Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Two Days In South Park, A 'South Park: The Stick of Truth' Commentary

I have been resisting the temptation for weeks. But temptation is a potent force, and being a loyal South Park fan who watched 17 seasons worth of South Park episodes, I finally gave in to my worldly desires and got myself South Park's latest computer game adaptation, The Stick of Truth. So far I have only played the game for two days, and it is still far for me to make any basis of conclusion for the game, but as of now, I do already have some comments in regards to the game. Not to mention some feelings on how the game will turn out in the end as well.


of course, out of everyone you end up with cartman first


For starters, I think the game's single biggest strength lies in its storytelling, and also its appeal to hardcore South Park fans. Trey Parker and Matt Stone have definitely utilize their penchant to tell great stories to the fullest, and I cannot help but find myself immersed in the story of the game itself. The story about elves versus humans is interesting, and I cannot help but find myself slightly amused at how the game manages to incorporate elements such as aliens as well into the overall narrative, without losing the South Park flavor of absurdity and craziness.

and true to south park style, the aliens have something stimulating in store for you


The voice acting and animation are top notch and classic South Park as well, and I felt that I was really transported into one of South Park's episodes as one of the characters. It was interesting to interact with known characters and to explore South Park on my own after seeing the town so many times on screen. Other than that, fans may also delight in finding many of the easter eggs that lie in the game, references that point to earlier South Park episodes. Of course, first timers may have trouble getting all the South Park references dished out for them.


one for example, are the various items you can find. a south park fan will be able to guess who does this cupboard belong to


However, when it comes to the gameplay I was more than slightly disappointed, as I felt that it is restrictive and does not really test your skills.

The game follows a dungeon and dragon RPG style game, where you can customize your character's abilities and equipment as you level up. The are perks (passive bonuses) that you can choose in addition to your active skills as well, and fights are done in a turn based system, much similar to Final Fantasy style battles.


you can do things like choose abilities, use melee weapon or use items


While I have traditionally found turn based RPG battles to be fun, I dislike the battle style of the game that utilizes quick response events and button mashing to dish out the most damage to your enemies. Meaning that you will need to hit a button at the exact time to block or to have a perfect attack, or to continuously hit the S key to unleash your attack. Failing can have serious consequences, for example hitting for 1 damage, and I kinda find it tiring after a few battles where you have to constantly hit the the key when your weapon glows or the indicator comes up. 


training was especially difficult, but there's ton of funny moves too


Other than that, even though you can openly explore South Park, you cannot really dictate how the story turns out because you're mostly a passive character (at least in the early story), which is kinda sad because I wanted to see how I could affect South Park in my own way.

So in essence, the game is mostly about you being sent to do chores and to battle different people to progress the story. There is also some puzzle solving involved, as the game takes place mostly in a sort of 2D platform environment.


they have parodies pointing fun at games too, for example audiologs


But all in all, after my initial few hours of playing, I would say that South Park: The Stick of Truth isn't really worth the 60 bucks that it is selling for right now. While the story is great, for most of the game you will just feel like watching a South Park movie, rather than really playing a game per say. I enjoyed the game so far because of its simplicity and outward outlandishness of it, but the quick response events and button mashing kinda dulls it over. And it does not offer a lot of new features in terms of gameplay, other than an extension to the South Park story, that makes it worth 60 dollars.

If I were to purely rate the game as a South Park fan and not taking into consideration of the cost, I would give it a 4/5, but if cost was taken into account, it would be probably 3/5.


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