís finally released, though, itís safe to say that The Stick of Truth is easily the best game ever released about the TV series, and could be a great episode in its own right.
The game puts you in control of the ďnew kidĒ in town, who looks however you make him and is silent throughout the game. After coming to the city, youíre quickly recruited by Cartman to protect the Stick of Truth, a small wooden stick, from the elves, another group of kids running around with pointy ears.
Like many episodes, though, things get crazy quickly. I donít want to spoil much of the twists in the game, but letís just say that the quiet, mountain town doesnít stay that quiet.
An interesting thing to note real quick is about how deep the character creator is. Thereís a lot of variety here in making a character, along with choosing a class (warrior, thief, mage or Jew). Plus, you can find plenty of accessories in game to change your characterís appearance as you go along.
One of the great parts about the game is how the story is told. All cutscenes look just like they were ripped from the show itself, with Matt Stone and Trey Parker putting a huge amount of content in the game.
The duo also didnít skimp on references in the game. Almost every known character makes an appearance in the game somehow, and houses feature plenty of references to items a character would have or have used in the series. Take, for instance, Cartmanís room. His closet features AWESOM-O, his picture from Casa Bonita and more, while his radio has ďFinger BangĒ playing.
In fact, you can hear many of the songs in the series as you wonder around South Park. My personal favorite is the variation they have done on ďBlame CanadaĒ as you explore Canada.
The humor is also on par with episodes in the series. It starts off simple enough, but by the end of the game it will be as crude as some of the worst episodes. Abortion, dildos and even exploring an anus can be expected here, among many other things.
Now that Iíve talked about the story and references, though, letís get down to the actual gameplay. Like most RPGs, you can walk around the city, accepting side-quests and working on the main story, all the while finding random loot, collectables (Chinpokomon in this case) and fighting enemies if you donít want to run by them. The city is a perfect recreation of South Park, with everything exactly how youíve seen it in the series. Plus, there are quick travel spots to get around from one side to another faster, thanks to Timmy.
Combat, once initiated either by hitting an enemy or having an enemy hit you, is turned based. Players can use a healing or boost item and ability or attack once per turn. Besides standard attacks, the abilities that players can use are interesting to see. They try to use standard skills seen in RPGs, but in ways that kids could actually use them. For instance, a mage can use fire by lighting a firecracker or lightning by dousing a target with water and using a car battery.
Combat also features plenty of timed button presses for bonus damage, extra attacks or defensive power. Timed buttons can also be used to add magical farts to attacks to increase damage.
Besides controlling yourself, you also command an ally in combat, and can do special summons as well once per day. The summons range from Jesus with a machine gun to Mr. Slave sucking enemies up his ass to a few others. The ally controls like you do, but they also get an ultimate attack unlocked at a certain level and canít change equipment. My favorite ultimate attack was easily Butterís attack, as he transforms to his Professor Chaos moniker from ďFun Times with WeaponsĒ before unleashing a random devastating attack or a big shield.
Overall, the combat is basic and fights are easy. This definitely isnít a Final Fantasy level of complication here. I only lost one battle just due to being underequipped for it. Everything else was a breeze as long as you update your equipment and equipment modifiers every once in a while.
The game also features two different styles of getting extra perks. The first, leveling, is your standard experience affair where you can add enhancers to abilities each time you level. The other style, Facebooking, has you adding friends to be able to select new perks to use, similar to Fallout perks. While the perks are nothing amazing, I liked trying to find all of the people in South Park you could befriend.
As I stated above, the sound is great in the game. From the music they choose to the voice acting, itís all top-notch and will have you wanting to hear every small bit of dialogue before itís over.
Great amount of story and dialogue here.
Youíll have plenty of laughs throughout.
The game feels like an extended episode of the series.
Combat is basic.
Some collectibles can be missed and not obtainable.
Never found a huge need for summons, which canít be used in boss battles.
South Park: The Stick Of Truth wonít sway any non-South Park fans onto the series. Nor will it bring regular RPG fans in to check the game out. The game is a perfect tribute to the series and will have fans laughing at the references and jokes from beginning to end. If youíve ever been a fan of the series, check this game out.
The town of South Park and all its inhabitants look great.
The combat system is good, but pretty simplistic as far as RPGs go.
Another great job here with the music choices and voice acting.
The game offers a lot to do, but little reason for replay value.
I found myself laughing at small jabs and hidden references throughout the game.